All you kiddies out there, we would love to know more about you and your dog. Do write in your poems, short stories or anecdotes of your loving doggy and see them splash here. Here’s the checklist of information we would love to have.
My Name is: Meghana Pampapathi
My Buddy’s Name: Krish
My Buddy’s Breed: Lhasa Apso
My Buddy’s Age: 9 months
My Buddy is: Male
My Buddy’s favourite treats: Dog chews
My Buddy’s funniest habit: When I, my mum and sister dry his fur using a hair dryer after bath, he tries to bite the air coming out of the hair dryer!.
My Buddy’s first love: Food, treats, me and more treats!
My Buddy and food: Pedigree
Celebrity my Buddy resembles the most: Hmmm…. not sure he’s unique!
Your character certificate to Buddy will say: Extremely loving, playful, amazing, naughty and excellent guard dog!!
A song you would like to dedicate for your buddy: Who let the dogs out!
BUDDY and ME: (Few of our favourite things)
List of activity we like doing the most: Sleeping, playing tug-of-war and of course eating!
What both of us indulge doing on most Sundays: Playing with each other
What is the best trick I have taught them: Hmmm… nothing as yet!
My dog Joey, who is a12 years old Lab has a lump on the back of his leg, I have been advised by my vet to go in for Chemotherapy. My concern is my dog’s age, to undertake the treatment at his age. Please do advice me what should I do. Also, I have two more dogs who keep playing with Joey – are they at any danger?
– Akshay, Delhi
If your vet does find a lump or tumour, a biopsy will be sent to a laboratory for analysis by a pathologist. This will help determine the type of growth, and whether or not it’s malignant/cancer. Bear in mind that not all tumours are cancerous. Lipomas (fatty tumours), warts, and histiocytomas are seldom dangerous and removal is a straight-forward procedure. Removal of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) and other tumours are much more difficult. In these cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are options to consider. Success of chemotherapy depends on the type and stage of cancer and some drugs may relieve discomfort and prolong a good quality of life. You should be prepared for possible chemotherapy-induced side effects. Few tumours like transmissible venereal (sexually transmitted) can be risk to other dogs but responds very well to chemotherapy.
We recently adopted a 2-month-old Spaniel pup, after one week, he fell sick and was diagnosed with distemper. To the uttermost grief of my family we had to put him to sleep. Is the virus in the environment and how can I protect the next pup? Also advise how one can ensure that the pup is healthy? Are there any norms/ guidelines which breeders follow? Are there any rules/ laws in India governing pet breeding?
– Anjali Das, Kolkata
Dogs are very susceptible to certain infectious diseases, especially distemper, ICH, parvovirus etc., which are preventable diseases. Distemper is transmitted usually by inhalation of virus in the air, which is contaminated by discharges from suffering dogs. Combined vaccination (all in one) against all these diseases has proved to be a very effective means of reducing the incidence of these diseases. Most pups lose protection from mother (maternal antibodies) at 6 –14 weeks of age; therefore, 2-3 vaccinations (2-3 weeks apart) are administered during this period. The risk of disease and stress-induced illness is greater for puppies. The best place to obtain a healthy puppy is from a recognised and reputable breeder or through your veterinarian. It is always best to see the mother if you are buying a puppy, so you can check that she is healthy and her puppies are free from signs of illness and all kinds of stress (weaning early, worms).
I recently read in a leading national daily that dog conjunctivitis cases are on the rise. Do explain about this diseases, prevention and cure.
– Rajeev, Jallandhar
Conjunctivitis in dogs can be primary due to allergy or infection or secondary due to underlying eye or internal diseases (glaucoma, uveitis, immune-mediated disease, tumours). Certain infections tend to become seasonal due to favourable conditions. Spasms of eyelids, abnormal persistent eye discharge or redness etc are the early signs that require immediate medical attention. Your vet may advise solutions and ointments to be applied after cleaning eyes. Some dogs may require Elizabethan collar to prevent self-trauma. Regular vaccination and health checks may help to prevent some forms of conjunctivitis.
