Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q. My Pup has wound near the eye. It gets infested with maggots. Please advice.
– Salahuddin, Calicut

Dr KG Umesh: Any type of wound, smelly or wet, may become the perfect spot for flies to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, maggots will begin to feast on any dead or dying tissue. Therefore, it is important to keep the wound clean and the underlying problem is treated. Your vet may remove maggots and use topical medicines on wound to kill any maggots infested. He may also advise creams or spray that may help keep the files away.

Q. How do I teach my dog to walk without a leash? He runs behind strays and also seems worried of me when I take his leash off.
– Bobby, Bijnor

Dr KG Umesh: You don’t mention whether you have done obedience training or your pet well socialised to be a good, well-controlled companion. First you may start with a suitable collar, harness, or head halter to use with the leash on your dog or you may try a Gentle Leader or Halti head collar on your dog. This may help the dog experience in walking under control around other dogs or people. Once you develop confidence, take your dog walking separately in a suitable area or pick places to walk where there will not be loose dogs. Training with your dog in a good class will give you the best chance of developing your ability to handle your dog as much as possible.

Q. My seven-year-old dog is vomiting for the last six days and not urinating over the last two days. He has also lost weight. His eyes appear red. Please help.
– Abhishek Sharma, New Delhi

Dr KG Umesh: I may need further information to arrive at a specific diagnosis. However, considering his age, weight loss and no or less urine production could be a sign of kidney failure. Your pet may not pass urine if there is any obstruction in urinary tract (stones, growth, etc). Get him examined ASAP with blood work to find the underlying cause.

Q. We have two rescued Golden Retrievers—five and two years olds. When we come home or any guests arrive at doorstep, both get ballistic and run all over the house in overexcitement. Please tell us how to calm them and teach them proper greeting.
– Sudhanshu Dey, Kolkata

Dr KG Umesh: Some helpful tips to reduce these problems are exercising your dog before the guests arrive – more relaxed or ready to take a nap. Avoid excited greetings when you come home and try to come in quietly. If the arrival of guests makes your dog excitable, give him a break in his crate/kennel or in a quiet room with a familiar doggie bed or blanket. Allow your pooch to join the guests after the initial commotion has subsided. Teach your dog to sit, even when excited. You’ll start this training in unexciting situations and gradually build to more and more exciting situations until the dog is totally steady. Pat him, praise or give treat when the dog takes the sit position. Make sure that guests also pat the dog as a reward for getting it right. You may also try keeping your pet under your control (leash or harness) for few minutes until all your guests settled and gradually try without leash.

Train your dog to sit quietly near the front door when the doorbell rings. The best correction for jumping up is to withhold attention. A dog who barks and jumps up on guests is usually not appreciated/rewarded. Distract him with new toys. Just before your guests arrive, give your dog some new toys to play with. Long-lasting chew toys are nearly indestructible and will keep him occupied for a long period. Lastly, gently squeezing his paws (until it causes pain) every time he jumps on the guests will help to discourage this jumping behaviour in some dogs. It takes time and practice. Good luck!

Q. My dog Ruhi is an eight years old Labrador who has been diagnosed with diabetes. What food care and management should we ensure?
– Reit Malhotra, Bangalore

Dr KG Umesh: Most dogs develop type 1 diabetes which the body fails to make enough insulin to serve it needs. This means Insulin treatment is required for your pet. The goal of treating a diabetic animal is to minimise blood glucose fluctuations, eliminate the symptoms associated with high blood glucose levels (excessive drinking, urination, and appetite), and improve the quality of the pet’s life. As in diabetic people, a good daily routine of eating and exercising for diabetic pets will help prevent irregular fluctuations in blood sugar level. Ideally meals and treatments are given as close to the same time as possible each day. A consistent amount of tolerable/controlled exercise each day is ideal for dogs.

There are several different prescription diets available that can meet the needs of all diabetic patients, whether weight loss, maintenance, or gain is the goal. Your vet may also a recommend right homemade recipe based on Ruhi’s needs. You may have to make several visits to your vet to monitor/identify any complications, dose and type of insulin and suitable food. Give all prescribed medications as directed by your vet.