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Thursday, January 3, 2019


Pet Animals and Birds

By Dr.Thankam Mathew, BSc.,MVSc., PhD.,FISCD

I studied Veterinary Science as one lady student alone in the class with other gents in Madras Veterinary college as early as 1954 , because I love pet animals like cat, dog and birds. More or less my parents also loved pets and I got that gene from them. My father loved cats and mother loved dogs and birds. But I love all the pet animals and even reared monkeys in our house when I was young. I loved to feed them, talk to them and play with them and I can understand their language and communicate each other.

A pet animal or bird should be a welcome guest to all the members of the family. If one person in the house hate pet, then the benefit of keeping the pet in the house will not be materialized. A pet is just like a member of the family.

Benefits of keeping pets.
Pets can supplement health benefits for children, adults and old people by decreasing anxiety. Pets can reduce blood pressure . Pets act as Psychotherapist by unloading the problem of fears as the pets are good listeners. Pets reduce the loneliness feeling in the house. Dogs can give protection to the people by barking and reaching to the new person and not allowing to touch and take away things from the house. Dogs can detect a criminal/thief by smelling. Dogs can be trained to detect the criminals and to lead the blind to specific places. Dog is the best friend of humans. If we show love to a dog, it will show greater love in return by wagging tail. By keeping a pet dog in the house, we can understand how much pleasure it gives to our family and reduces the tension in our day to day family life.

It is better to buy pet from an owner, who keep the pet animals in a hygienic condition and free from diseases like worm infections, ticks and fleas, ring worm etc. Kittens and puppies should be weaned from their mother at 6 weeks, since they get the natural antibodies against various diseases through their mothers milk for first

6 weeks of life. At that age it is better to send them for proper toilet training , feeding and obey orders.

Training the pets:
Toilet training: Train first to pass urine and stool in a specific place (in the compound yard or in pots, with dry litter).If pet passes stool or urine in the wrong place, say bad boy or girl and take the pet, where you expect to pass stool or urine. Then clean the place with disinfectant and deodorant so that the puppy will not be tempted again there, with the previous smell.
Obedience training: Only one person in the family should train the dog or cat. Or get the help from the dog trainer. Use only single word command like “Come” ,”Go”, Good”, “No” etc. and when ever the pet obey give them a reward by a pat on the back and say good Also give some eatables like biscuits.
Feeding training: Separate food tray should be provided for each pet. And separate water bowl also should be provided. Never allow them to jump on the table and eat while the family is eating . Food should be provided by one person to avoid taking food from strangers.
Disease transmitted from animal to human (Zoonotic diseases) :
Zoonotic diseases are diseases transmitted from animals to humans. They are namely, parasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal, mites and ticks. The parasitic diseases are usually, round worm, tape worm, giardia, coccidia and toxoplasma. It is caused by the contamination of the food with the feces and urine of the pets. The bacterial infections are Salmonellosis, Colibacillosis, Leptospirosis. Fungal infection, is the ring worm by contact with the infected skin of the animal. The main viral infection is caused by the bite of the rabid dog.
Because of the zoonotic diseases, never allow a pet to lick on the face of the owner/children. Also never kiss a parrot on its beak as it can cause Psittacosis infection to human from parrots Wash immediately after grooming or petting the pets to prevent infection .

For more information, read “Zoonoses and the contribution of diseases free Pets to human health-A guide for pet owners”. By Elie K. Barbour and Thankam Mathew- Thajema Publishers.
(This is a very scholarly essay and we are sure it will benefit our readers. For further information contact the Thajema Publishers. Thanks) New WorldLabels: Dr. Thankam Mathew (Republished)

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