I have to feed tablets to my pet, what is the best way to feed it? If I mix it with food, she gets the smell and does not eat it. If I try to put it into her mouth directly, she does not like it and growls.
– M Sathish, Trivandrum
It is important to practice tablet-giving (e.g., Vitamin pill) from the time your pooch is a puppy. Dogs will readily take some tablets/syrup designed for dogs or kids which are palatable. If crushing the tablet in food or disguised in other ways do not work, open the dog’s mouth with left hand by tilting the head upwards with thumb and index finger pushed in from outside the lips, behind canine tooth. With the opposite hand, open the mouth wide by pressing down on the lower incisors with your middle two fingers; pop the pill on the tongue as far back in the mouth as you can. Close the mouth, and hold it closed while stroking the throat to make the dog swallow. Visit your vet who can help you train giving pills to your pet. You can also try dog pill dispenser available in some pet shops or clinics.
Just Fur Fun!
All you kiddies out there, we would love to know more about you and your dog. Do write in your poems, short stories or anecdotes of your loving doggy and see them splash here. Here’s the checklist of information we would love to have and you can win a doggy gift hamper.
All about my buddy :
My Buddy’s Name : Cherie
My Buddy’s Breed : Beagle
My Buddy’s Age : 3 Months
My Buddy is : Female
My Buddy’s first love : None other than me
My Buddy and food : Royal Canin
Celebrity my Buddy resembles the most : Mr. Bean
Your character certificate to Buddy will say : Very naughty outside but loving inside
A song you would like to dedicate for your Buddy : How much is that doggy at the window?
BUDDY and ME: (Few of our favourite things)
List of activity we like doing the most : Playing & going for a walk
What both of us indulge doing on most Sundays : Walking and playing
What is the best trick I have taught him : Fetch the ball !
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 presently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for south Asia.
Q : I just want to know that what would be the appropriate diet for my 50-day-old female Labrador. She also bites things around. What should I do?
– Amit Jhingran, Hisar
Dr. K.G. Umesh : Proper nutrition allows for puppy to reach his full genetic potential. Some dog owners prepare homemade foods for their pets. But it’s difficult even for an experienced breeder to get the nutritional balance just right. Remember that puppies grow approximately 12 times faster than baby and baby foods/home prepared diets do not meet nutrient requirements of puppies. The best idea is to get your puppy used to eating commercially prepared foods from the very start as they are designed to meet all their nutritional requirements.
Also, it is normal for puppies to be “mouthie.” When she tries to bite, a GENTLE tap on the nose with a “NO BITE” command should be sufficient to correct this behaviour. Consistency is the key with puppies. When the pup stops the bad behaviour make sure you reward her with “GOOD (puppy’s name)!” Puppies want to make their owners happy and you need to help them by your voice tone when they are being good.
Q : My dog had a wound, which is now cured, but there is no hair growth in that area. Why?
– Sibi, Coimbatore
Dr. K.G. Umesh : Hair growth cycle is influenced by many factors such as hormones, stress, nutrition, diseases and drug therapy. The wound might have destroyed hair follicles. Your vet may help you to find underlying cause.
Q : My dog is probably pregnant. How do I confirm her pregnancy? Please advice me what care should be taken now, during birth and post birth. Also tell me about the pregnancy term.
– Sumonto Choudhury, Dehradun
Dr. K.G. Umesh : The diagnosis of pregnancy (gestation period: 57–69, with average of 63 days)–may begin with abdominal palpation and then be more accurately diagnosed via ultrasonography or canine pregnancy kits. Late in gestation, the female requires increased amounts of a well-balanced, high-energy diet to meet the needs of the developing offspring as well as to enable her to produce enough milk for the offspring. Lactation may begin as early as 7 days prepartum in the pregnant female, but most females produce milk hours before they whelp. Her appetite may decrease and nest-building behaviour begins 24 to 36 hours before parturition. A reduction in her body temperature of about 1.1°F signifies that whelping is 12 to 24 hours away. A whelping box should be provided in a quiet, dimly lit area that is free of drafts. She should be left alone in the whelping box with free access to food and clean water and should be monitored as unobtrusively as possible. If a puppy is not born within 2 hours of the start of abdominal contractions (true labour), she may need medical attention. Consult your vet for further information.
