Ask the Expert/July-Aug 2005 | Dr. Pradeep Rana

Dr. Pradeep Rana is a well-renowned vet in Delhi. He has his veterinary degree from College of Vet Sciences, Hebbal, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He is an expert in solving queries and curing pets.

Dr. 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 won the Best teacher award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is presently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q : I have a four and half year old Spitz (male). Three months back, he was hit on his left hind limb. He is limping since then. What should we do? He gets aggressive, our doctor has suggested mating for him? What should I do? -Adite Shinde, Mumbai

Dr. Rana : If your pet is still limping, then contact your vet for further examination since there could be number of causes for his limping like soft tissue injury, dislocation of the hip joint, ligament damage, etc. Treatment would depend on the diagnosis. We know that generally small breeds are aggressive by nature but you can definitely find him a mate and perhaps take the help of an animal handler for mating him. Good luck !

Q : Why do dogs snore? My 5-year-old Alsatian snores really loudly? Is he stressed or is he ill? Or is this just normal? He shares the room with me and I keep yelling at him to keep quiet! – Mohit Kapoor, Gurgaon

Dr. Umesh : Snoring could be physiological or pathological findings in dogs, therefore, I suggest you to visit your vet to rule out any obstructions, growth or diseases in upper airway.

Obese, senior large breed of dogs and short-nosed dogs are more prone to develop snoring. Likewise incorrect posture during sleep can also be a cause of snoring in dogs. Consult your vet if your dog is overweight and has any signs of upper airway disease.

Q : I have a German Shepherd aged 5 months. I would like to have information on their food, vaccines, training, infections and their remedies. -Clarence Menon, Bangalore

Dr. Rana : It would be practically impossible for me to give answer to all your queries due to limited space but I’ll be very brief. Regarding the food of your pet, it is important to understand that dogs nutrition needs are different and they need food which is developed specially for them. There are a number of commercial diets available for different age groups and weight. Vaccines start as early as 6-7 weeks of age and the schedule will depend on the prevailing diseases in your area and your vet would be your best guide in this matter. Training of dogs is best started by the age of 4-5 months and if you do not have any experience in training dogs, then you could take the help of a professional trainer or pick guidelines from a good dog training book. A German Shepherd could suffer from a number of infections like Parvo, Corona virus, Distemper, Leptospirosis, blood protozoan parasites, sarcoptic or demodectic mange, fungal skin infections, etc.

Q : I noticed a tick stuck on my hand. My dog Julia is 6-months-old female lab puppy. How should I prevent Julia from ticks? – Rakhi Dev, Mumbai

Dr. Umesh : Successful control of ticks depends on eliminating these pests from the dog and the environment. To control ticks or fleas on a dog, all animals in the household must be part of the flea/ticks control programme. Flea and tick control products for adult dogs include a variety of drugs and chemicals available as collars, shampoos, sprays, dips, powders, long lasting topicals, and oral medications. There are two basic categories of flea/ticks control products:

Adulticides: These products kill adults fleas and insect growth regulators (IGRs)/insect development inhibitors (IDIs). These products prevent fleas from hatching or maturing. The veterinarian will choose a product that combines safety, efficacy, and ease of use for the client. Often a combination of adulticide and an IGR or IDI is used.

Environmental control: A complete flea and tick control programme also includes a thorough treatment of the pet’s environment. Places where dogs spend most of their time will have the greatest numbers of deposited eggs and newly emerged adult fleas and ticks. Thorough cleaning of the house and yard should precede any application of insecticides. It is always best to treat the dog and the environment on the same day. The use of these insecticides must be preceded by a thorough vacuuming; special attention should be paid to the areas under furniture, carpets, near pet bedding, and along moldings. A product containing an IGR and an adulticide should be used as well. Most products in India are available as liquid concentrate that needs to be diluted in water for use on dogs and environment. Make sure that other pets/dogs Julia frequently contacts/visits are free from fleas and ticks. Please visit your vet who can recommend a suitable and safe product for your puppy.

Q : Should I get Brownie, my one-year-old Doberman, neutered? Do dogs become fat and lazy after we get them neutered? – Mayank Verma, Ahemdabad

Dr. Rana : There are several health benefits to neutering. One of the most important concerns the prostate gland, which under the influence of testosterone will gradually enlarge over the course of the dog’s life. With age, it is likely to become uncomfortable, possibly being large enough to interfere with defecation. The prostate under the influence of testosterone is also predisposed to infection which is almost impossible to clear up without neutering. Neutering causes the prostate to shrink into insignificance thus preventing both prostatitis as well as the uncomfortable benign hyperplasia (enlargement) that occurs with aging. The only behaviour changes that are observed after neutering relate to behaviours influenced by male hormones. Playfulness, friendliness, and socialisation with humans are not changed. The behaviours that change are far less desirable. The interest in roaming is eliminated in 90% of neutered dogs. Aggressive behaviour against other male dogs is eliminated in 60% of neutered dogs. Urine marking is eliminated in 50% of neutered male dogs. Inappropriate mounting is eliminated in 70% of neutered dogs. Activity level and appetite do not change with neutering. However, if your pet tends to put on extra weight, then you can reduce the diet intake and increase the exercise level.