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 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.