Just fur fun l Nov-Dec 2010

All About My Buddy:
My Name is: Alena
My Buddy’s Name is: Mischief
My Buddy’s Breed is:Pug
My Buddy’s Colour is: Fawn with black highlights
My Buddy’s Age is: 4 years
My Buddy’s Favourite Treat:Banana
My Buddy’s Funniest Habits:He tries to bite and nibble my ear
My Buddy’s First Love: Only me
My Buddy’s Foods: Roti and fruits
Character Certificate to My Buddy Will Say:Sleepy head but loving
BUDDy and ME: (Few of our favourite things)
List of activities we like doing the most: He loves to sleep by my side as I sing for him
What we indulge doing on Sundays:Sleep
What is the best tricks I have taught him: To bite my grandfather’s socks!

Dogs & Pups, Nov Dec 2010 Issue

Ask the Expert / Nov-Dec 2010

Dr. K. G. Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a ask the expertlecturer 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 presently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for south Asia

Q: We have adopted a two and a half years old male Black Lab who was abandoned. He has some skin patches which are now recovering and the hair is coming back. But I am worried about his health. What food should we give him, also does he require supplements? – Bijal Gehlot, Delhi

Dr KG Umesh: Just like us, adult dogs need a balanced diet which contains the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, many different vitamins and minerals to ensure that they stay in peak condition and maintain optimal health. The nutritional profile of any diet-including homemade diets-depends on how the recipe was formulated, the nutrient content of the ingredients, and how you prepare the diet. Unless properly formulated by a nutritionist or a vet, diets made at home are not likely to be nutritionally complete and balanced (deficient, excessive or unbalanced in essential nutrients). Prepared pet foods from reputable pet food manufacturers like Pedigree come with a guarantee of nutritional adequacy, quality and safety. They also contain adequate level of zinc and fats to keep skin and hair coat healthy. There is no need to feed any supplements like calcium or vitamins while he is feeding on balanced food like pedigree except clean fresh water. Therefore continue feeding only recommended quantity of the prepared petfood.

Q: I have an eight-month-old Pug. Since last four months he has developed serious skin infection. We are continuously in touch with local vet but we are worried. Please help. -AM Pendse, Pune

Dr KG Umesh: Skin problems are common in dogs as their skin is thin and the barrier function is poor, compared to man or other animals. Growing puppies are generally susceptible to nutritional and parasitic skin diseases like demodicosis. Any dog with chronic or recurring skin disease must be subjected to investigations like skin scraping or blood tests to find the underlying cause. Proper nutrition particularly zinc, fats and vitamins can help to strengthen skin barrier function. Please consult your vet at the earliest to identify underlying cause and therefore, the specific treatment.

Q: I have a pair of Rottwielers; my male who is two years old is very friendly. How can I train him to bark at strangers? – Nishant, Bulandshahar

Dr KG Umesh: The Rottweiler is a large intimidating-looking dog with muscular and powerful body. They must be thoroughly socialized at an early age as most Rottweilers are inclined toward dominance/aggression and will test for position in the family pecking order.

What is your dog trying to communicate through his barking? He may be barking to express happiness orfear, to get attention, to warn you of an approaching stranger, or to let you know he is bored or lonely. He may also bark to let others know that they are in his territory. Only good training and socialization will mean your dog is able to tell the difference between people allowed into the house and intruders. You may need to get the help of a professional trainer. A dog with good manners will not bark unnecessarily!

Q: My German Shepherd who is 12 years old has a back problem. My vet is treating her for paralysis attack. Currently she cannot move. Any test/therapy that we should undertake? Is this situation curable? – Kamal Kant, Bhilwara

Dr KG Umesh: A reasonable work-up for paralysis is required with selected tests to identify underlying cause, considering your pet’s age and breed. Radiograph and other imaging tests like CT or MRI are used to rule out prolapsed or herniated disk, fractures, spinal injury, hip joint problems etc. This will help your vet to provide appropriate prognosis and treatment plan based on cause. Some dogs respond well to rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medication. Your vet may consider surgery when it is appropriate and fit at this stage. Physiotherapy and supportive treatment may benefit until cause is identified or when no underlying problem can be identified.

Q: I am looking for a dog for my home, do advice a breed which will be suitable -I have a house of 200 sq yards, no kids at home, looking for a friendly breed- who is vary of strangers, shedding should be medium/minimal. Do also advice the economical expenditure considering vaccination and diet per month. – Anmol Bhatia, New Delhi

Dr KG Umesh: Small breeds with short hair coat would fit your requirements. You can choose breeds like Pug or Dachshund, Miniature Pinscher, etc which are more manageable. Manufactured pet foods not only provide complete nutrition but are also cheaper compared to home prepared diets. You have to bear Vaccination and other preventive health care cost during first three months of puppy stage and then you need to visit your vet at least twice a year for a routine health check and annual vaccinations.

