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FAQs on blood donation in pooches

Blood transfusion has always been an emergency and a life saving procedure in veterinary practice. Lack of blood typing kits, blood collection bags, storage equipments and donors in crisis continue to be a constraint for the needy animals. Jeevashram has established a dog blood bank, which would be instrumental in saving the lives of pets. Dr Vinod Sharma answers a few FAQs pet parents have on the subject of blood donation.

Q: How do I know if my dog is eligible for blood donation?
A: Your pet dog:

dog health

Dr Vinod Sharma

  • Should be 1 to 8 years old.
  • Should be clinically healthy.
  • Should weigh a minimum 20 kg.
  • Should have been vaccinated and dewormed periodically.
  • If female, then should not be pregnant or delivered pups.
  • Should not have donated blood within 9 weeks.
  • Should be free from infectious and haemoprotozoan diseases.
  • Should not have received blood earlier.

Q: How is the blood taken from my dog?
A: For friendly, cooperative dogs, no sedation is required for blood collection. The dog is made to lie down in lateral side and a small area on the neck is clipped and blood is collected from the jugular vein. If your dog is unco-operative or restless, then blood collection will be done under sedation, in that case your pet should be brought on an empty stomach.

Q: How much blood will be collected from my dog?
A: Around 300-400 ml of whole blood can be collected depending on the donor’s body weight.

Q: Will my pet be unwell after blood donation?
A: The blood collection will cause no harm to your pet. If your dog is sedated, then he will take some time for recovery, intravenous fluids are given after the collection to compensate the volume loss.

Q: Are there blood groups for dogs like humans?
A: Yes there are more than eight blood groups out of which DEA1:1 type is most significant for blood transfusion. If your dog is DEA1:1 negative, then the blood can be donated to any other dog.

Q: My dog is a German Shepherd, will his blood be useful for other breeds?
A: Dog blood groups are not breed specific, any breed can donate blood to any other breeds.

Q: Do I have to give any medication for blood production?
A: No. The blood will be produced within three weeks naturally.

Q: Will proper disposables be used for blood collection?
A: The blood bags come with an attached needle, hence each bag will be used for each dog after transfusion of the blood, and the bag will be properly disposed. The blood bag cannot be reused.

Q: How will my pet’s blood be used?
A: Your dog’s blood will be used to save critically ill dog who suffers from anaemia of any cause or blood loss of various reasons or any pre/post surgical management as and when required.

Q: How often can my dog donate blood a year?
A: Dogs can donate blood every nine to ten weeks but it’s good if we wait for three months. Please donate your dog’s blood to save another dog’s life.

(Dr Vinod Sharma, qualified veterinarian from Guru Jambheshwar University and RSPCA (London) runs Jeevashram dog blood bank in New Delhi. He is author of the popular book- Care of Dogs & Cats).

Pooches: your kid’s best tutor..

Pooches: your kid’s best tutor -Tailwaggers can enhance your kid’s reading ability
In therapeutic and educational settings, pets (especially dogs) are decisively a positive and helpful influence. They relieve anger and depression, they are fun and engaging, and they are marvelous catalysts at helping people break through when they are stuck. They inspire them to WANT to participate in their vital therapies, and to have fun while doing so. Here’s how dogs help children with reading disabilities.

The establishment…

Intermountain Therapy Animals was founded in September 1993 by three women who came early to the

Children and Dog

ANGELS TOGETHER

realisation of how interaction with animals could benefit people in therapeutic settings. Their dogs happened to be a German Shepherd, a Doberman and a Rottweiler breeds which are often frightening to some people. This was proof that ANY breed can be a therapy dog if they have the right temperament, a great relationship with their owners, and excellent skills. Founders of R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), they have helped many kids with reading disabilities.

The R.E.A.D. programme…

“R.E.A.D. was the inspiration of one of our board members – Sandi Martin who wanted to figure out a way to combine her greatest loves – dogs and books. She was a nurse and had seen first-hand the benefits of animals in hospitals. She asked me if I thought those benefits would translate to the reading environment, and – voila! It seemed like an obvious no-brainer of an idea once it was spoken!,” told Kathy Klotz, Executive Director, Intermountain Therapy Animals.

