Ast the Expert
In this section, you can ask the questions to our experts. In this section, you can ask the questions to our experts. In this section, you can ask the questions to our 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.

Dr. Natasha Couto, a Veterinary Surgeon who done her Masters in Surgery from Bombay Veterinary College has Bn into private practice for ta last 11 yrs..has two clinics in Mumbai ie: Mulund (W)& Hiranandani, Powai..after completion of My MVSc, was freelancing & voluntarily associated with several NGO’s..have always grown up with pets & rescuing &fostering injured animals & birds..& it has always Bn my dream since childhood to b a vet.

I am 41 yrs old. I am an IT professional. I have trained dogs for the past 15 yrs for fun. Currently, I live in Chennai. I want to make each pet owner, a great dog trainer. I use ethical and scientific methods

Poorvi Anthony is a qualified professional groomer and pet service specialist and is the director of Just Dogs Superstores and Spa.

Most dogs develop type 1 diabetes which the body fails to make enough insulin to serve it needs. This means Insulin treatment is required for your pet. The goal of treating a diabetic animal is to minimise blood glucose fluctuations, eliminate the symptoms associated with high blood glucose levels (excessive drinking, urination, and appetite), and improve the quality of the pet’s life. As in diabetic people, a good daily routine of eating and exercising for diabetic pets will help prevent irregular fluctuations in blood sugar level. Ideally meals and treatments are given as close to the same time as possible each day. A consistent amount of tolerable/controlled exercise each day is ideal for dogs.

Question by – Reit Malhotra, Bangalore

Some helpful tips to reduce these problems are exercising your dog before the guests arrive – more relaxed or ready to take a nap. Avoid excited greetings when you come home and try to come in quietly. If the arrival of guests makes your dog excitable, give him a break in his crate/kennel or in a quiet room with a familiar doggie bed or blanket. Allow your pooch to join the guests after the initial commotion has subsided. Teach your dog to sit, even when excited. You’ll start this training in unexciting situations and gradually build to more and more exciting situations until the dog is totally steady. Pat him, praise or give treat when the dog takes the sit position. Make sure that guests also pat the dog as a reward for getting it right. You may also try keeping your pet under your control (leash or harness) for few minutes until all your guests settled and gradually try without leash.

Question by – Sudhanshu Dey, Kolkata

I may need further information to arrive at a specific diagnosis. However, considering his age, weight loss and no or less urine production could be a sign of kidney failure. Your pet may not pass urine if there is any obstruction in urinary tract (stones, growth, etc). Get him examined ASAP with blood work to find the underlying cause.

Question by – Abhishek Sharma, New Delhi

You don’t mention whether you have done obedience training or your pet well socialised to be a good, well-controlled companion. First you may start with a suitable collar, harness, or head halter to use with the leash on your dog or you may try a Gentle Leader or Halti head collar on your dog. This may help the dog experience in walking under control around other dogs or people. Once you develop confidence, take your dog walking separately in a suitable area or pick places to walk where there will not be loose dogs. Training with your dog in a good class will give you the best chance of developing your ability to handle your dog as much as possible.

Question by – Bobby, Bijnor

Any type of wound, smelly or wet, may become the perfect spot for flies to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, maggots will begin to feast on any dead or dying tissue. Therefore, it is important to keep the wound clean and the underlying problem is treated. Your vet may remove maggots and use topical medicines on wound to kill any maggots infested. He may also advise creams or spray that may help keep the files away.

Question by – Salahuddin, Calicut

Weakness or limping in hind legs in large breed puppies like yours develops from variety of skeletal problems including hip dysplasia. Limping can also be the result of infection or trauma, metabolic, neuromuscular or degenerative diseases. The causes of hip dysplasia are complex and involve heredity and environmental factors, such as overeating and rapid weight gain. Most often, overweight due to excess energy/overfeeding or excess calcium supplementations predispose growing puppies to develop hip and joint problems. Treatment for hip dysplasia is based on the age and size of the patient, degree of pain, physical examination, x-ray findings, and your expectations for how active your pet should be. The conservative treatment includes enforced rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medication. Once the clinical signs are controlled, the therapy includes weight reduction if needed and an exercise programme designed to improve the strength of your pet’s rear legs.