Dogs & Pups, Sep Oct 2010 Issue

Ask the Expert / July-Aug 2010

Dr. K. G. Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been aask the expert 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 presently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for south Asia

Q: My Labrador is 13 years old. He is developing weakness in his hind legs and he has to make an effort to stand up. Our vet suggested a medicine named ‘Care 0 Pet’ by Cipla. We are giving this tablet every day alongwith Condro and Neuribion forte. Is there any thing else we can do? What is the normal life span for a Labrador? Please advise. – PKSengupta, Noida

Dr KG Umesh: Weakness in hind legs of aged pet may result from dysfunction of the nervous system, neuromuscular system, metabolic, cardiovascular or joint problems. Therefore, the cause of such weakness can either be such primary disorder or can result from dysfunction of a number of other systems that result in impaired neuromuscular function. Some common causes include spinal/backbone problems (particularly disk), heart problems, anemia and arthritis. A reasonable work-up for the weakness is required with selected tests to identify underlying cause, considering pet’s age, breed and concurrent clinical signs. This will help your vet to provide appropriate treatment plan based on cause. Physiotherapy and supportive treatment may benefit until cause is identified or when no underlying problem can be identified. The average life span of Labradors in India may range from 10-16 years depending on level of care.

Q: Please advise the care to be taken of my three months old Lhasa Apso pup, also can I feed him curd and fruits? What tonics are supposed to be given for growth and better coat? He has been given rabies vaccination – can I give booster dose after 21 days? – Dinesh Koti, Nellore

Dr KG Umesh: Feeding your dog a well balanced diet is clearly necessary to keep him fit and healthy, and there is a whole variety of different types of products to choose from, including diets designed for specific stages of life (Pedigree puppy) and foods which deliver additional health benefits (Pedigree small breed puppy). Just curd or fruits is not adequate for a growing puppy. Please remember that it is not possible to feed your dog a consistent and adequate home-prepared diet without considerable time, effort, and expertise. There is no need to feed any tonics/calcium or home diet while he is feeding on a balanced food like Pedigree, except clean fresh water. Other activities such as exercise, training, grooming and regular visits to the veterinarian are equally important to keep your dog happy and healthy. It is recommended to have booster doses for all vaccinations including rabies.

Q: My eight-year-old cross-breed has become very aggressive. He sometimes bites our family members in anger. What can be the reason behind this? – Rai Saxsena

Dr KG Umesh: The two most common manifestations of aggressive behaviour towards humans are fear biting and dominance-related aggression. Fear biting is most commonly seen in a dog raised without appropriate human contact during the socialization period of growth. Biting is a canine dominance behaviour and is surprisingly, a form of communication to establish standing within the pack. 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 boss.’ Good training plays a crucial role to ensure a happy and successful relationship between you and your dog (reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour), that means everyone being diligent in enforcing basic commands to show your dog who the real leaders of the household are. Some examples – If your dog 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. While instinct is a powerful determinant, dogs also take cues from an owner’s personalityfriendly, secure dogs, for instance, often have calm owners, while dogs who are easily frightened might have anxious owners.

Q: I have a two-year-old GSD named Bebble. She is falling sick frequently, is not eating food and is losing weight. Please advise. – Anthony Fernandes

Dr KG Umesh: Any chronic or recurring illness requires some basic investigations to find the underlying cause. Please take her to your vet for complete examination and the vet may recommend required lab tests (it may include stool examination, radiograph, tests for liver and pancreas function, etc)

Q: I have a male three-month-old Golden Retriever. He urinates more than 20-30 times, sometimes white in colour and sometimes yellow. He does poop four times or more and its colour is blackish brown. Is his urination normal, do dogs urinate at one place only or move about and urinate at different locations. – Aroonita Ghosh, Ko/kata

Dr KG Umesh: Puppies are not capable of controlling urination or defecation until eight weeks of age. A young puppy needs to urinate and defecate frequently as he has a very small bladder and bowel. Housetraining a new puppy usually takes 2 to 4 weeks and is accomplished through confinement, a regular schedule of feeding and elimination breaks, and a great deal of praise but no punishment. It is your responsibility to ensure that you take your puppy to the chosen toilet area as frequently as he needs to go, generally as soon as he wakes up, after every meal and at hourly intervals. Whilst he is learning, it is essential that you wait with him, so that you can praise him at the correct time. Young puppies will inevitably have ‘accidents’. It is important to ignore these, and to clean up well so that the smell does not linger, as this may encourage him to repeat the performance on the same spot. It is also possible to train your puppy to urinate and defecate on command.

Q: I have a male Lhasa Apso. Pleaseadvice whether a Boxer/Spitz will be a suitable breed with the Apso or do you suggest any other breed so as to avoid clash. Is neutering necessaryfor keeping two male dogs? – Aiay Kumar Khanduri, New De/hi

Dr KG Umesh: Whatever your reasons you decided to add another dog to the family, just be aware that bringing in a new dog (breed or size does not matter) is a huge change for an older dog – and unless you go about it the right way, it could create a lot of stress. With the puppy in your lap and your older dog on a leash held by someone else, let the older dog sniff, lick and explore the puppy. A couple of minutes is more than enough time for this initial introduction. Remove the puppy from the room, then lavish your older dog with attention and praise. On the second or third meeting, if all seems safe, allow the puppy onto the floor, and monitor that situation carefully for a few minutes. Repeat this exercise at least twice daily until you’re comfortable that the two will get along or have mutual understanding of their position/rank in the family. It’s not a good idea to leave your puppy alone with your older dog. There should always be someone there to supervise. Be sure to give old dog lots of individual attention so he’ll know that he still holds a special place in your heart and hasn’t been ‘replaced’. Neutering may help to minimise some behavioural issues like aggression, etc.

