Ask the Expert

Ask the expert…

Ask the expert…

ASK the expert


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 one and a half year old Rottweiler lost his voice 20 days back. I have consulted a vet, but there is no improvement. Please help. – Asit Kumar, Gajapati, Odisha
Dr KG Umesh: Dogs with loss of voice must undergo complete physical examination, with focus on voice box. The frequent causes are damage to vocal chords from trauma or laryngeal paralysis or other neurologic deficits. Does your pet also have any respiratory noises that are exacerbated by excitement, exercise, elevated environmental temperature? It may be hereditary in some breeds or acquired because of systemic diseases. Most cases are managed either with medicines or surgery. Please get him examined ASAP


Q: My Dalmatian is 12 years old and facing kidney problem. At present, his blood urea is 186.4 and creatinine is 5.76. What are his recovery chances? He has stopped taking food for last 20 days and is on drip from last three days. Please advice.
– Mahendra Singh, Delhi
Dr KG Umesh: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is an ongoing disease that can deteriorate over time and a common problem in senior dogs. The treatment is directed to reduce the kidney’s workload associated with decreased kidney function, prevent or slow any deterioration of kidney function as well as improve the quality of the pet’s life. Dogs initially require fluids to correct dehydration, electrolyte, and acid base abnormalities. Once your pet is stabilised, he can be fed on special renal diets that are proven to prolong the life and improve quality of life. Hemodialysis and CRRT are also being successfully performed in dogs at selected referral hospitals, but renal transplants not yet available in India. Prognosis and duration of therapy vary tremendously from patient to patient and depend on the cause and degree of kidney damage (staging), as well as secondary complications like hypertension. Dogs who are well stabilised and managed can live for few years.


Q: My six-year-old Pug has ear problem. Earlier his ears used to make excessive wax and get red. But around 2-3 weeks back I noticed he was not reacting to my voice. In addition, he got a paralysis attack a year back. Please help.
– Jasmine Singh, Kurukshetra
Dr KG Umesh: Inflammation in ear canal may occur as a simple reaction due to parasites, overgrowth of microbes or growths. It may also arise from allergic disease like atopy or endocrine diseases. Affected animals are often very irritated by the inflammation and exhibit signs such as scratching at ear, shaking head, holding head tilted to one side.  If inflammation or pain is severe at first that the ear cannot be handled painlessly, your vet may prescribe pills/administer injections to control pain/infection or clean ears under sedation. Your vet can show you how to properly clean and apply eardrops at home. Keeping your pet’s ears clean is important because it helps prevent an environment in the ears that promotes inflammation.


Q: We have a Golden Retriever and my German Shepherd died last month at 11 years of age. We are in 50 plus age group and have a comfortable house with garden. Should we go for German Shepherd or Rottweiler as we will prefer family dog plus some protection? Kindly advice. – Vipin, Kashipur, Uttarakhand
Dr KG Umesh: The German Shepherd is known throughout the world for his loyalty and trustworthiness. The ideal pet parents of German Shepherds are active people who are able to be assertive and command respect from their dog – while respecting the dog back in return. As a working dog, he is able to act as a guardian or a guide. However, this breed being active needs some mental stimulation as well as physical work like daily walk with some exercise. The Rottweiler being suitable as ideal security dog needs firm guidance and he is self assured, steady and fearless. A Rottweiler must learn, from the start, his position in the family as they have unpredictable temperament. There are many other breeds suitable for your age and lifestyle. Consult your nearest vet for other options.


Q: My Labrador, who is now around two years old, is not getting her heat cycle. Do advice what to do. – Manish, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Dr KG Umesh: Dogs generally have their first heat at about 6 months of age; however, this can vary as some show heat signs late as 18 months. There are several reasons including hormonal to nutritional problems. Some dogs may not show visible signs during estrus period. Please take her to your vet for complete examination including vaginal cytology.

Ask the expert…


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. I have a one-year-old mixed breed. He is not eating anything from the last two days. His body temperature is normal and is also


active. Is there anything to worry about in this? – Chitrangana, Ujjain
Dr KG Umesh: There are number of reasons for such behaviour in dog. He may have fear for new food, previous bad experience with the food, poor palatability or simply, he may be a fussy eater. Some dogs may refuse food or skip meals when they have consumed more energy than they would require, which is common in our experience feeding snacks/ home food plus commercial pet food. Please make sure that you are not over-feeding him. If anorexia persists, seek your vet’s help.