“We started a four-week pilot programme at the Salt Lake City main library in Utah in November 2009 and it was so wildly successful. It has continued at the library and several Salt Lake branches ever since,” she added.

How R.E.A.D. helps…

R.E.A.D. generally focuses on children aged five to eight, to help establish a love of reading and books in that crucial, formative period when they must LEARN TO READ so they can READ TO LEARN for the rest of their lives. Children who are not able to read at proper level when they turn nine almost never catch up, and for the rest of their lives they are behind in education, earnings, socio-economic status, and general success in their lives. “We think it’s so important to help turn today’s children into excited, avid readers at those early ages. In the US, almost 68 percent of children are significantly behind, not reading adequately at age of nine,” told Kathy as a matter of fact.

“We started our elementary school version of the programme in January of 2000. In November of 2009 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the programme and enjoyed receiving a resolution from the United States Senate in Washington, declaring November 14 as National Reading Education Assistance Dogs Day. The programme has spread throughout the world, including the entire United States, four provinces in Canada, around the UK, and even Spain, Italy and elsewhere. We are now heading for the 12th anniversary of the programme (in November 2011), and the positive results and reactions continue to pour in,” she added proudly.

How dogs help…

The animals are non-judgmental, non-critical and great listeners. They never pressure a child to perform. They get kids away from the frightening pressure of their peers. A R.E.A.D. animal is considered a primary or intrinsic motivator. In other words, they make the actual experience of reading feel good, and be rewarding, so they can’t wait to come back and feel so good again. It’s different from a secondary motivator, like getting an unrelated reward (like a coupon for a free pizza) for reading a certain number of books or whatever.

“Children tell us things like – He won’t go tell my friends I’m stupid if I make a mistake. He never tells me to hurry up like my mom does. Well, I sometimes stutter and he won’t laugh at me when that happens,” told Kathy. “Besides, reading to a dog gives them the opportunity to be the teacher or tutor – they know more than the dog, and they fully believe they are helping him enjoy hearing their stories. They absolutely blossom with pride and confidence when they get to do this – we kept noticing, in all the hundreds of photos people would send us – that kids ALWAYS turn the book so that the dog can see the pictures. They want to make sure the dog understands.”

The mission…

“Our overall purpose/mission is to enhance quality of life through the power of the human-animal bond. We focus on bringing animals into healthcare and educational facilities, like hospitals, senior care centers, rehab facilities, prisons and residential care settings, and then (with R.E.A.D.) schools and libraries. We seldom visit individually in private homes, and we do not maintain a facility where clients come to us. At this point, we have more than 300 active teams, visiting more than 100 facilities in four states (Utah, Nevada, Montana and Idaho),” concluded Kathy proudly.

(Kathy Klotz is Executive Director of Intermountain Therapy Animals and R.E.A.D., Utah).

feactures fun and frolic

Extraordinary pooches

feactures fun and frolicForget about superman or other mythical superheroes, the real superheroes are here… right in front of us. They can see in the dark, hear things from 420 meters away, run over 72 kilometres per hour, and pull over eight times their body weight. Some can even jump over eight meters, and are dirt and fireproof. And to top things off, they’re our best friends. Yes! We are talking about the canine buddies!

Dogs are extraordinary; they possess remarkable sensory and physical capabilities beyond that of humans.

We are nosey!

Paddy is a Black Irish Labrador, who is part of Malaysia’s first ever K-9 unit trained to detect pirated discs. While, Lola is a three-year-old brown Labrador who works as part of the Unidad Canina De Rescate Y Salvamente K9 rescue team with her owner Christian Kuperbank in Argentina. Lola is involved in several operations to locate alive and dead human bodies in disaster situations.

What’s more? Sam, a Springer Spaniel, is one of UK’s leading fire investigation dogs, who can sniff out potential fire accelerants after a fire has taken place. He can smell 16 different substances, even those considered odourless by human senses!

And Diesel, a Staffordshire Bull terrier in South Africa can track cheetahs while a few trained Labradors in Queensland can track ant – the tiny invaders.

We are sensitive!

