Millennium Post

Know your puppies well

Puppies are prone to infections and are very sensitive in nature. Timely vaccination and emotional back-up will help them grow better into healthy adult dogs.

My three-week-old puppy has a lump on her belly. Is this a malignant tumour? Do I need to go to the vet?

Lumps found on the abdomen of puppies are usually umbilical hernias. They are not dangerous. The abdomen of most animals is made up of the organs inside it, a layer of fatty tissue and then the layers of muscle. These muscle layers are joined by a white strip of strong connective tissue.

Sometimes, this strong white line is not complete and there is a gap. Through this gap some of the contents of the abdomen may poke through and be felt as a soft lump around the region where your dog's belly button (umbilicus) would be found. There is nothing to worry about this.

However, if the lump is found in some other location and you suspect that it is a tumour, take him/her to the vet. Benign tumours usually occur in old dogs and very rarely in puppies. If the lump changes size or secretes fluids, then it might be a malignant tumour and you should immediately get him/her checked.

What is CPV and how can it be fatal to dogs?

Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious disease that can be fatal to dogs. Puppies aged six weeks to six months are the most at risk. Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease that can be fatal. Many dogs that are diagnosed with 'parvo' will die. The virus attacks cells in a dog's intestines and stops them from being able to absorb vital nutrients. This means that a dog or puppy will become very weak and dehydrated. Symptoms of CPV include foul-smelling diarrhoea with blood in it, vomiting, loss of appetite, collapse, depression, fever and sudden death. CPV attacks a dog's cells in their intestine, meaning they become dehydrated and weak. There is no cure but vaccinating a dogs and puppies against CPV will protect them

Am I bad pet owner if I leave my pet alone at home during work? Where can I leave him?

We understand the guilt you feel when you look at the sad eyes with which your furry companion looks at you when you are leaving for work. First of all, ensure that when you leave your pet alone, he/she should have access to food, water and a place to pee and poo.

Most cats do not mind being left alone for long hours, during work. However, they should not be left alone for very long because cats too are social animals that need interaction. Also, leaving cats alone for too long could mean damage to your furniture.

It is not advisable to leave adult dogs alone for more than eight hours. Young puppies under six months of age can't be left alone for more than two hours.

You should house train your pet so that they do not develop separation anxiety. They should know that it is okay to be alone. It is a good idea to tire out your pet before leaving them, so that they fall asleep eventually. Provide them with puzzle treats to keep them busy and entertained. Most dogs will sleep through the night, if you have a night shift.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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