One of the most experienced veterinary specialists in India, Dr SB Mathur is running a successful practice in Lucknow
Q: My two year old Spitz suffers from tick problem. I had taken her to a vet who gave me a shampoo. I have bathed her but the ticks don't go. Is there a permanent solution to the problem? Divya Tripathi
Ticks should go away after a proper bath using a good anti-tick shampoo, but if the condition still prevails it is time for a deeper diagnosis. Only after that can it be ascertained whether the tick problem is due to skin ailment, unhygienic living conditions (if your dog sits or roams in areas that are unclean, muddy or if you use cow-dung manure in your lawn) or some internal infection. Some injections can also be given that are completely safe and should rid your dog of the pests.
Q: My Labrador is two year old. She has a habit of sneaking out of doors and playing with street dogs. We have her fully vaccinated. Is that okay if she mingles with the mongrels? RajKaushal
On a general rule, we must not let our pet dogs mingle with the street dogs. There are a number of reasons for that—Your dog may be vaccinated but you are not, and it may inadvertently carry back germs to you from its contact with the strays (also there are allergies and ailments that can still be contacted despite routine vaccinations); your dog may get into a fight with the dogs and incur injuries that would cause you unnecessary hassle of additional medication and vaccinations even if your dog is vaccinated for rabies. Then, the most important reason is, your dog may conceive if you let her out during the breeding season. Similarly, those with male dog should also show responsibility and not let their dogs sneak out during that period and impregnate the bitches on the streets.
Q: My mixed breed terrier keeps getting allergy in the belly section. At first, I was alarmed and consulted a vet. He gave me a spray that was okay but we developed allergy from it and the dog also resisted every time we tried to spray the medicine. Anyway, I have now noticed that my pet gets allergy as a routine. Please advise me what to do. Shashank Dubey
Your pet seems to be prone to seasonal allergies, just like many human beings! You can give him the prescribed medicines and bathe him with a good shampoo, but should also find out the trigger. For example, he may be allergic to certain food ingredients, or the mud, or some pollutant in the air. If you are able to ascertain that then it would be easy to manage and treat the allergy.
Q: I have a five year old Indie female dog that was earlier very active. However, lately she has become quite dull and prefers to sleep most of the time. Can she be ill or is she aging? Seema Chatterjee
We are witnessing extreme temperatures and the bad weather may have taken a toll on your pet. Most probably she is neither unwell nor aging if she is eating normally. Let the weather improve and her mood may change too. She may even be suffering from depression or mood swing if her menstrual date is near. If you still have doubts, consult your vet.
Q: There is a stray cat that frequents my house. She is unafraid of us and comes near us to rub her body fondly against our feet. However, of late my son and I have started noticing uneven colouring on her skin and her fur is also thinning. Is that a disease and can we treat her at home? KK Singh
It is good that you show compassion to strays. Your cat is probably suffering from skin allergy. You should consult a vet. If it is possible, take the cat along, if not then take photos of the affected area (proper close-ups) so that he can get an idea and advise treatment accordingly.