Dogs & Pups, July Aug 2010 Issue

Ask the Expert / Mar-Apr 2010

Dr. K. G. Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a ask the expertlecturer 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 presently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for south Asia

Q: My six years old GSD is having an infection on her front leg near the elbow area. It’s a black patch and she keeps licking that area. Now, it is bleeding and little puss is coming out from that patch, we have tried many medicines and creams in consultation of vets, but it’s just not healing, can you recommend some medicines which will dry that wound? – Sanskriti, Mumbai

Dr KG Umesh: Any wound that shows poor response to conventional therapy should undergo some basic laboratory tests like biopsy, culture or cytology to find underlying cause. Some common causes are deep pyoderma, sinus, lick granulomas which require aggressive treatment. Please consult your vet who may recommend suitable tests to find specific therapy.

Q: I am a new pet owner of a three months old Pug. Do advice what human medicines are not to be given to dogs at all? – K Pathak/ Sirsa

Dr KG Umesh: For a basic first aid kit, I would suggest having cotton balls, paracetomol syrup for fever, an antihistamine or steroid ointment in case of an insect bite, Savlon or Betadine liquid to clean out a wound, bandages to make a muzzle and to protect an injured area, balanced oral electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration from vomiting or diarrhoea, and astringent/gauze pads to help stop bleeding. All drugs are dosed in dogs generally on body weight basis and therefore any human medicine can cause serious adverse effects when used inappropriately in dogs. Common poisoning of pets from human medicines includes pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs (Brufen, Diclofenac), drugs used for hypertension, vitamin D, cardiac drugs, cough syrups and many more. Remember to always phone your veterinarian for advice before you attempt to do anything to help your pet.

Q: My dog is eight years old and her paws are cracked. Please advice. – Hema Sen/ Kolkata

Dr KG Umesh: There are several known causes of cracked footpads. You will need to take your dog to the vet so he can give your dog a thorough examination and to see what has caused the cracking of his pads. A dog’s paws exposed to irritants, floor cleaning detergents, chemicals or even cold pavement or rough road – all of which cause drying and cracking of the paw pads. Some common medical causes include allergies, chronic yeast infection, autoimmune diseases and nutritional deficiencies. Some dogs develop a condition called digital hyperkeratosis which can only be controlled with topical creams. Meanwhile, try smearing petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or moisturising creams every 4-6 hours. Wrap your pet’s paw after cleaning to prevent infection or dust collecting between cracks and old sock can sometime help. Consider using dog booties. Feed her on complete food like Pedigree to prevent any nutritional deficiency.

Q: Pepper, my eight years old Basset Hound, is having a stiff back. He seems to wince in pain when we touch him. Do advice what all is to be done to diagnose the problem. – Stephan/ Bangalore

Dr KG Umesh: The backbone of dogs is made up of bones called vertebrae. These bones protect the spinal cord, which extends from the brain to your pet’s tail. A pad of tough, fibrous tissue called a disc, is located between each vertebra. These intervertebral discs function as shock absorbers and stabilizers of the spine. In chondrodystrophic breeds like yours, the disc undergoes degeneration over time but many changes are present early in life. Disc degeneration is the main cause of the back problem but trauma is also a common cause. Your vet may advice radiograph, spinal tap or even MRI or CT scan to identify cause of back problem. Some dogs respond well to rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medication. However, some dogs treated with rest and medications have recurrent attacks of back problems. Your veterinarian may recommend surgery if the disease is rapid and severe, if weakness or paralysis is present, or if your pet had repeated attacks. Limiting running and jumping has been suggested to prevent occurrence, but the value of this has not been proven. Feeding balanced food and regular exercise will keep him fit and healthy. Make sure that he is not overweight or obese.

Q: My two months old male Pug frequently gets very small boils under the body on his stomach. Our vet has given him two doses of antibiotics, they go for a week and then again come back. Can you please help? – Prashin Jhobalia, Mumbai

Dr KG Umesh: Superficial bacterial infection (pyoderma) is an extremely common presentation in the dog. In the majority of cases, it is caused by Staphylococcus intermedius. Staphylococci are carried on normal dogs at certain body sites. Superficial pyoderma can be follicular or non-follicular. The non-follicular pyoderma (bacterial impetigo) is very common condition in puppies particularly on skin of ventral abdomen/groin region. The development of recurrent pyoderma is most commonly a secondary phenomenon and predisposing factors should be investigated. Any condition that disrupts normal skin barrier function or compromises the immune system may predispose to the development of pyoderma. Some common predisposing causes of impetigo in puppies include unhygienic bedding/floors, urine scald or poor nutrition. Feed him good quality puppy food like Pedigree and keep him clean with antibacterial wash/creams for at least few weeks following complete recovery.

Dogs and Pups, Jan Feb 2010 Issue