Survival with dogs

Development and raising of the dogs dates back 12000-14000 years and since that time man has been relishing the company of canine and the latter have played a variety of roles in human communities ranging from acting as scavengers of waste, detection and alarm systems against intruders, crucial members of hunting parties, rescue the drowning, leading blind, hearing deaf, help catching culprits, sniff out bombs and die for us in war time, protect our homes and have been herders of livestock. Dog bites are a serious consequential public health issue that foist considerable physical and psychological damage on victims and incurs innumerable masked costs to mankind. Large scale contraception to dogs humanely, efficiently, with minimal technical requirements, and cost effectively is the key to dog welfare, public health, and environmental protection. The availability of a long acting immunocontraceptive vaccine which could be administered by lay technicians in the field would be a powerful tool for control.  The untrammelled growths of a dog population have a negative impact on public health and create socioeconomic and animal welfare problems. Free roaming dogs not only transmit diseases to livestock and humans but also put a threat to human lives in the form of dog bites and produce nuisance in the form of barking and griming fields.   As we are aware of the fact that to perform a single dog surgery  it requires a huge amount of cost from sedation/anaesthesia of dog up to post operative care. For the cost effective management the tool available with us is to replace surgery with the use of chemical compounds because of its potential to be more cost effective than surgical sterilization.

Research has shown that intratesticular injection of various approved chemicals such as calcium chloride, Zinc gluconate, and hypertonic sodium chloride (NaCl) solution lead to necrosis, fibrosis & degeneration of seminiferous tubules & Leydig cells, thus eliminating the production of spermatozoa, testosterone & sperm counts in a dose-dependent manner in male dogs. As far as the sterilization of bitches is concerned there is no permanent form of chemical neutering for the female but recently a study on heifers conducted by Cavaleri and Hayes 2017, show that following administration of calcium chloride in ethanol transvaginally, and intraovarian initiate complete ovarian atrophy without apparent pain.

Utilising canines further for biomedical Research

It is an established fact that the results obtained from animal experiments apply to humans as human biology is very much like that of many other animals and the similarity of  functions of various organs- heart, lungs, liver, etc which work in the same way as they do in humans make dogs as role models for safety testing of chemicals and drugs, study of genetic disorders, development of new diagnostic tests for diseases in biology and medical education.

Dogs play a vital role in biomedical research from drug testing to liver transplantations.   Naturally occurring bladder cancer in dogs very closely resemble human bladder cancer, and also mimic biological behavior, including frequency of metastasis, sites and response to therapy thus experiments on dogs can improve earlier detection and intervention, prediction of patient outcome, and more effective management overall. Dogs develop cardiac problems like those experienced by human, and play a major role in the development of surgical procedures for heart valve and artery replacement and angioplasty. Apart from cardiovascular surgery, dogs have been extensively used in orthopaedics in studies of fracture, bone defect, prosthetic infections, development of prosthetic devices for hip & knee, tendon & ligament repair, osteomylitis, osteoporosis in older dogs, osteoarthritis, cartilage biology & various spinal procedures. As per study reports of  Hugen et.al 2016  it documents that the canine gastric carcinoma may serve as a valuable model for human gastric carcinoma because of similarities in diagnosis, histology, clinical presentation, and prognosis of the disease.  Dogs, in particular, suffer from environmental skin allergies and develop a clinical disposition which is very similar to dermatitis and eczema in human beings. Thus, dogs are a very handy species to improve our understanding on the mechanisms involved in human allergies and hypersensitivity reactions (Robert 2018).

Tail piece

Dog killing, past trend ceased subsequent to imposition of ban, is still a requirement particularly in the current horrible scenario, some would argue. Yet to be on the safer side sterilization as discussed nowadays is the best alternative available to curb the menace and from all the above scientific evidences we can assume that there is a wide range of scope of sterilised and free roaming dogs in medical science as well. Modification in ongoing ABC programme is the need of hour and requirement of a specially designed canine cell is to be constituted & the animals sterilised are not to be allowed to take on streets but to put to further use for research purpose however care has to be taken that animals are managed and cared under the blanket of uniform acceptable standards and animal ethics.

Author is Veterinary Assistant Surgeon Govt of  J&K (Mvsc. Surgery))