Dogs can sense human emotions by picking up on the smell of hormones secreted, and can also detect cancer and blood sugar levels with high accuracy. They can even be trained to detect cancer in patients by smelling their breath and be accurate 90 percent of the time. Some dogs are also able to detect a diabetic’s drop in blood sugar a full 15 minutes before the blood test. A new charity ‘Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs’ in the UK trains dogs as bio-detectives by honing their natural ability to detect cancer and pick up high or low blood sugar levels.

We are caretakers!

Bingo, a Jack Russell Terrier, regularly saves the life of Cole, his ten-year-old owner in Canada. Cole has a life-threatening condition that causes him to suddenly stop breathing, and Bingo has been trained to alert Cole’s parents by barking whenever he hears the boy starts to wretch.

We are agile!

Dogs are true Olympic athletes; they can swim, run long distances, jump hurdles, etc. Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies compete in the La Grande Odyssee Savoie Mont Blanc, the toughest international sled dog race in the world.

We are Baywatchers!

Zoe, a Golden Retriever, in 2007, rescued a fisherman whose boat had overturned out at sea, pulling the boat shore with the fisherman hanging on. He is a part of the Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs working along Italy’s coastline. These dogs are trained to rescue from distances of a few 100 metres to 4 km.

We have the ability to heal!

No dog is ordinary – they work on a day to day basis, healing and saving us. Nepal, a black Labrador Retriever, is assisting Jason Morgan, a former soldier, who was seriously injured on a mission in Ecuador ten years ago – he was left paralysed from the waist down. He has given Jason back his independence and confidence.

Besides, dog providing therapeutic benefits to terminally ill children, is a well known fact today.

We are true companions!

Another dog named Maybe, a Golden Retriever, lives with Christie, who suffers from epilepsy. Maybe is a seizure alert dog and can alert Christie to an oncoming epilectic seizure 30 minutes before it occurs, giving her time to get into a safe position where she can’t injure herself. There are many many more….

We can guide!

The director of the French Guide Dog Association, Alain Gillet, has been blind since childhood, but his guide dogs became his eyes. His guide dog Buster even accompanied him on the infamous turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner – Concord, making Buster the ‘supersonic dog.’

We can protect you!

Border Collies are being used both at Durban and Johannesburg International Airports to scare birds off the airfield, which can prove both dangerous and damaging to the aircraft. This is their power to sense movement over wide flat distances.

We can help you!

‘Pups in Prison’ is a programme set up and implemented by Assistance Dogs Australia and the model is now being used in several Corrective Centres and Juvenile Corrective Centres across Australia. The aim of the programme is to reduce re-offending behaviour by giving offenders skills to assist in their own rehabilitation.

The other qualities…

A natural yet unidentifiable instinct of our four-legged friends is that they can guide themselves to their home miles away, understand the world around them and even save us from everyday perils. They know when you are coming home, sometimes even before you do. Their intelligence, strength and endurance are beyond our imagination. Tommy is a guide dog who is an expert at navigating New York’s subway and bus systems.

Not only this, dogs can differentiate a happy human from an angry or sad one and a laugh from a cry. They can even mimic human behaviour! Stray dogs in Moscow catch the underground in the city in the morning and after a hard day scavenging return in the evening, getting off at the right stop. They are truly remarkable friends we can have- for our life!

(Watch Eukanuba Extraordinary Dogs on Sundays at 12 pm on National Geographic Channel.)

grooming

Dashing pooches: the Drools way

When the sun shines bright in summer, pooches need to be groomed regularly to keep them fit and fine. Here are a few summer grooming tips.
  • Keep them tick-free : In summers, regular use of tick powder, shampoos and sprays will protect your groomingpets from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes as these parasites can cause skin irritations and disease . Brand ed tick collars are recommended to keep them at bay.
  • Bathe when required: Do not over-bathe your pet, thinking it’s too hot as the pet’s skin will lose the essential body oils. Do not give your pet a bath more than twice or at max, thrice a month.
  • Brushing to health: Many breeds are not meant to live in our Indian climate so regular brushing is mandatory for all especially double-coated breeds, as they can be very miserable and even overheat. Read more

Pooches in the limelight

Dog shows, dog fairs, dog events…we just don’t seem to have enough of our canines and Editorialare always there to cheer them up, time and again. And our pooches just love all the fun and excitement…but they always remember that they are there for their pet parents in thick and thin.