Question by – Nagesh, Gokak

The cause of perianal fistulas remains unclear, but it is believed to be immune mediated or related to reaction from some food allergens. Some believe that it is related to a form of colitis. Therefore, it is advisable to find underlying cause. If there are no causes determined, the medical management using immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine or prednisone found to be encouraging. Azathioprine, another potent immunosuppressive agent, may be tried if prednisone or cyclosporine is unsuccessful. Surgery is now usually reserved for cases that involve the anal sacs or for selective fistulas that do not respond to medical management. Your vet may advise food trial using novel proteins which your pet has not been exposed. Likewise your vet can conduct neurological examination to assess bladder and bowel control.

Question by – Rama Iyer, Bangalore

Osteoarthritis (OA) can be a progressive problem in which pain and disuse lead to further deterioration of joint movement and function. Therapeutic exercise and physical modalities (cryotherapy, thermotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation) may be indicated to enhance motion or reduce pain, allowing improved function. Massage may be beneficial in reducing muscle spasms. Lifestyle changes, such as the use of ramps may also be considered. A physical therapy involves suitable exercise, avoiding obesity and, least important, medication. Low impact exercise is preferable, such as swimming or leashed walks. Many nutraceuticals and diets are promoted for management of joint problems, for example, use of Royal Canin ‘Mobility Support’ diet may benefit your pet. Please consult your vet before you make any change in the management.

Question by – Ajita Sharma, Ahemdabad

The two most common manifestations of aggressive behaviour (in growing puppy) towards humans are fear biting and dominance-related aggression. Fear biting is most commonly seen in a dog raised without appropriate human contact during the socialisation period of growth (6 to 12 weeks of age). When a dog shows aggression toward members of the pet parent’s family rather than strangers, the animal is probably attempting to establish dominance over those family members. So, if the pack leader (your dog) decides that a member of the pack (you or a family member) is getting out of line, he may bite that person to show them ‘who’s the boss’. If your dog is properly trained to sit, stay and come, he’ll be less likely to be aggressive with people because his first concern will be to obey your commands. A dog who is under control and knows you are the leader of his ‘pack’ will behave and won’t bite anyone. The more he gets outside and encounters lots of other people and unfamiliar things, the less likely he will be to act aggressively around people. So, provide your dog with a chance to socialise with people and other dogs. Although it is bit late, with the help of a qualified obedience instructor or dog behaviourist, it’s possible to correct this problem. This process will also require you and your family to make changes in the way you interact with your dog as well. Don’t abruptly reach for your dog or his collar or pull his legs. First have the dog sit and stay. Then leash him. Don’t disturb him when he is resting, sleeping, or lying in front of a door or on sofa or bed. Likewise, don’t let your dog sleep on bed, especially if he reacts aggressively when disturbed there. If your dog barks, growls, or ignores you, try to shift his attention to an exercise or a task he knows well. If this doesn’t help, walk away from him, or sequester him in another room. Banishment and withdrawal of attention are the most potent forms of correction. Neutering may help to some extent but not completely.

Question by – Rohit Kapur, Pune

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 or ear canal anatomical problems. Failure to address the underlying cause in a pet with ear problem dooms one to treatment failure. Your vet may advise series of tests including cytology to find out the underlying cause. Your vet can also show you how to properly clean and use ear drops at home. Keeping your pet’s ears clean is important because it helps prevent an environment in the ears that promotes inflammation.

Question by – Jasmine, Kurukshetra

Demodicosis, also known as red mange, is a skin condition caused by a microscopic parasitic mite, Demodex (normally present in hair follicles). Most localised rashes of demodicosis heal with minimal treatment. Generalised demodicosis requires more aggressive long-term therapy depending on the underlying cause. Secondary bacterial skin infections are also be treated. Periodic rechecks including followup skin scrapings are usually performed every 2 to 4 weeks to help identify whether the mites are being eradicated. The treatment must be continued until 2-3 consecutive skin scrapings until no mites are showing at all. Good nutrition for strong immunity and minimising stress are important for recovery.

Question by – –Manisha Rai, Mumbai

Dog bite wounds must require immediate medical attention. The wound must be cleaned immediately with soap water or recommended antimicrobial solution. The bite wound must be assessed by your vet for depth of injury, infection and reviewing anti-rabies vaccination status. Please take him to your vet before the infection spreads to the eyes.

Question by – Rishabh Kumar, Kanpur

Try not to manage your dog’s separation anxiety problem by giving her even more attention—you’ll only create a vicious cycle of neediness. Do you have a set routine each day before you leave the house? Perhaps you jingle your keys, put your bag or briefcase near the door or say ‘bye’ to your spouse and kids. Your dog picks up on these cues, and associates them with your leaving. Try to mix up your normal routine by doing your usual activities in a different order. Plan some short trips that allow your dog to gradually adjust to being lonely. If your dog seems comfortable after half-an-hour of your departures, and exhibits no anxious behaviour, increase your time away. Taking your dog for a long walk before you leave will help make her too tired to misbehave after you leave. Before you leave, bury toys and hide treats where she can find and ‘dig’ them up. Keeping a TV or radio on can also provide ‘company’ for your pooch. Getting another pet is also not a bad idea.

