A page from the diary of a doggone doggy!

Dear Diary,
It’s time to type out my TV trauma. My two-legged parents call it ‘idiot box’. Yet they gather in front of it every night… hypocritical hawks! Grrrhmphhh…! My two-legged siblings call it ‘time-pass’. After all, to not be tuned in to the latest sporting drama is a faux pas.
Coming to the point… My opinion of the good ol’ television…I call it ‘Temptation Island!’ Yes it’s even better than a belly rub! Well…almost…(wag-wag-wag-wag-wag wag-wag…! WAGGG!) Oh no, not because of the latest canine couture on ‘Poo TV’. Not even because of the visual feast on ‘Top Chef’…oooh yummmeaaaah! (Excuse the drool.)
I call it ‘Temptation Island’ because television is like fantasy land…Rather, it is utopia.
I ask you… where else does it rain balls day and night? Add to it…the replays and highlights!
Last month it was the T20 World Cup. Then the FIFA drama showed up. Talk about
topping off the double chicken burger with a splash of ketchup… Not  to forget the Wimbledon mania! (Chicken burger… sigh…back to drooling…hic-hic-hiccup!)
Nowadays all I see are cricket balls, soccer balls, tennis balls…even
golf balls juggling around me! And it’s driving me crazy! C-R-A-Z-Y!
They throw, they fetch. They kick, they catch. They hit, they head bang.
They shoot, they smash. They also trip, slip and crash.
What fun! It sure looks like living heaven! How I wish someone would invent a TV where I could jump in and join the real action… Or maybe even initiate a sporting event called Canine Catch Cup? What say? All those in favour, yell HIP HIP HURRAY.
Or Waka Waka woof woof in your own special way!

Delicious Doggy Delight

Your pooch loves to gorge on the delicacies you make. Pamper his taste buds with this healthy and delicious diet!
Liver Lip Smackers!
What do you need?
3 cups whole-wheat flour, ½ cup cornmeal, 2 tbsp wheat bran, 1 beaten egg, 3 tbsp chicken fat/vegetable oil, 1 cup cooked and coarsely pureed chicken/mutton liver and 1 cup (approx) chicken broth.
What’s cooking?
•    Preheat oven to 180ºC.
•    Sift whole-wheat flour.
•    Mix flour, cornmeal and wheat bran.
•    In separate bowl, beat the egg.
•    Add oil and ½ cup broth to the egg. Beat till well mixed.
•    Add dry ingredients to bowl a little at a time, stirring well.
•    Fold in liver puree.
•    Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky or water/broth if it is too dry. (The required quantity of flour and broth might vary slightly according to your cooking area’s temperature and humidity.)
•    Roll out 1/4” thick and cut using cookie cutters or a knife.
•    Place on greased cookie sheet.
•    Bake for 30 minutes or until firm.
•    Store in refrigerator.
Tips to follow
•    Brush cookies with beaten egg or milk before baking for a glazy look.
•    After turning off the oven, leave cookies in it overnight to allow further dehydration and thus, longer shelf life.
•    To cook liver, clean and boil it, the water after boiling can be used instead of chicken broth.

Tips for that perfect doggy bath

Bathing your dog is a challenge – both for you and your dog. But we all know how bathing improves their look and how important it is to maintain their health. Here are a few tips to make bathing a fun and bonding time with your bathing beauties:

  • Brush your pooch to make her coat tangle- and matt-free, especially if she is a longhaired grooming
  • Put cotton balls in her ears to prevent water from getting inside her ears.
  • Place a rubber mat on which your dog can stand so that she does not slip while bathing.
  • Wet your pooch completely with warm water (never cold).
  • Use a pet shampoo specially formulated for the pH of your dog’s skin. Longhaired dog requires more shampoo than a short-haired one.
  • Start bathing from her head and work towards her tail.
  • Use shampoo on hard-to-reach places like belly, armpits and the rear end.
  • Use a conditioner to keep her coat tanglefree.
  • Rinse her thoroughly with warm water.
  • Dry her with a towel before taking her out.
  • You can even use a dryer to dry her coat, but fi rst ensure that she is not scared of the noise.
  • Keep her indoors until she is completely dry.

Health : Doggy Diabetes

Doggy Diabetes Canines…Cure ‘n’ Care

Dog diabetes is a silent killer that is engulfing our pooches’ health and well-being mutely. Sooner we detect the disorder, better the chances of recovery. In our last issue, we shared in-depth information about the doggie diabetes. As a sequel to it, we are now presenting cure ‘n’ care for it.