Q. We have two dogs—one is a Cocker Spaniel and another a Pug, both are females. From the past three weeks both are suffering with tick problem. I used a tick medicine, but the result isn’t good. What should I do to get them free from the ticks? I bath them once in two weeks.  – Gaurav, Kolhapur


Dr KG Umesh: Ticks lay their eggs (as many as 18,000 in some species) in sheltered areas on or near the ground. The different life stage of ticks may be found on dogs before they engorge with blood. Successful control of ticks depends on eliminating these pests from the dog and the environment. To control ticks on a dog, all animals in the household must be part of the ticks control programme. There are two basic categories of
ticks control products: Adulticides and Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)/ Insect Development Inhibitors (IDIs). It is always best to treat the dog and the environment on the same day. The use of these insecticid es must be preceded by a thorough vacuuming. Places where dogs spend most of their time, such as under the furniture, carpets, near pet bedding, etc, will have the greatest numbers of deposited eggs and newly emerged ticks.
Make sure that other pets/dogs he frequently contacts or visits are free from ticks. Your vet can advise you a product or products that combine safety, efficacy, and ease of use for you.


Q. I have an American Cocker Spaniel who is now five months old. Should I get him mated or neutered? – Mrinal Pandey, Mumbai


Dr KG Umesh: There are several health benefits to neutering/spaying than undesirable effects. There is no evidence whatsoever that allowing a dog to have mated or a litter of puppies makes it a better pet. Spaying is a routine procedure because it is performed so frequently. Spaying is often recommended as part of the treatment/prevention for diseases like cancer, atopy, epilepsy and other inheritable ones. Spaying of a male dog may help to prevent objectionable behaviours like roaming and behavioural problems like aggression.


Q. How long can I let my two-year-old GSD alone at home? It is alright to leave for 7-8 hours? Will it be a good idea to get another pup so that both can have company?
– Minakshi, New Delhi


Dr KG Umesh: Dogs are social animals and need mental as well as physical stimulation to keep them active and healthy. They just love spending time with you, whether they’re playing a game with you or just curling up next to you on the couch. So, when it comes time for you to go to work or leave the house for long period of time, it can make your dog lonely or anxious. Do you have a set routine each day before you leave the house? Perhaps you jingle your keys or put your bag near the door. Your dog picks up on these cues, and associates them with your leaving. Try to mix up your normal routine by doing your usual activities in a different order. Practice leaving—plan short trips that allow your dog to gradually adjust to being alone. If your dog seems comfortable after half an hour departure,
and exhibits no anxious behaviour, increase your time away. Go for a walk or keep your dog busy. Before you leave, bury toys and hide treats where he can find and ‘dig’ them up. Most dogs love dog toys and find them really fun. Keeping a TV or radio on can also provide ‘company’ for your pooch. Getting another pet is also not a bad idea.


Q. I have a 15 months old Rottweiler. He has become extremely aggressive and  unpredictable. We have employed a trainer, but even after numerous sessions, my pet’s aggression has not been lessened. He has bitten everyone in the family. Everyone says I should give him up, but I don’t want to. I wish to keep him with me. Some have suggested neutering, some have suggested filing his teeth down. Someone has advised for progesterone injections. He has extreme resource guarding also and demonstrates fear aggression. Please help. – Sumone, Nagpur


