Ask the Expert | July Aug 2011

Q: My three-year-old son wants to adopt a Labrador. I will like to know how much space a grown up Labrador needs to feel comfortable and what costs are involved in maintaining a dog on a monthly basis. Also, do advice us about the temperament of the Labrador.
– Churamany Chetry, Assam

Dr KG Umesh: Labrador, being a large breed, cannot be cramped in a small apartment.ask the expertThey need plenty of space to run around and more importantly, the availability of open spaces nearby for exercise. The initial cost of your puppy must certainly be taken into account, but be aware that other costs continue for the rest of his life – the daily cost of feeding and veterinary visits (for both routine check-ups and unexpected problems), training, kennelling during holidays and regular grooming sessions, etc. Labrador is an affectionate and loyal companion. Dogs are social animals. They need a lot of attention, especially when young, and sufficient time must be set aside for their training, exercise and grooming.

Q: I have a two and half years old male Labrador, who is extremely friendly and docile. We are planning to bring home a second dog, probably a Saint Bernard or an English Mastiff. We want to ask you how to introduce them and manage them both- so they grow to like each other? Can you also recommend some other medium or large breeds?
– Nikhil, Palli

Dr KG Umesh: Whatever your reasons to add another dog to the family just be aware that bringing in a new dog is a huge change for an older dog – and unless you go about it the right way, it could create a lot of stress. Here are a few ways you can help make the process of introducing your older dog to a new dog less stressful. With the new puppy/dog in your lap/lease and your older dog on a leash held by someone else, let the older dog sniff, lick and explore the puppy/dog. A couple of minutes are more than enough time for this initial introduction. Remove the new puppy/dog from the room, and then lavish your older dog with attention and praise. On the second or third meeting, if all seems safe, allow the puppy/dog 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. It’s not a good idea to leave your puppy/dog alone with your older dog. There should always be someone there to supervise. When you talk to each of the dogs, use a happy, friendly tone of voice. Never talk to them in a way that is threatening. Reward good behaviour with treats and/or compliments of “good dog!” Monitor their body language. And be sure to give him lots of individual attention so he’ll know that he still holds a special place in your heart and hasn’t been ‘replaced’.

Q: My five-month-old puppy has hookworms. What measures should I take with the puppy? Also, I have an infant and a toddler- what preventive measures to be taken with them?
– Monica, Kolkata

Dr KG Umesh: Keep the dog in good health. Go for regular examinations by a veterinarian as well as up-to-date vaccines and regular fecal exams to check for intestinal parasites. Ensure that the dog is free of fleas and ticks. Simply practice good hygiene at home – washing hands with soap and water after coming in contact with urine, feces or any bodily discharge from a dog. Feed a high-quality commercial dog food. Do not feed raw meat or untreated animal-based treats. Do not let the dog lick or sleep in the same bed. Always supervise children when they play with a pet. For most puppies, it is sufficient to worm routinely every 2-3 weeks until six months of age and then as advised by your veterinarian. There are many safe, effective products available which will eliminate these worms.

Q: I want to know if I can keep a female Labrador with a one-year-old Lhasa Apso. What is the correct age for spaying the female dog? Is it a complicated operation? Further I want to know whether the female Labrador will come into cycle or season or heat despite being operated.
– Ajay Kumar Khanduri, Delhi

Dr KG Umesh: Spaying is an irreversible means by which a dog is rendered sterile. The procedure entails complete removal of the uterus and ovaries in females – means no cycles. Surgery is preceded by a fasting period and requires general anaesthesia and hospitalisation. The incision must stay dry and suture removal is usually performed 7 to 10 days after surgery. There are also hospitals/clinics, which conduct spaying with Keyhole or Laparoscopy methods, with minimum invasive surgery and on outpatient basis. Complications are unusual but may include post surgical haemorrhage and infection, etc. 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. Some suggest spaying as early as three months of age, while few spay after first season for female dogs. 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 four-year-old black female Lab constantly gets urinary tract infections. Steffi also has major skin problems diagnosed as psoriases. Do advice what is best for dogs- home food or commercial food.
– Abhijit Bhagwat, Pune

Dr KG Umesh: Urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to bacterial colonization of portions of the urinary tract that are normally sterile (kidneys, ureters, bladder, and proximal urethra) and is the most common infectious disease in dogs. Management of recurrent urinary tract infection is based on proper diagnosis of the underlying disease. This involves complete examination, blood tests and urine analysis including culture. This may help to identify some predisposing or perpetuating factors like diabetes, anatomical defects, urinary stones and systemic diseases. Ideally, patients with bacterial UTI that have been treated with antibiotics should have bacterial urine cultures periodically performed after completion of the course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection has been eliminated. There is no nutritional advantage to feeding home-made or raw foods over a commercially prepared pet food product, but there is the very real risk of illness. You may have to avoid only the particular ingredient in either home or commercial food that your dog has proven to have ‘allergy’ or adverse reactions (which are uncommon). The diet in fact plays an important role in management of some forms of urinary tract infections.