If your pet suffers from diabetes, don’t lose hope as it can be controlled by proper treatment and cure. The treatment requires lot of patience…but it’s not at all a big-ask for our pooches pink health.

Owner compliance… aim of the therapyDog Health

Dealing with a diabetic pet is a challenging situation…it requires a lot of patience and commitment as the treatment is a long-term process and tedious regimen to follow. It includes:

  • Stabilizing the patient and correcting ketoacidosis and dehydration, if present.
  • Restoring the levels of blood glucose to as near normal as possible. This will reduce the risk of longterm complications such as cataract, kidney problems, etc.
  • Correct glycosuria (that is the presence of glucose in urine). Once this is done, it will automatically reverse the symptoms of excessive urination and hunger.
  • One needs to remove any predisposing factors; females need to be spayed once they are stabilized. Any sort of corticosteroid, hormonal therapy needs to be stopped, if it is safe to do so.
  • Immediate weight reduction and long term weight management of the patient is critical; this includes a strict diet and exercise plan.
  • Administration of antibiotics to eliminate any infection, e.g. urinary tract infection.

The challenges… canines care

Owners of diabetic dogs need to be constantly aware of the following parameters to avoid any further loss due to disease:

  • A fixed and a constant amount of food each day will monitor his appetite better. Is he still hungry or is he leaving food behind?
  • Assess the patient’s bodyweight on monthly basis.
  • Develop a method to measure water consumption although this is highly variable, but a regular recording of the daily water consumption will help you establish the normal range.
  • Observe the patient for recurrence of clinical signs.
  • After stabilization of the pet, a regular check up is advised. A consistently good glycemic control assures the extension of time between visits to the vet.

Managing treatment…

Therapy for Diabetes Mellitus involves around consistency. The pet needs regular administration of medication, feeding and stable stress-free lifestyle.

Insulin: Administration of insulin injections is the foundation for keeping the blood glucose levels in check. This could be once a day or twice a day regime. Insulin is painless when injected, the needles used are very small and the injection when given will feel like an ant bite. The injection is given under the skin; the pet parent should not panic about causing any vital organ damage. It is crucial to administer the injection at the same time every day for better and stable results.

Diet: An overweight dog needs to lose weight through a combination of a weight reduction diet and personally designed exercise programme. Commercial diets are available in the market, which are a healthy weight loss option. If giving homemade food, then do discuss the diet chart in detail with your vet.

Exercise: Regular exercise promotes weight loss, improves insulin absorption into the cell, and enhances glucose uptake by muscles. Consistency in the level and time of exercise has to be maintained.

The care of a diabetic pet is very challenging; but with your dedication and your veterinarian’s expertise, your pet could continue to have a long and healthy life.

(Dr Kamaldeep Chaggar is a 2nd generation vet; she did her graduation in veterinary science from PAU, Ludhiana and worked with clinics in London and USA. She has also authored several articles on pets and is a regular on radio and TV pet shows.)


One of the most common complications in diabetic pets is giving them too much insulin. If the dose of insulin is just too high, the dog can go in to hypoglycemic shock. This is a life-threatening emergency. He will become depressed, may have seizures and lose consciousness. If this occurs, take your pet immediately to the vet for urgent medical attention. On the way, a little honey/sugar solution or glucose powder paste can be administered orally.

Doggy Diabetes Bearing away sweetness… silently

Doggy Diabetes Bearing away sweetness… silently

Diabetes is one of the prevailing diseases in the Indian pet scenario. Along with the increase in pet parenting, there also has been a sharp rise in specialized care. Now detecting diabetes is just a prick away. “Earlier the detection, better the cure,” is the golden rule for treating this ailment. Here’s some information about types of diabetes and its diagnosis.

The internal clinical data from 1968 to 2006 showed a ratio of 1 diabetic dog in 200 screened but the recent situation shows a ratio of 1 diabetic dog in every 50 screened. Seeing the fathom of the problem, we cannot ignore the role of responsible pet parenting to avoid the incidences of diabetes in our pooch.

Types of Diabetes

We can broadly classify diabetes in two types: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Diabetes Insipidus. But DM is one of the most common endocrine conditions seen in dogs. This disease requires a lot of care, commitment and hardwork from both the vet and the pet parent.

A long but aspiring fight…to win

Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the endocrine system. It is found commonly in middle-aged dogs usually between 7 and 9 years. Most females, who have not been spayed, are at higher risk of the disease (66%) due to hormonal influence. Neutered females and males are less commonly affected but obese pooches are also prone to it. DM is caused by an insulin deficiency. Insulin is the hormone that regulates how sugar is absorbed and utilized by the cells and tissues of the body. Without insulin, sugar can accumulate in the blood stream, causing a number of undesirable effects. When the level of sugar reaches approximately twice its normal level in the blood, some of it spills over into the urine.

