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Pet Talk

March 20, 2019

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka tells about measures to be taken after Holi celebrations are over

By Maneka Gandhi

Is it safe to colour animals with powders on Holi?

No, powdered colours are not safe for animals, not even the ones marketed as herbal and organic. The powdered colour can cause severe skin allergies and itchiness. When the dyes get into their eyes, it might cause blindness. Breathing in the colours can cause respiratory ailments and nasal irritation. Swallowing the powder can cause serious troubles, because the powders contain Lead which is a toxic metal. Drinking the water coloured by the powder can lead to hair loss and serious illnesses.

What are some symptoms that indicate a poisoning caused due to dry or wet colours on Holi?

Some symptoms are vomiting, loose stool, excessive drooling, behavioural changes, constipation, discharge from nostrils or excessive thirst. If these symptoms are observed then a vet should be consulted immediately.

What are some measures that must be taken after Holi celebrations are over? Can I use oil to get rid of the colour on my dog’s fur?

Make sure that you just use animal shampoo to remove colour from your pet’s fur. Never use hair oils or harsh products such as alcohol or kerosene.

Keep your dog away from you when you are smeared in colour or have guests that are.

Keep water balloons away from the reach of the dogs as they may chew it.

What should I do if I see a kid throwing a water balloon at an animal? How to tackle the kid and the scared animal?


This child is naturally vicious and is using the excuse of a festival to be mean. The parents should be warned immediately, as he / she is probably mean to animals on a daily basis. The child should be taught not to use the festival to hurt an animal. Regardless, all parents should educate their children during Holi about the harmful effects of balloons and colours on animals.

You should observe how hurt the dog is. If the eye is hurt then wash the eye with water and, if the irritation persists, then take the dog to a vet. Otherwise, just gently pet the dog, give it a treat and see if there are any serious injuries.

How to help a bird with a kite string injury? What is the immediate action that I should take and who can I contact for further assistance?

If you see an injured bird then see how badly the bird is entangled in the string. First, the string should be cut as much as possible. Then, a pain killer and an antibiotic, called Melonix, should be given through drops in its beak. Put the bird into a cardboard box with a blanket underneath. Contact local animal rescue authorities immediately.

How to fly kites without harming birds? What are the times that I shouldn’t fly kites?

• Don’t fly kites between 6 am-8 am. Birds go out of nest to look for food; • Don’t fly kites between 4.30 pm-6.30 pm: Birds return to nests; • Don’t use glass coated  Chinese strings or Majha; • Call a vet or animal protection group if you see an injured bird.

READ ALSO  Pet Talk: September 19th

Why do dogs eat their own vomit?

Probably because regurgitating food is not as sickening to them as it is to humans. Dogs eat their own vomit because to them it’s seen as a food which they don’t want to waste. If you notice, they don’t eat the liquid, just the big pieces. When pups are being weaned, mother dogs will regurgitate food for their young to help them adjust to eating.

How to treat monkey bites? 

Treatment depends on the health status of the patient, the location of the bite and whether or not there is a suspicion of rabies in the monkey. The main principles of care include:

• Early medical management, including wound cleansing.

• Prophylactic antibiotics to decrease infection risk.

• Rabies post-exposure treatment depending on the animal vaccination status.

• Administration of tetanus vaccine if the person has not been adequately vaccinated.

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