Keyhole Neutering for ABC Required in Bangalore
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We have over 3 lakh street dogs in Bangalore and growing. The man/animal conflict is reaching scary proportions and it is important that we have a strong, effective , humane and fast way of dealing with this before it explodes. Technically, just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. BBMP has not given this issue the critical attention it deserves. Our traditional methods do not solve the exponentially multiplying population , take very long, put a lot of pressure on ABC centers due to high space requirements, and often traumatize the animal. As importantly, the sterilisation statistics are very small, as centers can perform about 400 surgeries per month, at best instead of a possible 3000 or so . In addition, if the numbers are escalating, one might see the illegal culling start up in the state , and surely that is a worse situation for the citizen and the dog .
For a long time, we had the more traditional method of spaying the female dogs which required long healing time . the newer keyhole/laparoscopic technique available to most modern vets today ( and followed by both the ABC centers in Bangalore ie Sarvodaya & CUPA) are much less invasive and involve less pain, bleeding and recovery time. In addition the risk of infection due to being in a shelter longer then necessary is minimized. If the animal is vaccinated against rabies,7in1 and released into its territory, it can make a faster yet sustained recovery. In addition, think of the impact on human health , as dogs are infection free and smaller in numbers - as the number of the numbers of breeding cycles, territorial street fights and hundreds of puppies has been averted. With this type of scheme , over 3 lakh dogs were successfully sterilized & vaccinated in Bangalore between 2006-2012.
Benefits Of Keyhole Surgery (laparoscopy)
- Minimal to no bleeding, as the blood vessels are sealed with an electrocautherizer (piece of the equipment which uses electricity to heat, seal and finally cut the blood vessels), or similar sealing scissors, instead of making knots by hand.
- Reduced surgical trauma because the ovaries do not need to be pulled out of the abdomen, so there is no tearing of ligaments or stretching on internal tissue.
- Reduced levels of pain and discomfort after surgery, which leads to quicker recovery times
- Less skin sutures which reduces the risk of the dog licking the wound or pulling stitches out
- Smaller wounds that minimises the risk of infection. Shelters bring its own issues of communicable diseases and high infections given CD, rabies and other viral , air borne diseases, so getting back to home ground with antibiotics and pain killers can ensure minimal shelter-induced infections& less stress for the dog.
- Faster healing and recovery times.
- It has been observed that if the street dog goes back with proper anti-infection and pain medication to its own territory, the familiarity and effort to find food generally results in faster normalcy & recovery.
This can only succeed if there is best standard operating procedures (SOP's) , appropriate modern equipment & medicines, strong, overarching efforts from BBMP & Animal Husbandry, better monitoring from citizen monitoring committees, hands-on Resident Welfare Associations , and constant , targeted efforts to improve and optimist vet's surgical skills in keyhole spaying. While with any form of surgery there are risks and the 1% chance of mortality , the upsides to the humans, dogs and the health ecosystem of the city strongly require that this method be evaluated, preferred and mainstreamed.
An interesting observation on the laparoscopic method of ABC "that promotes mass sterilisation in the safest and most humane manner for all dogs on the streets. Such programmes set up the neutering clinics in a tent where proper equipment is used to perform modern aseptic neutering of dogs. They are released in the area from where they were picked up on the same day.’’ On the risks involved in releasing the dogs the same day, experts have said: ‘‘ By the time most dogs are set to be released, they are trying to free themselves from the recovery enclosure. We will never put the dogs back on the street if they have not fully recovered. The dogs are at a greater risk of contracting diseases and developing infections in kennels as often a healthy dog that has been neutered and put into a kennel will wind up being sick because the previous street dog that was in the kennel may have shed its virus or bacteria. Also, street dogs are not used to being confined in a jail environment and the raised level of stress of the dog trying to get out of the cage causes other problems post surgery.’’
Research has shown, that creating a sterile population will decrease the number of dogs. However, this works only in combination with education and registration. In 1990 the World Health Organization and WSPA have published a report about the most effective method, being a combination of: – Sterilization (at least 70% of the bitches) – Education (responsible dog-ownership, limited breeding, dumping) – Registration (identification of animal and his owner) . In India, the ears have a 'V' shaped cut or nick to confirm that animals are sterilized & vaccinated. To answer a question regaading release to the same area, it is to ensure a sterile population. If the dogs are NOT returned, the vacancies will be filled with fertile dogs from the surrounding area. Every returned dog will take the place of a not-sterilized new animal. The population will increase less or even diminish, because the sterilized dogs cannot breed.
PETA makes some excellent points :'Sterilized animals live longer, happier lives. Spaying eliminates the stress and discomfort that females endure during heat periods, eliminates the risk of uterine cancer, and greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer. Neutering makes males far less likely to roam or fight, prevents testicular cancer, and reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Altered animals are less likely to contract deadly, contagious diseases, such as feline AIDS and feline leukemia, that are spread through bodily fluids.
Communities spend millions of taxpayer rupees each year coping with problems that a failure to spay and neuter causes. The one-time cost of spaying or neutering is far lower than the expense involved in rounding up strays, feeding and housing abandoned animals, and euthanizing those for whom homes can’t be found.
Cities and counties all over the country are aggressively addressing the animal overpopulation crisis, requiring everyone who chooses not to spay or neuter to pay a hefty breeder’s fee. Areas with mandatory spay-and-neuter laws have reported a significant reduction in the number of animals who are taken to their facilities and subsequently euthanized.'
Some useful links:
- 1 unspayed Female Dog = 67000 Dogs in 6 years !
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