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Canine skin disease in India


FOUR PAWS stray animal care project SAC was working in India from late December to mid-January, neutering 222 animals and performing more than 30 operations. The most widespread problem among dogs turned out to be severe skin conditions. Fetita, a female dog suffering from almost fatal eczema, was treated just in time and became the team’s faithful companion. The two-week project was a cooperation between FOUR PAWS and the Blue Cross.

India is home to an enormous number of stray dogs – beyond any population known in Europe. Nonetheless, the relationship between animals and people seems a lot more harmonious and untroubled, resulting in a much lower level of aggression and fear among the dogs living in the streets, while there are still many evident medical problems. The FOUR PAWS team included three veterinarians and was able to use the clinic facilities of a local shelter. It soon became evident that apart from neutering dogs and instructing volunteer vets, there would be an unusually high number of more time-consuming operations necessary in order to treat the most common ailings. Skin diseases of all types were singled out as a particularly frequent cause of suffering, often at an advanced stage.

Severely injured dog walks again

One of the most serious cases turned out to be a female, who was given the Romanian name Fetita by the FOUR PAWS team. Her skin was already saturated with blood, showing many patches of flesh, leaving the dog in an extremely weak condition and barely able to walk. The treatment of Fetita was continued over the course of several days, saving her life. And in spite of the fact that the treatments were often painful, the gentle animal became attached to the team members. She began following them around wherever they went, day after day. At night, she jumped on the operation table and slept there.

Complicated surgeries successful

Meanwhile, the work continued at full steam: all surgery, including difficult ones such as limb amputations, eye operations and cases of worms that had penetrated underneath the skin of the patients, were performed successfully. While all animals treated were released with a positive prognosis of recovery, the work will be continued by a local veterinarian. With much regret, the team had to say goodbye to Fetita – but knowing that she now has a future ahead of her.