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: My one and a half year old Rottweiler lost his voice 20 days back. I have consulted a vet, but there is no improvement. Please help. – Asit Kumar, Gajapati, Odisha
Dr KG Umesh: Dogs with loss of voice must undergo complete physical examination, with focus on voice box. The frequent causes are damage to vocal chords from trauma or laryngeal paralysis or other neurologic deficits. Does your pet also have any respiratory noises that are exacerbated by excitement, exercise, elevated environmental temperature? It may be hereditary in some breeds or acquired because of systemic diseases. Most cases are managed either with medicines or surgery. Please get him examined ASAP
Q: My Dalmatian is 12 years old and facing kidney problem. At present, his blood urea is 186.4 and creatinine is 5.76. What are his recovery chances? He has stopped taking food for last 20 days and is on drip from last three days. Please advice.
– Mahendra Singh, Delhi
Dr KG Umesh: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is an ongoing disease that can deteriorate over time and a common problem in senior dogs. The treatment is directed to reduce the kidney’s workload associated with decreased kidney function, prevent or slow any deterioration of kidney function as well as improve the quality of the pet’s life. Dogs initially require fluids to correct dehydration, electrolyte, and acid base abnormalities. Once your pet is stabilised, he can be fed on special renal diets that are proven to prolong the life and improve quality of life. Hemodialysis and CRRT are also being successfully performed in dogs at selected referral hospitals, but renal transplants not yet available in India. Prognosis and duration of therapy vary tremendously from patient to patient and depend on the cause and degree of kidney damage (staging), as well as secondary complications like hypertension. Dogs who are well stabilised and managed can live for few years.
Q: My six-year-old Pug has ear problem. Earlier his ears used to make excessive wax and get red. But around 2-3 weeks back I noticed he was not reacting to my voice. In addition, he got a paralysis attack a year back. Please help.
– Jasmine Singh, Kurukshetra
Dr KG Umesh: Inflammation in ear canal may occur as a simple reaction due to parasites, overgrowth of microbes or growths. It may also arise from allergic disease like atopy or endocrine diseases. Affected animals are often very irritated by the inflammation and exhibit signs such as scratching at ear, shaking head, holding head tilted to one side.  If inflammation or pain is severe at first that the ear cannot be handled painlessly, your vet may prescribe pills/administer injections to control pain/infection or clean ears under sedation. Your vet can show you how to properly clean and apply eardrops at home. Keeping your pet’s ears clean is important because it helps prevent an environment in the ears that promotes inflammation.
Q: We have a Golden Retriever and my German Shepherd died last month at 11 years of age. We are in 50 plus age group and have a comfortable house with garden. Should we go for German Shepherd or Rottweiler as we will prefer family dog plus some protection? Kindly advice. – Vipin, Kashipur, Uttarakhand
Dr KG Umesh: The German Shepherd is known throughout the world for his loyalty and trustworthiness. The ideal pet parents of German Shepherds are active people who are able to be assertive and command respect from their dog – while respecting the dog back in return. As a working dog, he is able to act as a guardian or a guide. However, this breed being active needs some mental stimulation as well as physical work like daily walk with some exercise. The Rottweiler being suitable as ideal security dog needs firm guidance and he is self assured, steady and fearless. A Rottweiler must learn, from the start, his position in the family as they have unpredictable temperament. There are many other breeds suitable for your age and lifestyle. Consult your nearest vet for other options.
Q: My Labrador, who is now around two years old, is not getting her heat cycle. Do advice what to do. – Manish, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Dr KG Umesh: Dogs generally have their first heat at about 6 months of age; however, this can vary as some show heat signs late as 18 months. There are several reasons including hormonal to nutritional problems. Some dogs may not show visible signs during estrus period. Please take her to your vet for complete examination including vaginal cytology.