Dr KG Umesh: The two most common manifestations of aggressive behaviour in ‘growing dogs’ toward humans are fear biting and dominancerelated aggression. The first step for you as a pet parent is to distinguish playful aggressive behaviours from more serious types of aggressions, such as possessive aggression, conflict/dominance-related aggression,  protective aggression, and predatory behaviour. Fear biting is most commonly seen in a
dog raised without appropriate human contact during the socialisation period of growth (6 to 12 weeks of age). When a dog shows aggression toward family members rather than strangers, the animal is probably attempting to establish dominance over those family members. Biting is canine dominance behaviour and is surprisingly, a form of   communication to establish standing within the pack—your family. In the eyes of a dog, all the members of your family are fellow pack members. So, if the pack leader (your dog) decides that a member of the pack (you or a family member) is getting out of line, he may bite that person to show them ‘who’s the boss’. If your dog is properly trained to sit, stay and come, he’ll be less likely to be aggressive with people because his first concern will be to obey your commands. A dog who’s under control and knows you are the leader of his ‘pack’ will behave and won’t bite anyone. It is still not too late for you, with the help of a ‘qualified’ dog behaviourist it’s possible to correct this problem. This process will also require you and your family to make changes in the way you interact with your dog as well. That means not encouraging rough play (no slapping or wrestling; play only with toys) and everyone being diligent in enforcing basic commands to show your dog who the real leaders of the household are. Don’t abruptly reach for your dog or his collar or pull his legs.
First have the dog sit and stay. Then leash the dog. Don’t disturb him when he is resting, sleeping, or lying in front of a door or on the sofa or bed. Likewise, don’t let your dog sleep on the bed, especially if he reacts aggressively when disturbed there. If he barks, growls, or ignores you, try to shift his attention  to an exercise or a task he knows well. If this doesn’t help, walk away from the dog, or sequester him in another room. Banishment and withdrawal of attention are the most potent forms of correction.

Ask the expert…

Dr. K G Umesh

Dr. K G Umesh

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: Unni, my two and a half years old male German Shepherd, is suffering from ticks, though I apply an anti-tick medicine and a shampoo recommended by my vet. Please do advise.  – Chitra Dhinagaran, Chennai


Dr KG Umesh: Yes. Ticks can be difficult to eradicate, so tick prevention should be year-round. Ticks lay their eggs (as many as 18,000 in some species) in sheltered areas on or near the ground. Generally two classes of medicines are used for successful control of ticks – one to kill adults and another one to prevent ticks from hatching or maturing. Successful control of ticks and fleas depends on eliminating these pests from the dog and the environment. It is always best to treat the dog and the environment on the same day. Tick control products for adult dogs are available as collars, shampoos, sprays, dips, powders, long lasting topicals (spot on) and oral tablets. The use of these insecticides must be preceded by a thorough vacuuming; places where dogs spend most of their time will have the greatest numbers of deposited eggs and newly emerged ticks. Also look at areas under furniture, carpets, near pet bedding, etc. Make sure that other pets/dogs he     frequently contacts/visits are free from ticks.


Q: My eight-year-old Lab is pooping 4-5 times a day and losing weight. I had given Wormtrap for deworming three months ago. Kindly advice.
Shalini, Bangalore


Dr KG Umesh: Is your pet eating well? If yes, weight loss with good appetite can be caused by many diseases like diabetes, parasites, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal disease, etc. As your pet is having frequent defecations along with weight loss, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency must be ruled out first. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and may run specific blood tests, X-rays or ultrasound exam. In dogs, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is caused by degeneration of the cells that produce digestive enzymes and could be genetic in some breeds. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is not a life-threatening disorder and most dogs respond well to treatment by simply supplementing food with enzymes and can lead good quality life. He may also require some modification in his diet like reduced fat and few unresponsive dogs require additional treatment. Other causes of weight loss like inflammatory bowel diseases or neoplasms or growths may require appropriate treatment.


Q: My seven and a half years old Spitz is having cough (like kennel cough or whooping cough). As advised by my vet, I gave him antibiotics but the cough came back. Please do provide a solution.
Rahul Chakraborty, Kolkata


Dr KG Umesh: Causes of coughing in senior pets are many, but most commonly it results from upper airway disease, tracheobronchial collapse, fibrosis, cancer, pneumonia, and heart or chest diseases. The diagnosis of chronic, unresponsive or recurrent cough, is
challenging and such cases require investigations like radiography, echo, bronchoscopy, biopsy or some blood tests. In some cases, respiratory and heart diseases may coexist.
The other common cause of cough in Spitz could be collapsing airway that typically causes a ‘goose honk’ sound. Cough can be triggered by excitement, anxiety, exercise, eating and/or drinking, becoming overheated, and mild pulling on the collar. Therefore, it is suggested
to use a harness when taking your dog for a walk and reduce stressful situations. Your vet may recommend some medications that may only help to control cough while some cases like airway collapse may require stent (wire mesh tube) placement. If the dog has other respiratory or heart problems, these may need to be treated as well. Kennel cough can be controlled with regular vaccination.