Very recently, a pet dog in Coimbatore saved a three-year-old boy from a leopard! Yes the little braveheart scared the leopard by his frantic barking, just when he was about to pounce on the boy. Kudos to the pooch! He really lived upto the old adage – Dog is man’s best friend.

While a few of our pooch friends are lucky to be in safe hands, some of them become part of a mockery. For example, as a part of local festival in Jharkhand, girls are married off to stray dogs to ward off evil spirits. Needless to say, these dogs are neither adopted after the marriage nor are taken care of. They are just used as a means to satisfy some old religious practices.

We still need to go a long way in creating awareness about our pooches in such areas. Every little effort counts and you can do your bit by word of mouth and by setting up an example yourself. Feed a stray, take care of his vaccination needs, get him sterilized and everybody sees you as a responsible citizen and of course a true dog lover, which we know you are.

Now, that the summer is setting in…provide a bowl of clean drinking water for the stray in your area and yes, you know how to take care of the loved one at your home- keep him indoors in the hottest part of the day, give him lot of clean water to drink and share some lovely summer days ! Whew! You already know that!

Sparkle is looking forward to the lazy summer afternoons, when he just needs to be left alone to sleep to his heart’s content…opening his eyes only when he smells a tasty treat or when he hears a ‘Let’s go!’

This New Year let’s all do something to make our pooches happier…spend more quality time with them, love them and be a responsible pet parent. And those who are willing to go an extra mile can help their neighbourhood stray dogs in this chilling season. Give them food and a bowl of clean water. You can even donate a warm rug at the roadside to give them a cosy place to sit on. Winters are hard on them…let’s make it a little easier for them…because we love them, don’t we?

Sparkle wishes you all and his friends out there A Very Happy and Sparkling New Year, a year filled with love, shine and lots of Bow-Vows!

Let’s save our precious pooches

001We turn four! And we take this opportunity to thank all our readers for their love and support to make Dogs & Pups the most cherished magazine of dog-lovers. As we celebrate the fourth anniversary of this wonderful magazine on the world’s most wonderful creatures – our darling pooches, we will continue to bring many more pages of joy, love and care for our sweet doggies.

For us the best way to celebrate is to do good deeds for our pooches and make this planet a better place for them. It would come as a surprise for most of you that one of the world’s rarest dog species – the Bakerwal dog- is reared in India by the Gujjars and the Bakerwals in Hindukush and Himalayan belt of the Indian subcontinent. These rugged and courageous shepherd dogs were bred to protect livestocks of the nomadic Bakerwals and are capable of protecting large herds of sheeps and goats. But, it will be shocking to know that this rare species of dogs will soon become extinct.

The Bakerwals are trying to relinquish their nomadic ways and in an attempt to climb higher altitudes, their dogs are being killed near the Line of Control (LoC). Also, a number of dogs succumb to throat, rabies and other infections due to devoid of proper vaccines and medical care. As a result, there are just a few hundred dogs of this breed left. Isn’t it a big setback for the Indian sub-continent to lose this precious breed? They are our country’s heritage and we need to protect these sturdy pooches from extinction.

Sparkle nods his head in approval and wishes that some NGO takes the matter forward and preserves this rare species, of which all Indians will be proud of.

– Shweta

Games for the party pooches

You and your friends are out on a vacation with your little four-legged darlings or you have arranged a party for your pooch. Here are a few games to make the gathering all the more enjoyable:

Perfect Tail : Blindfold the owners and ask them to put tail on a doggy cut-out. A sure way to lot of squeaks and giggles!

Hungry Kya : Ask the owners to feed biscuits to the dogs without using their hands. Sounds interesting?

Balloon Game : Ask the pet parents to hold their dog’s leash and blow balloons at the same time…You will indeed have a great time seeing people having a tough time.

Playing Cards Games : Make all the dogs do the ‘down stay’ while their owners make tallest card castles. Now, here’s the time to show how well-trained your dog is!

