They seem to have matched upto their masters in showing symptoms of lifestyle diseases. Veterinarians in the Capital are getting cases of rising obesity, depression, absent mindedness and mood swings in dogs. <b1>
“One case a day of such diseases,” says vet Dr Ajay Sood of Dog & Cat clinic, Preet Vihar.
“People feed their dogs junk food and give them no exercise. This extra love leads to obesity, consequences of which are similar to human diseases. “Obesity can result in arthritis, skin problems and high cholesterol,” he adds.
On the other hand, there are people who keep a pet because it is “fashionable”, but don’t have the time to care for it. “The owners are working and leave the dog alone at home, due to which it suffers from ‘separation anxiety’. At times, if there are two dogs in the family and one gets more attention, the other feels neglected,”, he adds.
Veterinarian Dr Rahul Verma of Dr Rahul’s Lifeline Pet Clinic, Dwarka, says many dogs are becoming anxious and absentminded and he gets three to four such cases a week. They forget where their cot and food bowl is.
At times they get used to being looked after by the domestic help and misses when he/she goes on leave, sometimes even refusing to eat. He says, “A dog with no biting history starts biting, or running randomly in circles.
The problems are generally treated psychologically as medicines aren’t available.” However, some medicines for humans, such as tranquilisers, can be given to dogs as well.
“The salts are the same, we just have to keep the dosage in mind,” says Dr PP Singh.
Another symptom of depression is lick granuloma. The animal indulges in constant licking that is reflective of anxiety. This happens when his schedule changes. “Generally, we try to treat them psychologically. We resort to anti-anxiety drugs only sparingly,” says Dr Singh.
Duleep Madan of Creative pets, in Rajouri Garden says that there are medicines for dogs, but nothing specifically for depression. “There is demand for diet food for obese dogs,” he adds.
Dr Sood prescribes one medicine for depressed dogs — love and affection.