The most effective weapon to use against them is the combat knife, a complete combo of light attacks followed by a spin heavy attack is enough to take one down of done repeatedly. And zero damage will be gained.
Nurses tend to attack rather fast, so avoid at all cost to give them a chance.
The only easy and possible way to take out Smogs is using a ranged weapon, a pistol should do it. Just wait until it lungs open and turn yellow then shoot, 2 shots are enough to take it down nicely. And Avoid the gas it releases, it can cause much damage.
Swarms are easy to defeat, stomp on them when on ground or use any melee weapon when at air.
Lurkers are really easy to defeat, the combat knife should be more than enough to take it down, and be careful not to go far way from it to avoid its charging attack.
The best strategy to take out these bloody dogs is by slashing them with 3 combo light attack from the combat knife and avoid wasting ranged weapons ammunition since it is hard to aim at one.
Pulaski Axe is a much more powerful weapon than the Fire axe, it can be found at the lot outside the Overlook Penitentiary.