Q: I have a 10-month-old Pug, who has pain in his hip bone, due to which he cannot stand on his two legs and cannot sit frog-legged. As prescribed by vet, we are giving him Ultrafix T (tab), Calciquick D3 and Megaflex (supplements), but these are not effective. Please advise.
– Komal Srivastava, Faizabad


Dr KG Umesh: The pain may be caused by trauma, dislocation, fracture, joint problems or some congenital problems in young dog. Neurological problems including spinal diseases may also cause pain. Administration of medications in such cases only control pain
but may not cure the underlying problem. Suggest you take him to your vet ASAP for investigations like radiography to find the cause of pain in hip.


Q: Please suggest medicine to reduce heavy hairfall of my 18 months old Labrador. I have taken him to the vet, but the problem still continues.
Surojit Bhowmick , Karimganj


Dr KG Umesh: Hair loss/shedding is a common complaint in our country in dogs with skin disorders and results from number ofcauses. Unlike human beings, hair does not grow continuously in dogs. Photoperiod (light intensity) is main factor besides utrition, genetics, and health that can cause dog to shed hair excessively during some seasons and therefore, can be physiological. Dogs also may shed excessive hair because of stress, worms, harsh climate and general illness. Therefore, my approach wo uld be to find underlying cause/s (like fleas, ticks, mange or allergy, hormonal imbalance, bacterial or yeast infection, etc) and then your vet will be able to recommend suitable medications that will eliminate the cause and therefore hair fall. Hair coat alone takes away approximately 30 percent of protein from the diet for its health. Hence, balanced and complete nutrition is most important for healthy skin and hair coat. Regular brushing at least 2-3 times a week also helps to remove unwanted hair.

Ask the expert…

Dr K G Umesh

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: I have a 20-month-old GSD. I am shifting internationally for work and cannot take her with me. I am looking for a family who can adopt her. Please advice will she be able to mentally adapt and adjust.
                                                                                                    – Rajan Mishra, Mumbai
Dr KG Umesh: Changing homes and leaving her parents can be stressful but it is very much possible for her to adapt to a new home. To help her to adapt, you must look for home and pet parents who are willing to spend adequate time with her and follow the routine she had until she accepts her new home and parents. Most dogs take about a month or so to feel comfortable in a new home – establishing and following a routine are the best ways to make this happen. Some pets may develop separation anxiety for a short time but make sure everyone in the household knows about her personality and house rules. It is good idea to handover all her belongings including toys. The smell of her parents on the bedding or toys would then be a comfort for her.


Q: We have a male Lab, who is three years old and is very active. We are   thinking to neuter him. Is this safe and does it have as post operation complications?
                                                                                             – Freddy R Sanjana, Chennai
Dr KG Umesh: There are several health benefits to neutering than undesirable effects. Surgery is preceded by a fasting period, blood test and requires general anaesthesia. A small incision is made, generally just forward from the scrotum. The testicles are removed through this incision. The skin incision may or may not have stitches. Complications are unusual but may include post surgical bleeding or infection which is very rare. Postoperative
care includes restriction of exercise for a week, protection of the incision from contaminants, and daily monitoring of the incision for inflammation or discharge. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on what exactly is involved with the operation and
also on the best time for it to be performed.


Q: My one-year-old German Shepherd is losing a lot of fur. Please help.
                                                                                                       –  Mohit Thakur, Delhi
Dr KG Umesh: Hair loss/shedding is a common complaint in our country in dogs with skin disorders and results from number of causes. Unlike human beings, hair growth cycle is different for dog. For example, hair do not grow continuously in dogs. Photoperiod (light intensity) is main factor besides nutrition, genetics and health that can cause dog to shed hair excessively during some seasons and therefore, can be physiological. Dogs also may shed excessive hair because of stress, worms, harsh climate and general illness. Therefore, my approach would be to find underlying cause/s (like fleas, ticks, mange  or allergy , hormonal imbalance, bacterial or yeast infection etc) and then your vet will be able to recommend suitable medications that will eliminate the cause and therefore hair fall. Hair do not grow continuously but rather in cycles in dogs. Hair alone takes away approximately 30 percent of protein from the diet for its health. Hence, balanced and complete nutrition is most important for healthy skin and hair coat.