Distance Fetch : Send the dogs to fetch toys for their parents from a distance. You know how much your dog loves to play the magical game ‘fetch,’ so they will indeed have a gala time.

Jumping Jack : If you have jumps and tunnels, make the dogs clear jumps and go through the tunnel. You might even see a few pet parents teaching their dogs how to jump and go through the tunnel, so will have all kinds of jumping jacks!

Best Doggy Use : Take an unusual item and ask the pet parents to innumerate three best uses of that item for their pet. I bet you will get the craziest answers you have ever heard!

(Pooja Sathe can be contacted at 9820596903 or email at: poojasathe@yahoo.com)

Postal pooches

Good news for all the canine-crazy people. You can now write letters on the first day covers featuring Indian breed four-legged friends. You can even frame the doggies on the envelopes in the form of stamps.

What’s new?
The Indian sub-continent is the largest conglomeration of various breeds of dogs in the world. Through a long process of evolution, each geographical region in India has produced a distinctive breed, adapted to the local environment. Known for their sturdiness and loyalty, there is a need for creation of awareness about the variety of the canine population in India. The Post & Telegraph department of the Government of India has recently released postage stamps and first day covers on four breeds of dogs of Indian origin.

Featured breeds
The breeds that feature on the stamps include Mudhol Hound, Rajapalayam, Rampur Hound & the Himalayan Sheepdog.
Mudhol Hound : Primarily a desert variety of gaze hounds, it is generally found scattered all over Maharashtra and has been mostly kept by tribals. The Raja of Mudhol, a princely state, now part of Karnataka, trained these dogs for hunting. The Raja of Kolhapur also patronised this breed. Quiet, aloof, placid and reserve, they hunt with extreme concentration, equally well on dry and marshy lands.
Rajapalayam : Built on the lines of the Great Dane, it is an all white dog, though at times mottled white is also noticed. The eyes are brown, and the pink nose is distinctive. With his button ears and whip tail, he has loose hanging upper lips and is deep-chested. Though he is not a fast runner, but he is tireless and steady over long distances. Traditionally used as sheep dog and for hunting, he has also figured in battles. It is said that in the 18th century, Pudukottai regiment of Rajapalayam dogs was effectively used for fighting the enemies. Although he is used more for hunting hare and other small game, he is gentle and is everyone’s friend.
Rampur Hounds :They are most well known elegant Indian breed, featured in Mughul miniatures. These dogs come from Rampur of erstwhile Rohilkhand of Uttar Pradesh. They are medium sized, muscular, powerful built for great speed and endurance. They have long wide head, flat between ears, and powerful jaws with scissor bite. They have slightly oval, brown to dark amber eyes. They have long and tapering tail, and the body has short and firm coat. Every year in a mela in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, the best Hound exhibited is given the title Rustum-e-Rampur.
Himalayan Sheep Dog : Found in Ladakh and adjoining Nepal, they are strong and powerful dogs. Gentle and sensitive with humans, they are alert and have sharp reflexes. They are courageous and ferocious, making for excellent guard dogs for cattle. They are generally black or brown with patches of white on ears, legs and body. They have a thick coarse over coat and a thick smooth fur for under coat.

Formal release
Nasik Kennel Club and the Philatelic & Numismatic Society of Nasik recently organised a function in Nasik to mark the occasion. It was attended by over 50 participants and was presided by Dr. Arvind Choudhary.
Shantilal Hiran, President of the Philatelic Society, said that this would result in greater awareness about these breeds. Dr A.S. Kulkarni, Secretary of Nasik Kennel Club was glad that the Government of India has given recognition to dog breeds of Indian origin and that this would prompt dog lovers to consider owning a dog of Indian origin. He also mentioned, “We are quite casual about maintaining records and pedigrees of our pets and this has resulted in our fascinations for breeds originating in other parts of the world.” Dr. Shriram Upadhye, a local enthusiast of the Indian breeds, was present with his 3-year-old Mudhol Hound female, Ash.
(Inputs by Dr. A.S. Kulkarni, Secretary, Nasik Kennel Club.)