Inbreeding and sluggish lifestyle is resulting in diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, joint pain and cardiac ailments among pet dogs, said veterinary experts at the three-day conference in Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (LUVAS) that concluded here today. The convention was organised by the Indian Society for Veterinary Surgery.
Interacting with The Tribune, veterinary doctors maintained that the number of families with pets had increased but living spaces were decreasing as people were living in flats, especially in the metro cities like Gurugram and Delhi.
The unethical practice of inbreeding by the unscrupulous elements who run commercial ventures is also making pets more prone to genetic diseases, they said.
“The space constraint and the lack of time with the owners are taking a toll on the health of the pets. It is seen that owners offer quality feed to the pet, but they don’t have enough space for the movement of their pets,” said Dr Samar Mahendran, a Gurugram-based veterinarian who participated in the conference.
“Just like in humans, a change in the lifestyle of pets has resulted in lifestyle-diseases like diabetes among them. The lack of movement of dogs causes joint pains to them. Similarly, overeating without proper exercise results in obesity and cardiac issues,” he maintained.
Another veterinarian, Dr Salisha, stated that they observed that dogs as young as a year old were getting afflicted by cancer. “Obviously, the issues of lifestyle and inbreeding are affecting the health of the pets,” she said, adding that the average lifespan of dogs has come down from 14-15 years to 8-9 years.