Q: My Pug is four months old and his eyes are red. Why? Also, guide me about his nutrition needs?
                                                                                                           – Dinesh, Hyderabad
Dr KG Umesh: The Pug appears to be increasing in popularity and with its unique anatomy of head and large prominent eyes, a high prevalence of eye disease has been reported. There are number of reasons for red eye that includes entropion, distichiasis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye, corneal issues like erosion, ulceration or perforation. Please get his eyes checked ASAP before he develops irreversible damage to
eye structures. A nutritionally balanced diet is crucial for the healthy growth and    development of a dog in order to prepare him for an active, long, and healthy life. A good start is a puppy food from reputed manufacturer and you also have option to feed him small breed puppy food, which is specifically designed for breed like yours.


Q: My Spitz Jojo is three months old and is suffering from loose motion. How can I help him?
                                                                                                     – Pankaj Ghosh, Purulia
Dr KG Umesh: Diarrhoea is merely a sign and may result from many disorders. It is common in growing puppies. Most acute cases are related to diet and usually recover fast with symptomatic treatment. Overfeeding and eating inappropriate things are some of other common causes in vaccinated puppies. Protozoal infections like giardiasis in young dogs are easy to manage and cure, while some require fecal examination or special tests to confirm the diagnosis. We suggest avoiding feeding milk or cereals during this time and feed highly digestible food. In contrast to acute problems, chronic ones are rarely selflimiting and it is usually essential to establish specific diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Make sure he always gets plenty of fresh clean water to drink. Regular vaccination and deworming should be part of preventive health care. Please take him to vet if loose motion does not stop or if your pet shows any signs of dehydration or fever.

Ask the expert…



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 for15 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: I have a Golden Retriever of 16 weeks. The vet has checked her and no health problem diagnosed. She is a very fussy eater. For the last one and a half month, the outside temperature is touching 45 degrees. The pup mostly spends time in AC room, but is still not eating dog food. The appetite stimulant doesn’t make her hungry. Can I give her Vitamin B12 supplement tablet? Please help.
– Arun Patnaik, Bhubaneswar
Dr KG Umesh: There are number of reasons for your pet to behave like this. For example, new place, stress and fear from new environment or people, etc or could be change in climate which he is yet to adapt. Dogs tend to eat less in hot and humid climates as well. Therefore give him some time to get used to new place and environment. A well balanced nutritionally complete diet like Puppy food confers some protection against the effects of heat stress. Do not feed any home food including rice while he is fed on recommended quantity of Puppy food. Feed during cooler part of the day, if possible or increase frequency of feeding—increase number of meals to accommodate requirements per day. Try different varieties in Puppy range (chicken and veg, meat and rice Puppy large breed). Some dogs may refuse food/skip meals, when they have consumed more energy than they would. Please make sure that you are not overfeeding her and monitor her body weight at least every two weeks. If she continues to refuse food, contact your vet and discuss whether there may be medical cause(s) for this and in some instances, blood work may be required to find the underlying cause. Vitamins or supplements will not help.


Q: I have two Labradors—eight months and two years —both are very thin. The problem/disease is not diagnosed. Please advice.
– Shashank Sinha, Jamui, Bihar
Dr KG Umesh: Historical information is very important, especially regarding diet, daily activity, environment, signs of digestive disease or any specific disease to identify underlying cause of poor weight gain. Typically growth and weight are influenced by nutrition, genetics and environment. The list of likely causes for a puppy/dog with poor weight gain despite a normal or increased appetite is much different and much shorter than that for patients with decreased appetite or anorexia. However, they share a common feature – insufficient caloric intake or availability to meet metabolic needs. Please make sure that you are feeding as per feeding guidelines and increase quantity of feed by 10 percent for every extra one hour activity. Avoid supplements when pets are exclusively fed on Puppy/Adult dog food. Please get your pet examined to rule out any underlying medical problem like pancreatic insufficiency or liver diseases or mal-digestion or mal-absorption disorders. Monitor weight of your pets on weekly basis. Lab puppy may weigh between 2-5 kg at 6-9 weeks to 27- 30 kg at 24 months of age. Please ask your vet for WALTHAM Puppies Growth Chart and Body Condition Score that help to assess growth and body condition of your pet.


