Spaying or medication can control false pregnancy
Q: I have just acquired a kitten that strayed into my home. Is it okay to feed her ‘people’s food’? Preeti Bhatia
What exactly do you mean by people’s food? Do you mean daal, roti, vegetables or milk, eggs, meat? Cats are obligate carnivores, and as such, have a delicate balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins and minerals that must be maintained. Unbalanced diets with vitamin/mineral imbalances risk a variety of health problems. Kittens grow quickly in their first year of life, so during this time, they should ideally be fed a commercial diet designed for kittens. Kitten diets are formulated for optimal growth and development, particularly by carefully balanced calcium and phosphorus levels. After one year of age, your kitten can be transitioned to a diet for adult cats by gradually mixing the old and new foods together over a 5-7 day period. Home cooked diets are not as commonly recommended, but are preferred by some cats and pet owners. If you opt to go down this road, a carefully crafted recipe by a specialist in veterinary nutrition should be used with proper vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Q: My Labrador bitch is showing symptoms of false pregnancy, I think. When would it end? Ruchika Kumar
In case you are unsure, here is some info: False pregnancy, or pseudo pregnancy, is a term used to denote a common condition in a non-pregnant female dog that is showing symptoms of pregnancy, lactation, or nursing, without producing puppies. The affected female dog shows these symptoms about a month or two after her estrus (heat) is over. A hormonal imbalance is thought to play a central role in affected female dogs. Depending on the severity of problem, the symptoms may last for more than a month. Unless symptoms persist, treatment is typically unnecessary. However, she is likely to experience the same symptoms with subsequent heat cycles unless she is spayed or bred. So, your veterinarian may recommend hormonal supplementation or spaying to prevent further episodes.
Q: I have a three-year-old Spitz bitch that has not bred even once. My friends tell me it is necessary to breed a dog. Is that so? What’s a good time to mate a female dog? Joy Menaz
No, it is not necessary to breed a dog! Dog breeding brings with it a lot of responsibility. Before you breed her, please be sure you will have good homes for all the puppies. It is irresponsible to produce a litter and then bring the puppies to a shelter if you can’t place them. Make certain that you have adequate facilities. A newborn litter in a basket is very cute, but untrained, un-housebroken five-week-olds running through your home may not be. They should stay with you until about eight weeks of age. Do you have somewhere safe to keep them, where they can get adequate exercise? Can you afford to feed them, take them to the veterinarian for their fist check-ups and shots? Please consider all of this before you breed her, or else there is simply no need because you have got her as a companion and not to eek out money from the sale of her puppies!
Q: My mixed breed dog eats grass. Should that be a cause for concern? Rajesh K Singh
Dogs enjoy a little vegetation from time to time. Especially when the grass is new and sweet, dogs are tempted to nibble on it. Although we don’t completely understand the reasons why dogs eat grass, ingesting a small amount is likely normal, and not inherently harmful. If your dog is eating grass excessively, and especially if he’s vomiting afterwards, there’s likely an underlying problem. Dogs that eat grass frequently need to be examined, and need diagnostic tests to determine if there’s an underlying problem, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, that’s spurring this behavior. A dog that eats a substantial amount of grass is at risk of a grass impaction, since it’s difficult for them to digest large quantities.