Ask the Expert | May June 2011

Q: My four months old English Mastiff puppy is on dog food. Her weight is 29 kg. Whatask the expert quantity should I feed her per feeding – I feed her three meals a day. My puppy is not ready to walk long distances. At what age will she be ready to walk long distances? Do advice her exercise needs according to her age.
-Prabhakar R Patil, Kolhapur

Dr KG Umesh: Feed the required quantity as mentioned on the pet food label, three to four times a day. All dogs need exercise but the amount depends greatly on the individual dog. Puppies don’t need to be encouraged to exercise. However, you have to be careful not to over-exercise them because their bones aren’t very strong. Large breed generally becomes adult by 24 months of age. The rule is to exercise them a little, and often, probably not lasting for longer than 20-30 minutes for each exercise. Exercise to your dog’s abilities, not yours.

Q: I have a three years old female German Shepherds, who is facing skin problem at chest and thigh. My vet prescribed medicines. After using the medicines on a regular basis, my observation is that the problem reduces in a slow manner but also spreads in the other areas rapidly. I am facing this disease with my dog since last 5-6 months. Please advice.
– Suman Kar, Chittaranjan

Dr KG Umesh: German Shepherds are highly susceptible to certain chronic skin diseases. All chronic or recurring skin problems require some lab tests to find underlying cause. Your vet can do simple skin and blood tests that will help to identify causes like parasites, allergies, fungal or yeast infection, etc. Therefore, my approach would be to find underlying cause and then your vet will be able to recommend suitable shampoos and medications that will eliminate the cause and therefore recurring problem.

Q: Buddy- my four and a half years old Golden Retriever’s platelets count is very less (76000) and is undergoing treatment since Dec’10 for the same. It increased from 55000 to 76000. Moreover he’s got a ringworm problem too. Lately the test showed a reduced thyroid too. Please advice.
– Anupam Sharma, Mumbai

Dr KG Umesh: It is difficult for me to suggest specific treatment or diagnostic plan with the available information. Considering his multiple medical problems, I would suggest a complete medical examination and lab tests to arrive at a confirmatory diagnosis. These medical problems may be complications from an underlying disease or may be unrelated also.

Q: My two and a half months old Lab male puppy is frequently urinating and defecating inside the house. How do I house train him?
– Amrutha Sanish, Mysore

Dr KG Umesh: House training rarely presents a problem with puppies who have been reared under normal conditions. A young puppy needs to urinate and defecate frequently as he has a very small bladder and bowel. This gives you as a puppy owner plenty of opportunity to praise your puppy for performing in the right area, allowing him to learn quickly. Do not punish your puppy for doing wrong. 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. Take your puppy outside, wait with him until he performs and then praise him by giving him a snack or playing with him. 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. Do not scold your dog for mistakes, but rather reward him when he is correct and he will soon want to go outside. It is also possible to train your dog to urinate and defecate on command.

Q: How can I take care of a Rottweiler during summer?
– Kannan Ramakrishnan, Bangalore

Dr KG Umesh: Generally dogs eat less in summer because of heat or heat stress. But energy requirement increases with increase in ambient temperature. This means he may need to eat more during hot summer. A well-balanced nutritionally complete diet like Pedigree confers some protection against the effects of heat stress. Feed during cooler part of the day, if possible or increase frequency of feeding. Remember to give them plenty of water so he doesn’t become dehydrated in the warm weather. It’s extremely dangerous to leave a pet alone in a vehicle/room/outdoors in the sun – even with a window open – as an overheated car/room can have fatal consequences. Avoid exercising your pet in the midday heat and stick to early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler. It’s important your pets get their annual vaccinations and regular worm/parasitic treatment during summer.

Dogs & Pups, May June 2011 Issue


Angels together…

Breed Profile

Amazing Akitas!

Large dogs with mesmerising oriental eyes, quiet but intelligent, Akitas form excellent companion animals. An Akita named Hachiko became immortal after he patiently waited at the railway station for his master to return for almost 10 years, oblivious of the fact that his master had died when he was at work. A statue of Hachiko still greets everybody at the Shibuya Station in Japan.

Breed Profile

Truly golden!

A Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds. Charming looks, golden locks, friendly disposition, eager-to-please demeanor – a Golden Retriever has everything you can ask for in a family dog.

A ‘Golden’ diet


I am ‘Me’

If you are not fulfilling the breed specific needs of your dog, you are creating a rift and he may not have a balanced life.

Frightened furry friends@vet

Doggies’ day out at vet’s place is an ordeal for most of the pet parents. But with a better understanding and a few precautions we can make it easier for our furry friends.