Q: My dog has a tick problem. Please help.
– Charu, Delhi
Dr KG Umesh: A generalised tick life cycle consists of egg, larva, nymph, and adult. The tick feeds once in each stage before maturing to the next stage. Ticks lay their eggs (as many as 18,000 in some species) in sheltered areas on or near the ground. Successful control of ticks depends on eliminating these pests from the dog and the environment. To control ticks on a dog, all animals in the household must be part of the flea/ticks control programme. There are two basic categories of ticks control products: Adulticides and Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)/Insect Development Inhibitors (IDIs). 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. Make sure that other pets/dogs he frequently contacts/visits are free from fleas and ticks. The veterinarian will choose a product or products that combine safety, efficacy, and ease of use for the client. Often a combination of adulticide and an IGR or IDI is used.


Q: My pet Brio is having too much hairfall. Please help.
– Dinup, Kota
Dr KG Umesh: Dogs shed hair due to their unique hair growth cycle and seasonal hair shedding. For example, photoperiod (light intensity) is main factor besides nutrition, genetics, health that can cause dog to shed hair excessively during some seasons and is physiological/normal. Dogs may also shed excessive hair because of stress, harsh climate and general illness. If the degree of shedding appears abnormal, or if he has signs of serious skin problems or fleas, consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions such as thyroid disease or skin allergies can cause excessive shedding. Itching of paws and genital area are common signs of allergic diseases. Some tips to prevent or reduce hair shedding includes keeping skin and hair coat healthy by regular brushing, bath and feeding balanced food which is rich in nutrients like zinc, fatty acids and high-quality proteins


Q: My dog is suffering from fever for the last one month. My vet has also diagnosed him with onset of glaucoma and he is unable to see. Please tell me what to do.
– H K Mangle, Bahadurgarh, Haryana
Dr KG Umesh: Generally fever of unknown origin is considered when an obvious cause for the fever has not been found after ‘routine’ examination and diagnostic tests. Such cases require special tests or investigations to find uncommon causes. Sometime incomplete treatment of tick borne diseases can cause persistent fever. The fever must be differentiated from pyrogenic hyperthermia resulting from high ambient temperature. In animals, as in humans, glaucoma is increased pressure within the eyeball. If this intraocular pressure remains high, it can damage structures within the eye and lead to blindness. Glaucoma is classified as primary or secondary, depending on the cause. Symptoms of glaucoma in animals include a cloudy appearance of the cornea (the clear part of the front of the eye), redness in the white part of the eye (bloodshot eye), signs of ocular pain such as squinting or resentment to being touched around the face, and a dilated pupil. With longstanding glaucoma, the eye itself can enlarge and become clearly bigger than the normal eye. Your vet will perform examination including Tonometry to measure the intraocular pressure. The treatment method depends on the cause of glaucoma—either medication-oriented or surgical.


Ask the expert…

Dr K.G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in ClinicalMedicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in theyear 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM asRegional Associate for South Asia.

Q: I am a single working person, living in a 2BHK apartment. I would like to buy a puppy. Can I buy a Labrador pup or suggest me a breed suitable to my lifestyle?

– KVS Rajesh, Rajahmundry, AP


Untitled-1Dr KG Umesh: Labrador being a large breed cannot be cramped in a small apartment. They need plenty of space to run around and more importantly, the availability of open spaces nearby for exercise. They need a lot of attention, especially when young, and sufficient time must be set aside for their training, exercise and grooming. In particular, toilet training puppies will be difficult if you spend a lot of time away during this critical period. Small breeds with shorthair coat (Dachshund, Pug, Beagles) are easy to maintain in small apartments. If your lifestyle means your dog would be on his own for most of the day, then perhaps you should reconsider your choice of pet. Another choice of pet like cats/hamsters may be more suitable.


