One of the most experienced veterinary specialists in India, Dr SB Mathur is running a successful practice in Lucknow
Q: My two-year-old pug has a lump on his abdomen. What should I do? Tripti Shukla
Most lumps are fatty tumours, though, these are benign, meaning not cancerous. Fewer than half of lumps and bumps you find on a dog are malignant, or cancerous. Still, they can look the same from the outside, so it is hard to tell. Unless you are sure about the cause of a lump or bump, take your dog to the vet for an exam. If you see fast growth, redness, swelling, pus, an opening, or if the dog is in pain, make that appointment even sooner. Your vet will take a small tissue sample from the lump and send it for a biopsy. In a few days, you will find out if it is cancerous. Even if it is not, surgery can usually remove the lump. The bigger concern is if it is cancerous and the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. If so, your pet may need radiation or chemotherapy, or both.
Q: The iris of my 10-year-old Labrador appears whitish. Could it be start of cataract? Rahul Singh
When you see dogs with whitish or cloudy eyes, it may be a natural part of the aging process, not necessarily cataract. But it can be a symptom of a variety of eye problems, and some can be painful for your dog. Most dogs, with age, develop a haze within the lens similar to cataracts, but this condition rarely causes vision impairment. However, focusing ability may become impaired. It might be a good idea to discuss your dog’s aging eyes with your veterinarian, so that you know what to expect as your dog grows older.
Q: My three-year-old pug has started wheezing. What could be wrong? Meha Bhasin
Dogs with flat faces or short snouts are more prone to wheezing from allergies, seasonal or environmental. You have not specified here if it does so occasionally or all the time. After a strenuous walk or exercise session, it may be a normal thing. You could be mistaking it for panting and exhaustion. Anyway, it may even be a symptom of heart disease or congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure can cause fluid to build up in a dog’s lungs, especially at night or lying down for an extended period. The most crucial step is to see your vet right away. Treatment for your canine companion’s breathing difficulty will depend on your veterinarian’s diagnosis. Your vet will do a physical examination and may order a blood test, X-rays, or other lab tests.