Angels Together

Smart dogs for smart kids

Diet for the moms-to-be and new moms

Angels Together

Striking the angelic bond!

Good kids and good dogs will have miscommunications every day. By teaching children and dogs how to interact with one another, we are laying the groundwork for happy, healthy relationships between them.

Summer delight!

Angels Together Summer’s here! The kids can’t wait for the vacations to start, and parents wish they’d never. It’s all fine when the kids come back after a tiring day at school, but how do you match their energy levels when they are unbridled from the burdens of a taxing day at school. Time for Juno, the family dog, to jump in and take matters into his paws.


Observe carefully!

Prevention is always better than cure… you can determine the health condition of your pooch at your home…merely by observation. Here’s how to do so.

Kids Korner

Healthy Bites

Picture Perfect

Ask the Experts..

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.


Paws and their star

Pooch love seems to be in the genes. Meet actress Divya Seth who not only shares her profession with her mother Sushma Seth but also her love for pooches.

Watch out for signs of sickness


Dashing pooches: the Drools way


Bon Voyage

This summer, take a vacation with your pooch to a pet-friendly hotel/resort. Here’s how to make your trips more comfortable and enjoyable.

‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet

Dog art connoisseur!

From nineteenth century dog paintings and collectibles to modern day dog art –William Secord Gallery has it all! Here’s more on this pawfect art gallery.


Flea allergy: what a pet parent must know

Fleas are cosmopolitan ectoparasites with a large variety of hosts. For companion animals and humans, Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) represent the most important species worldwide. Apart from causing flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), the ability of fleas to function as vectors for disease pathogens, such as Rickettsia & Bartonella spp. bacteria, Dipylidium caninum (dog tape worm) and some viral pathogens is gaining attention. Let’s know more about them.


My Adorable baby

They are the world to me


Dogs & Pups, March April 2011 Issue

Editorial ›

Pawssionate parenting!

Breed Profile ›

Stunning Shih Tzus!

Amongst so many dog breeds around the world, only a few can compare to the glamorous looks of a Shih Tzu, or his arrogant carriage or his undying love for his pet parent. He is a complete package of beauty, love and pride. Here’s more about these gorgeous K9.

Pawssionate parenting!

Pettiquettes : Mind her manners!

K9 : Care Just a click away!

Glam me gorgeous!

Caring for the pearly whites

Training ›

Pawsome secrets unravelled!!

An holistic approach is to look at the underlying cause of a behaviour or training problem by looking at the whole-istic health issues of the dog, physically and mentally. In the last issue, we discussed diet, health, bodywork, relationships and communication. Here are a few more factors that affect the dog on a daily basis.

Toys – not just a play thing

A dog’s behaviour is influenced by the games he plays as a puppy. A game is a structured activity, undertaken for enjoyment and also used as an educational tool. Games are played with toys, which are important to develop character, skills, creativity, security and social acceptability. Here are more on different types of toys available. Health ›

Battling the Red Mange

Dermatology in dogs has attained great heights in both diagnosis and management during recent years. Demodicosis or Red Mange is one of the common skin problems in dogs from one month to eight years and in almost all breeds, most common in Pugs and German Shepherds. Here’s more on Red Mange.

Paws and their star

Picture Perfect

Feature ›

CGS Hospital | where joy is infectious!

Cuddle, Goldy and Spotty (CGS) Hospital is the place to be when you are looking for medical, grooming and boarding needs for your pets. This recently launched hospital offers comprehensive high quality veterinary care with an emphasis on exceptional client service and patient care.

Ask the Experts..

Welfare ›

It’s KARMA that makes the difference!

Homemade Diets ›

Concerns about feeding homemade diets

I can steal your heart away

Just Fur Fun

Paw-tales ›

Nawab – the light of our life!

Maggie-my sounding board!

Care for aging tailwaggers!

Watch the waistline

Frame your Heartbeat!

What better way to show your love for your pet than to have him painted on a canvas? Here, we bring two artists – Gita Bhattacharjee from India and Lisa Graziotto from Canada who create canine portraits – helping people make their pets immortal. Vet Contest ›

‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet | March April 11

Memoirs of K9 delights!


Ask the Expert.. | Jan Feb 2011

Dr KG Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He is working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: My cat who is nine years old is showing pain and difficulty in movement. Please do advice.
Ajith, Coimbatore

Dr KG Umesh: Your pet may be having neuromuscular, skeletal or joint problem considering age and symptoms mentioned here. Some causes of pain in senior cat include joint diseases, inflammatory or infectious diseases and neoplasia. The definitive diagnosis for pain is made by evaluating your cat’s history, clinical signs, radiographic/scanning findings and relevant lab tests. The treatment plan depends on the underlying cause and also includes weight management (in overweight/obese cats), exercise moderation, physical therapy, nutritional and anti-inflammatory medications. Do not administer human pain killers as they are toxic to cats

‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet | Jan Feb 2011


I am: Madhavi Anand

My pet’s name: Mishki

My vet’s name: Dr Bhavana Kalra

Veterinary clinic/hospital: Pet Clinic, New Delhi

How I came across my vet: My parents used to take their dogs.