Q: My dog Bronie (Doberman), aged 10, has dry cough problem. In spite of vaccines and medicines by the vet, he has been suffering for the past four months. He is eating well and behaving normally. But he makes a very weird sound, like he is tending to vomit. Please advise.

– Deepesh Das, Neemuch, MP


Dr KG Umesh: Any senior pet showing persistent or recurring respiratory signs like cough requires immediate medical attention. Dogs can develop cough for several reasons, and cough is merely a sign of an underlying problem anywhere in wind pipe, food pipe, lungs or left heart failure. Kennel cough is typically seasonal and dogs respond very well to medications. The underlying cause could be serious infections or allergies or growths in upper respiratory tract or chest. Please take him to your vet ASAP. You vet may need basic investigations like radiograph, ECG and blood tests to make sure that there are serious diseases that cause dry cough.


Q: My dog, who is of eight years now, is facing problem in his right eye. The eye becomes red and tears coming out.
Please help.
– Kunwar Shashwat, Varanasi, UP


Dr KG Umesh: Red eye may indicate inflammation in any internal parts of the eye ball. Injuries, corneal ulcers/opacity, uveitis, infections and glaucoma are few examples of red eye. The underlying cause of the problem can only be confirmed by your veterinarian when he examines your pet’s eye.


Q: I have a five-month-old Rottweiler puppy. It’s around a week she has come home and has adjusted well with the house; we have house trained her. She also gets along well with the two other dogs (older than her). The problem is, she gets scared to walk on leash and does not move. Please advice what best can be done.

– Sudha Salian, Chennai, TN




Dr KG Umesh: Leash training of puppy to walk is based on the same principles as training them to obey the sit, down, and stay exercises. To reward a dog for proper behaviour, it is important to identify a sufficiently motivating reward. Examples include food, a tennis ball, or a squeaky toy. Whenever the dog is walking quietly next to you or is not pulling, he should be rewarded. You will have to reinforce good behaviour at least on an intermittent schedule or the dog will not continue to offer that behaviour.

Identify situations and environments that your puppy will need to be comfortable with, meeting the people in road, having contact with the children/pets next door, walking along the street, tolerating large lorries and cars – to name just a few. You are basically aiming at preparing your puppy for all eventualities, so that whenever he encounters anyone or anything new, he will greet it with inquisitiveness rather than fear or aggression. When taking your puppy for a walk, take some tasty snacks with you and ask people to give one to your puppy, and your puppy will soon learn that all people/things are friendly.


Q: My female Lab, who is now four months old, is not growing properly and putting on weight. Please advise.
Ketan Duthade, Aurangabad, Maharashtra


Dr KG Umesh: The growth of puppies involves the genetic potential of the individual (breed and sex), the environment and nutrition. A nutritionally balanced diet is crucial for the healthy growth and development of a puppy in order to prepare him for an active, long, and healthy life. The provision of all essential nutrients in reputed commercial puppy food along with accurate feeding will help to maximise their genetic potential to grow. Avoid overfeeding and do not use supplements like calcium while he is on a complete diet.5

Ask the expert… l Mar-Arp-2016

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 dog has been advised cataract surgery. Can you advice me about the surgery plus the pre and post operative care?
–Rahul Prashar, Jammu


Dr KG Umesh: Cataracts have many causes, from genetic to metabolic, nutritional to toxic, traumatic topedigree inflammatory. Some pure breeds have inherited cataracts. Cataracts are characterized by the time of onset, position within the lens, appearance, cause and stage of development. Accordingly surgery is planned. Prior to recommending surgery, your vet may run blood work to make sure that your dog is fit for anaesthesia and surgery. The surgical procedure includes conventional surgery (manual removal of lens) or phacoemulsification (takes approximately less than 30 minutes) which involves ultrasonic destruction of the lens. The softened lens material is then aspirated from the capsule. An intra-ocular lens is implanted within the empty capsule, restoring refractive and focusing ability. Some vets suture in an intraocular lens. Postoperative medications should be administered to reduce the risk of complications like infection, inflammation, bleeding and scarring.