Question by – Adithya, Mysore

Dogs too suffer allergic skin diseases like atopy or flea allergies. Itching and hair loss can be the result of many disorders causing inflammation including parasites or dry skin. Skin and hair coat alone take 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. Evening primrose oil or sunflower/corn oil along with fish oil and zinc everyday in the balanced food may also help him to improve his hair coat in the short term when no underlying cause identified.

Question by – Dolly Kumari, Patna

Most dogs dislike wearing shoes and they really don’t need them unless recommended by your vet for medical reasons. You may try shoes on one paw to start with and encourage him to walk around inside in order to get used to the shoes. He may not walk comfortably and may try to remove it. When he walks a few steps around the room normally, make sure that you praise/reward him with treats. This will positively reinforce the behaviour of wearing the shoes. Do this practice several times on other paws throughout the first few weeks.

Question by – Nakul Bipalliwar

Dogs only need bathing when they are dirty or on the advice of your veterinarian. Make sure that you only bath your dog in fine weather or indoors to avoid chills. We generally do not advise bath for young puppies, particularly in winter. We suggest to give him sponge bath with plain lukewarm water when required. When he grows up to an adult, you can use shampoo for regular bath, generally twice a month. Never use human shampoo, use only dog shampoo specific to your dog’s skin condition. Ask your vet to recommend a good quality brand shampoo.

Question by – Dilipsinh Jadeja, Rajkot

Ticks lay their eggs (as many as 18,000 in some species) in sheltered areas on or near the ground. Successful control of ticks depends on eliminating these pests from the dog and the environment. To control ticks on a dog, all animals in the household must be part of the ticks control programme. There are two basic categories of ticks control products: Adulticides and Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)/Insect Development Inhibitors (IDIs). It is always best to treat the dog and the environment on the same day. The use of these insecticides must be preceded by a thorough vacuuming; special attention should be paid to the areas under furniture, carpets, near pet bedding, and along mouldings. Make sure that other pets/dogs whom your dog frequently contacts/visits are free from fleas and ticks. The veterinarian will choose a product or products that combine safety, efficacy, and ease of use for the client. Often a combination of adulticide and an IGR or IDI is used.

Question by – Birinder Singh, Mumbai

Some physiological reasons like light intensity, besides nutrition, genetics, health that can cause dog to shed hair excessively. Dogs may also shed excessive hair because of stress, worms, harsh climate and general illness. Therefore, my approach would be to find underlying cause(s) like parasites or allergy, hormonal imbalance, infection, etc and then your vet will be able to recommend suitable medications that will eliminate the cause and hair fall. Balanced and complete nutrition is most important for healthy skin and hair coat. Feed him balanced pet food that contains nutrients like omega fatty acids, zinc and vitamins required for skin and hair coat. Regular brushing at least 2-3 times a week also helps to remove unwanted hair.

Question by – S Kamath, Mumbai

What you have to remember is that the diet you feed your dog should be complete and balanced. This means that the balanced diet will meet all his required nutrients and energy demand, regardless of his life stage or life style. Home-made diets depending on the sources vary with respect to quality, digestibility and nutrient content, which is why it is difficult to make balanced and complete food at home (without consulting nutritionist). Most reputed commercial pet food items meet the pet’s nutritional requirements. Dogs following surgery may require special diet for faster recovery and healing. Your vet may recommend commercial recovery diets or suggest right homemade diet.

Question by – Kalpana Paul, Chandigarh

My advice depends on your objective of keeping two dogs. Many pet parents plan to keep second dog hoping to reduce behavioural problems like separation anxiety or loneliness, etc. But the truth is, another dog is not likely to change that behaviour. Some may introduce another pet just to rejuvenate senior pet. While dogs are social creatures and most love to play with other dogs, your dog will still need human company and his daily walk with you. You’ll also need to spend one-on-one time with your new dog to bond with him and train him. If you don’t have enough time to spend with your dog, it’s unrealistic to think a second dog can fill in the gaps. While two dogs can absolutely be twice the fun, it also means double expenses of food, veterinary care, etc. Breed selection depends on your lifestyle, budget and space.

Question by – TGV Prasad, Hyderabad