Devil…has two faces

Diabetes mellitus are of two main types…Type I and Type II.

Type I : In this, there is total loss of beta cells, which are present in the pancreas, which are responsible for secreting insulin. This represents the most common form of DM in dogs. And the pet then has to be maintained on insulin given externally for the rest of his life. This destruction of beta cells can happen because of the following reasons:

  • Immune mediated disease – The dog must be genetically predisposed to diabetes and various environmental factors, such as drug administration or exposure to infective agent is required to trigger development of antibodies against beta cells. Thereby a slow progressive loss of beta cells begins. This remains sub-clinical in the early stages but will eventually result in the development of typical symptoms associated with DM.
  • Genetic pre-disposition.
  • Pancreatitis, acute or chronic pancreatitis are common conditions in the dog. But are rare causes of DM in dogs.
  • Prolonged exposure to insulin antagonist hormones.

Type II : This type of DM is characterized by resistance to insulin rather than the loss of beta cells. These dogs may initially be non-insulin dependent but ultimately become Type I insulin dependent diabetics. This resistance to or inhibition of insulin secretion may occur as a result of over eating and obesity, elevated levels of growth hormone or the administration of glucocoticocoids and thyroxine. 

Detecting early… for better treatment

The onset of diabetes is usually very gradual and the owner misses the symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. So being a guardian, it’s our duty to keep a health check on them. And minutely observe them for symptoms, like :

  • Dogs start drinking lots of water and urinate very frequently. This happens due to high sugar content in the urine.
  • Pets may eat well and in some cases may overfeed but they may actually lose weight. These pets become hungrier because they cannot utilize the sugar present in their blood as this disease results in interference with proteins, fat, carbohydrate metabolism, so there’s weight loss.
  • Cataract development is seen and there may be signs of retinal hemorrhages as well.
  • General debility is noticed and in 50% of the cases, liver enlargement may also be detected.

As the condition progresses, the clinical picture also changes. The initial signs of polyphagia, polyuria and polydypsia may be superseded as the patient develops ketoacidosis and becomes depressed and anorexic, vomits and exhibits dehydration. The breath may have a sweet smell of acetone. The development of ketoacidosis should be viewed as a serious progression of the disease and if left untreated, will lead to diabetic coma and death.

Diagnosing dangers…

If owners find such symptoms, still you don’t have to panic since the above signs may also be found as symptoms of a host of different diseases, for example kidney failure, pyometra, liver problems, drug side affects (steroids, progesterone), Diabetes insipidus etc. Therefore proper diagnostic techniques need to be applied to reach a conclusion.

  • The history of the animal will provide vet with the symptoms of excessive water and food intake. And then a confirmation of the same can be reached by measuring the water intake over a 24-hour period.
  • Analysis of the urine will reveal the presence of glucose. Urinary tract infection as a secondary complication is common in diabetic patients.
  • A persistently elevated fasting blood glucose level above the renal threshold of 10-20mmol/l.
  • A complicated case with ketoacidosis will show the presence of a sweet smell on the breath.

Elevations in the levels of kidney function test values are commonly encountered. If your pet suffers from diabetes, don’t lose hope because it can be controlled by proper treatment and cure. To know more, look forward to our next issue – Jan/Feb 08.

(Dr. Kamaldeep Chaggar is a 2nd generation vet; she did her graduation in veterinary science from PAU, Ludhiana and worked with clinics in London and USA. She has also authored several articles on pets and is a regular on radio and TV pet shows.) (To be continued…)

– by Dr. Kamaldeep Chaggar



Doggy Day Care – A vision for tomorrow

Life for the city dog- a continuous wait – looking forward to the return of her guardian, in which the long hours are mostly spent sleeping. And when the clock strikes the time of return- the bundle of energy is all set for play and activity, which are at times met enthusiastically by the guardian while other times the lil one has to wait till her pet parent indulges.

Now imagine a situation where you are at work and your pooch is also having the time of her life interacting with doggy buddies, playing , romping, using mental and physical energy and if possible in natural environs. This would keep her mentally active and stimulated. Dogs are social and it is very important getting them socialised with their fellow companions. Lack of socialisation also leads to behavioural problems, which is also a big reason wherein certain people abandon their pets. The other benefits are that the dog is not bored and has a purpose and interest and can enjoy joie de vivre. Even certain small breeds have high energy levels, which can be properly channelised in a day care facility. A day care facility would also make the gaurdian happy as one can see one’s pet healthy and happy.

