One of the most experienced veterinary specialists in India, Dr SB Mathur is running a successful practice in Lucknow
Q: My 12-year-old pet Labrador is constantly scratching its eyes and also has some discharge from them which is darkish in colour and smells foul. Can I use a general eyedrop? Vibha Thakur
No, you should first consult your vet. Your pet is old and may be suffering from some specific eye disease or even cataracts. By ‘general’ you must mean the ones used by us humans? It is not a very good idea though in some cases such eyedrops are allowed. In your pet’s case, your vet may prescribe some eye ointment or even go for a short course of antibiotics. The discharge could be a result of nasal passage blockage so you must not be so sure that it is an eye infection only. Also, when animals have a fever or cold, there could be a discharge. The pet may be scratching its eyes in discomfort. Only a vet will be able to determine it after a physical examination.
Q: I have a three-year-old Pomeranian male dog. Lately, it has been vomiting frequently. Not regularly, but frequently. However, otherwise, it appears fine, and eats and plays as usual. Could it be the symptom of some disease? Please advise. Ramesh Dubey
You have not informed me what comes out of the vomit. If your dog is active and is partaking in proper meals, then it is more likely that it eats something that does not agree with its stomach and vomits it later. You will find traces or the ‘whole’ of such a thing in its vomit if you looked closely. In that case, you will have to keep an eye on your pet and discourage it from swallowing things not meant to be eaten like cosmetics, wrappers, stones, or leaves. You should also keep such things out of its reach and not let the pet wander in the lawn area or where there is too much litter or garbage. If your pet’s vomit is deep yellow or reddish, then it could be acid. It generally happens when you go long periods without food or could be suffering from acidity. In that case, consult your vet. However, if it is vomiting out undigested food soon after consuming it, then that means there can be a digestive problem. In that case, too, your vet will be able to prescribe tonics that help digestion, heal the liver and boost immunity.
Q: My pet dog, which is an Indie breed, was very outgoing, but has turned very lazy. It refuses to go on long walks, likes to slumber, and is not very active. Its appetite is also not what it should be. It is only two years old. Shama Siddiqui
Your pet is clearly unwell. Do not force it to go on walks but take it to your vet instead. It could be suffering from some seasonal disease. Have you given it proper vaccinations? Even Indie dogs must be vaccinated. If not, please let your vet know and he can do that once the pet is healed.
Q: My cat recently had three kittens. Two of them are already dead and the third is also very fragile. Could the kittens have been born with some disease? Jaya K Singh
Yes, it could be. Or the mother may be suffering from some infection that it passed on to the kittens. If the kittens were kept in an unhygienic place, then also an infection could develop. You have not mentioned how the other two died. Was the cat feeding the kittens properly? Were they able to suck milk? Is the mother eating and behaving normally? If you wish to save the third kitten, take it to a vet and then hand-raise it if necessary.