Q : I have a 12-weeks-old Labrador. Tell me about deworming and sterilisation schedule. Also, he does not like going out for a walk. What should I do?
– Suresh Gharpure, Mumbai
Dr. K.G. Umesh : Deworming is generally recommended every 2-3 weeks until 6 months of age and thereafter, once in 3 months. Your vet can advise you as to when it is best to have the neutering done (either puppy age or after sexual maturity). Puppies show increasing attraction to unusual things in their environment, and they learn what is and isn’t pleasing. If puppies are exposed in a non-frightening way to a wide variety of stimulating things during this period, they’re less likely to be afraid of new objects and situations later in life. Make sure that you have time to invest in an intensive socialisation programme during his early weeks with you that will have a long lasting effect on his behaviour.
Q : How can I puppy-proof my home?
– Deepika Dubey, Jabalpur
Dr. K.G. Umesh : Household items that you may consider harmless can be deadly to your puppy. He may tug or chew anything he finds including plants and electrical cords. Candles, burners, coins and similar objects can also be hazardous. Do not leave hazardous items, including medicines, poisonous plants, detergents and cleaning agents, where your puppy can get to them. Also, chocolates should be kept away from them. Make sure that all gates are shut securely and that your puppy cannot squeeze through or under your gate. Puppies soon learn that not everything in and around your home is for playing with and that some things are just not safe. In the meantime, do everything you can to ensure your puppy has a safe environment to grow up.
People, who have to live alone due to certain circumstances, get used to it but they crave company, any company. And dogs are very similar to human beings in this regard. Case in point – Shadow, my 2-year old black Labrador. He seems content spending large amount of time sleeping alone in the house, while I am away at work, he has an amazingly and endearing craving for company which is comic, touching and downright dangerous at times, example:
Every single dog, no matter what the breed, sex, size, colour, race, is greeted with an energetic wag of the tail and enquiring look on the face, which says,
“You want to be friends?” He is particularly fascinated by puppies and can watch them for hours with a wistful look, wanting to join them in their romps. Perhaps, he still thinks of himself as one of them, not withstanding his huge girth and height! So typically male! Some special doggy friends are greeted with low whimpers, which means that he really wants to go over and give them a big hug! I feel like a villain when I do not allow him to do that and he gives me this reproaching, mournful look, as if to say, “How could you?”
While dogs are his first preference for making friends, Shadow is a fair-minded and impartial fellow and likes others animals as well. Goats, cows, cats, horses, camels, buffaloes, all animals, great and small are given the option to touch noses with him and be fast friends forever! Sometimes, this offer of friendship boomerangs on him, like the time a gigantic 10 tonne buffalo (buffaloes seem to have the most “attitude”) gave him a shove with his horns instead of a friendly nose shake (doggy version of the handshake)! As such times, Shadow immediately retreats to safer grounds, i.e. hide behind me and peep out to gauge the mood of the offended creature. Talk about timely re-strategising in the face of changing circumstances! So versatile, so adaptable and so very street-smart. Any management consultant would be proud of him.
People are Shadow’s second best love. While we are on our walks, the sheer volume of appreciation that they get in return overwhelms anybody who gives Shadow the slightest encouragement in any form. It might be by way of slobbering huge licks on any exposed skin parts or a gentle mouthing of their hands or enthusiastic snorts and grunts. There are times when Shadow almost seems ready to jump into their arms and go home with them. People who are standing near cars, especially if they are opening or closing doors are watched with bated breath till he finally decides that no, they are not inviting him to get into their car for a joyride.
Shadow loves to sit by the roadside and watch the world go by. For him, the whole world is a meeting ground to hang out and make friends! How I wish I could be more like him…
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