One such initiative taken by Rajesh and Shailendra in Gurgaon is called Kennel?1, which is a complete doggy heaven. A place where Sparkle had a ball, made buddies, romped and was completely happy, which was evident the moment he reached there till he slept at night, totally contented. I then made a resolution to take him there more often.

So here’s from Sparkle and Team of Dogs and Pups -wishing you all a great 2006, making resolutions with a difference-may it be exercising your lil’ darling, taking them on vacations, camps, socialising them, finding out places which are dog friendly- so that together you can enjoy this special bond and celebrate the whole year through.

Shweta Khurana

Ebrahim & Sons – Committed to all doggy needs

Mumbai based Ebrahim & Sons (pet shop), dating back to 1928, claims to be one of the first pet shops in India.  An organisation committed, caring and catering to all doggy needs! An organisation of quality and substance, which identifies the need of the consumer and feels happy in delighting them.

The Ebrahim & Sons pet shop was established in 1928 by Mr. A R Ebrahim, an animal lover and a visionary in pet needs’ identification. At that time, people used ropes for their pets. Only a few imported collars were present. Seeing the demand for collars in India, Mr. Ebrahim began getting collars locally manufactured for its customers. Today, the company boasts of being a one-stop shop for all doggy needs.
Mr. R R Merchant, the second generation owner of the shop told us the reasons why people keep dogs. He informed that some 15 years back, people kept dogs as a status symbol, but now they have pets for others reasons, of which companionship and security are the main purposes. Mr. Merchant, however, narrated some funny reasons for keeping a dog as well. He said that he had one customer who kept a dog to scare away the guests as he had a lot of guests visiting him very frequently!!
In this jetsetting lifestyle, the demand for prepared doggy foods is fast increasing as people find it more convenient and less time-consuming. Personally, Mr. Merchant insists that the pets should be given a mix of home-cooked food, dry food and tinned food.
The pet shop also offers galvanised iron kennels for transportation which are accepted by all airlines. These are customised and manufactured as per the requirements of the customer.
Being in this business for almost 75 years is an achievement in itself. And their major USP is the personal touch they extend to their clients and their innovative ideas. Mr. Merchant believes that the organisation belief was incorporated by his father, who believed that a rich person is a man who has sufficient resources, and if one has in excess, one must give it to others.
“To this day, we follow his teachings and values and are contended with what we have created. My father was always very agile. Even at the age of 75, he used to come to the shop and judge the need of the customer. He even climbed ladders to get the stock for the customer. My father had it all – good health, good mind, wealth and we are here because of his teachings, blessings and love,” Mr Merchant fondly remembered with love and affection.
The organisation completely adheres to quality standards and identifies customer needs.  Their motto is not only to sell a product, but to sell an idea. “Whenever I get a new client, I take time to ask his exact requirements and then bring out a solution for him. An owner takes care of his one or more number of pets, we take care of the needs of over 1000 pets,” added Mr. Merchant. This way, Mr. Merchant knows each of his customers personally.
“We have been successful because of our integrity and selling genuine products. We never force our customers to buy anything that their dogs do not need. In all, we sell the right product at the right time at right price in right place and in sufficient quantities. If something doesn’t sell, we sell it half the price and that is the trick,” added Mr. Merchant. As a value-added service, they also provide home delivery of the products, so that the clients get the products conveniently at home. But Mr. Merchant is of the view that it is disadvantageous for the client as he misses to see the amazing new products available in the market.
The organisation has always been flexible and open-minded to inculcate new ideas. As Mr Merchant puts it, “To conceal ignorance is to increase it. And because of our value system, our customers have faith in us and believe that they will never be cheated.”
Ebrahim & Sons stock both foreign as well as Indian products. Mr. Merchant believes that people are more inclined towards foreign products and do not realise that Indian products are also superior in quality and come with an added advantage of being lower-priced.
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The shop also takes feedback from his customers and extends it to doggy product manufacturers so that they can constantly improve their products. So Ebrahim & Sons is a shop with a difference and personal touch. Only an animal lover can take such extra efforts to provide such intensive solutions for all doggy needs.
As an organisation, they have always tried to delight the customer by fulfilling and exceeding their needs, which has kept them going for the past 75 years and this would certainly take them into future as they are totally committed to all doggy needs.
For more info, contact Ebrahim & Sons at Kwality House, 1-Hughes Road, Kemps Corner, Mumbai-400036, Tel : 022-23805513, 23806278.