Q: My two-year-old female Pomeranian was spayed when she was five months old. But the problem is that she is bleeding after every six months, even after spaying. How can I stop that? Will it affect her health?  Please help.
–Pritisha Kalita, Jorhat


Dr KG Umesh: There are several causes including incomplete removal of ovary tissue or hormonal imbalance in the body. The bleeding may also be due to infection, trauma or growths. Please get her examined from your vet to find the underlying cause. If any ovarian tissue is left, it may be removed with conventional or laparoscopic surgery.


Q: My two-month-old female Cocker Spaniel puppy has a habit of biting, which is increasing day by day.  How can I check it? Also advice on her vaccination and deworming schedule.
–Gaurav, Kolhapur


Dr KG Umesh: Most chewing behaviour is seen in young puppies due to their strong desire to explore. As dogs mature, this desire decreases and they are less likely to be destructive. This type of behaviour may start after a change in the dog’s routine or as a result of boredom. Some puppies may also play by biting hands and fingers. To the puppy, this action may seem acceptable if they have been allowed to do it elsewhere. It is important that the whole family does not encourage the puppy to hand bite. If the puppy does try to bite, give her the command “No”, and distract their attention with a toy. Many of these habits can be modified quite easily if done correctly and persistently. Act early before bad habits become established. Ignore your puppy when she behaves inappropriately, rather than giving her attention. Provide chew toys that do not resemble in appearance or texture unacceptable chew items. Prevent access to unacceptable chew items. Exercise and play with your dog regularly to alleviate excess energy and provide positive interaction. Reward your dog with praise for chewing on appropriate items. Your puppy must receive complete vaccinations (seven in one, 3 to 4 doses at intervals of 3-4 weeks) and Anti-rabies (two doses

3 weeks apart) before she completes 20 weeks of age. It is adequate to deworm routinely every 2-3 weeks until 6 months of age and then as advised by your veterinarian. There are many safe, effective products available which will eliminate these worms.


Q: My one-year-old Labrador is suffering from excessive hair fall since last 15 days. Kindly suggest some solution.
–Sanjay Baghla, Sri Ganganagar


Dr KG Umesh: Photoperiod (light intensity) is main factor besides nutrition, genetics and health that can cause dog to shed hair excessively during some seasons and therefore, can be physiological. Dogs may also shed excessive hair because of stress, worms, harsh climate and general illness. Hair alone takes away approximately 30 percent of protein from the diet for his health. Hence balanced and complete nutrition containing nutrients like omega fatty acids, zinc and quality proteins is most important for healthy skin and hair coat. A daily brushing works best because it helps to get rid of all of your dog’s loose hair. If you can’t brush him every day, aim for at least two good brushings per week. Bathing your dog regularly with a rich oatmeal shampoo will help to keep his coat healthy, without leaving his skin dry. A healthy coat is less likely to have a lot of loose hair to shed. A pet food like large breed puppy containing above nutrients will help decrease excessive shedding.


Q: I have nine puppies and they are ignoring milk replacement that I am giving them because their mother doesn’t have enough milk to feed them. Do advice a proper diet for them. Also guide me how to keep them clean.
–Ann Certiza, Chennai


Dr KG Umesh: Commercially available orphan puppy formula or starter should be given at the puppy’s body temperature. Bottle feed formula every 2-3 hours, until the puppies’ bellies are full, but not bloated. Avoid feeding a puppy while he is cradled on his back. Do not force the puppy to nurse, or allow him to nurse too fast. After each feeding, the puppy should be burped. Hold him against your shoulder and gently massage his back or pat him lightly. Ask your vet who will advise on quantity and frequency of feeding until they are weaned or attain eights weeks of age. Make sure that room temperature is warm enough for puppies to sleep comfortably as they are unable to regulate body temperature in first few weeks. You can introduce solid/dry pet food at the age of 3-4 weeks. Puppies will sleep 90 percent of the time and eat the other 10 percent. Puppies under three weeks of age lack voluntary elimination and must have the urination and defecation reflexes stimulated using a cotton ball with mineral oil on the anogenital area. Healthy puppies seldom cry. Generally puppies gain a weight of 2-4 gm per kg of adult body weight per day or 5-10 percent  of his birth weight each day. Weighing daily is better than weekly, during first few weeks and it may help for higher survival rate than waiting for additional signs like diarrhoea to appear. Ask your vet for suitable safe cleaning solution for puppies.