Pet talk
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Pet talk

November 8, 2017

By Maneka Gandhi

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka explains what has to be done in cases of broken bones for cats and dogs

What to do in cases of broken bones for dogs?

The primary goals of treatment are to reduce pain, lower the risk of additional accidents, and avoid infection of open wounds. In all cases, there are three primary rules: Do not try to re-set a fracture yourself. 2) Do not use antiseptics or ointments on open fractures. 3) Get the dog to a vet immediately.

What to do in cases of broken bones for cats?

Any areas that are bleeding, or where bone is sticking out, should be covered with sterile gauze or a clean cloth if possible. The broken bone(s) should be disturbed as little as possible. Wrap the cat in a thick towel, or put him on a rigid surface to carry him to your veterinarian.

The thing to remember is that the cat is in pain, and animals in pain can bite, no matter how gentle they are normally. The second thing to remember is that an event severe enough to fracture a bone could cause shock and other not so obvious problems, some of which may not be detectable for days. Therefore, any home treatment is just to stabilise the injury until your cat can be seen by your veterinarian.

Give an overview of the bird trade in India?

The top ten traded species in terms of numbers are the Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), Plum-headed Parakeet (P. cyanocephala) and Alexandrine Parakeet (P. eupatria) followed by passerines namely the Black-headed Munia (Lonchura malacca), Red Munia (Amandava amandava), White-throated Munia (Lonchura malabarica), Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus), Spotted Munia (Lonchura punctulata), Redheaded Bunting (Emberiza bruniceps) and the Blue Rock Pigeon (Columba livia). These ten species contribute to nearly 75% of the indigenous bird trade. The rest of the trade comprises of waders, ducks, larks, pipits and mynas. Species in very high trade demand are the Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa), Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Spotted Owlet (Athene brama), Red-billed Leiothrix or Pekin Robin Leiothrix lutea, Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosa), Himalayan Greenfinch (Carduelis spinoides), Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) and Shikra (Accipiter badius). Also the Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus), Common Myna (A. tristis), Asian Pied Myna or Starling Sturnus contra, Brahminy Starling (S. pagodarum), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), and Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides striatus) are some commonly traded species.


Fourteen threatened species have been recorded at least once in the trade, and four of these, namely Green Munia or Avadavat, Finn’s Baya or Yellow Weaver, Swamp Francolin and Sarus Crane have been recorded in trade on various occasions. The Green Munia is a globally threatened endemic species found very locally and unevenly in Central India. Despite the ban on both trade as well as export of the species from India, the Green Munia is still reported in international bird markets. Although little is known about the bird’s habits in the wild, the species is rather delicate, and difficult to acclimatize in captivity, especially in temperate countries. Since it is also difficult to breed in captivity, its continued presence in international markets suggests that wild-caught birds are smuggled out of India. In addition to habitat destruction, trade seems to be the major threat to the Green Munia population.

Recent studies suggest that about 2,000 individuals of this species are caught each year and a majority of them are smuggled out of India for the pet-trade under the name of ‘Tiger finch’. Often coloured females of Red Munia are mixed and fraudulently sold as Green Munia. The species is regularly sold in important trade centres of Patna, Lucknow, Kolkatta and Delhi. The Swamp Francolin (Francolinus gularis) has been regularly recorded in the Indian bird trade and is regularly trapped outside protected areas, notably the Indo-Nepal border. In some areas, field surveys suggest that the adult Swamp francolin may be seldom targeted but ends up being trapped as by-catches of Black francolin and Crow pheasant trappings. However, in places where the species is found in good numbers, it may attract targeted trapping. For instance, dealers in this species suggested that in Nepalganj, Lakhimpur-Kheri and Pilibhit districts, the species is often caught for food. Some trapped birds find their way to two main trade centres in Lucknow and Kanpur. The Finn’s Baya or Yellow Weaver (Ploceus megarhynchus) is another globally threatened bird with a very local distribution in Kumaon terai and some parts of Assam. Previously reported to be an endemic resident of north India, it has been recently reported from Nepalas well. It has been exported over a period of many years — as early as 1901 — with several birds handled at the Heathrow airport and reportedly sold in Indian bird markets from time to time.


The combination of habitat destruction and possibility of uncontrolled accidental trapping with other Weaver birds and Munias, and occasional targeted trapping, is a major threat. The Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) is another species trapped regularly for zoos and aviculture trade and occasionally for meat. Chicks are collected to be tamed and sold as captive-bred birds.


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