Do I visit the vet for regular check-ups or only in case of medical condition: Regular check-ups

How often is my pet taken for check-ups: Every 4- 6 months

How long I have been visiting my vet: Since last seven years

Toughest medical challenge faced by me and my pet: Currently he is suffering from a very severe cough, it has been diagnosed as Kennel Cough. He is quite unwell, unable to |retain food, medicines.

Role played by my vet in helping to overcome it: I can message, call at any hour and she is always there.

A special quality about my vet which strengthens my faith: Her immense love for dogs. She treats them like little children. When a dog misbehaves, is agitated, it’s amazing to see how she calms them down. It always works.

A thank you note for my vet: Thank you for always being there with us and for us. To know that there are people in this profession for the love of animals and not just to make money, strengthens my faith in people. Thank you once again.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a great vet in Ahmednagar. This is where we got our Labrador. Being a small place, veterinary care was a major concern, however, through some references we were told about Dr Santosh S Gaikwad. A tough experience we had was, when our dog had an accident, Dr Gaikwad treated him and within two days Moti was back to his old naughty self. A big thank you Dr Gaikwad for always being there. A great quality about Dr Gaikwad is that he also administers home remedies.


I am: Dr Naveen Sharma

My pet’s name: Bruno

My vet’s name: Dr Sunil

Veterinary clinic/hospital: Gurgaon

How I came across my vet: Recommendation from a friend

Do I visit the vet for regular check-ups or only in case of medical condition: Regular check-ups

How often is my pet taken for check-ups: Monthly

How long I have been visiting my vet: Two years

A special quality about my vet which strengthens my faith: Great knowledge

A thank you note for my vet: You are the best doc!!!

I am: BG Menon

My pet’s name: Toffee

My vet’s name: Dr Ravi Kumar

Veterinary clinic/hospital: Indirapuram, Ghaziabad

How I came across my vet: Through billboards

Do I visit the vet for regular check-ups or only in case of medical condition: Regular check-ups

How often is my pet taken for check-ups: Once a year How long I have been visiting my vet: Since last four years

Toughest medical challenge faced by me and my pet: When he was down with tick fever and his haemoglobin level dipped dangerously.

Role played by my vet in helping to overcome it: He was always there for Toffee and us, reassuring both of us round the clock. He administered drips and monitored blood composition, calling in experts for cross checking, encouraging Toffee to overcome his illness and giving us mental support for which we all would remain ever grateful to Dr Ravi. He is a wonderful doctor and a wonderful human being.

A special quality about my vet which strengthens my faith: He does not hide anything and explains very clearly the situation. He is gentle, kind hearted and patient with all pets and respects the owner’s feelings.

A thank you note for my vet: Dear Doctor Ravi, Toffee and we all are really very fortunate to have you as a family friend, advisor and vet. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to say a real big thank you and….bow bow wow from Toffee.

Dogs & Pups, January February 2011 Issue

Editorial ›

Toast to our loving buddies…

Breed Profile ›

Bearded Collies: fun-loving beautiful chaps!

A Beardie is a winsome, funny, loving, sometimes silly, sometimes pouty, adorable, curious, persistent creature, in short, close to humans. Just be prepared to brush long hair, wet beards in your lap, and muddy pawprints in the wrong places at the wrong time…. Otherwise, they’re like peanuts. You can’t stop with just one.

Right diet for mom & pups for a good start

A-Z of pooch love and care

Canine hip dysplasia

Pedigree ›

The marvels of gravy food

Training ›

IIs your dog a spoilt brat?

Committed to love, committed to your pooch!!!

Paws and their star

Picture Perfect


Ask the Expert..

Grooming ›

Different brush strokes for different coats

As pet parent, we all understand the benefits of having a clean, well-groomed dog not just for our pleasure, but first and foremost for the benefit to the dog. Different breeds have different coats, here’s how to groom different types of coats.

Welfare ›

ARF: Supporting the animal welfare organisations

Paw-tales ›

The Pawfect bond of love…

The best companion…truly said!

Health ›

Taking care of your diabetic pooch

Diabetes in dogs? Yes, they acquire it too…. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder, and like humans, dogs too can acquire diabetes. Once your pet is diagnosed, the pet parent should take complete care. Doggy News ›

Let your canine shine in winter

Training ›

An holistic approach to health and welfare of dogs

An holistic approach is to look at the underlying cause of a behaviour or training problem by looking at the whole-istic health issues of the dog, physically and mentally. Here are a few factors that affect the dog on a daily basis.

Kids Korner

‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet