One of the most experienced veterinary specialists in India, Dr SB Mathur is running a successful practice in Lucknow
Q: How should we care for pets during the rainy season, particularly when they go out to attend nature’s call while it is raining and the ground is wet and dirty. My dogs develop allergies and start scratching their fur. Nilofer Khan
Rainy season is a period when pets require special care. Grooming them regularly, ensuring that their coat is not damp and keeping them clean are ways by which you can prevent them developing allergies and infections. Do not take them out when it is pouring, but if it is a must, drape them in a plastic coat (similar to the ones they wear during winters) or shield them with an umbrella. Also avoid mud/water puddles and try to walk them in relatively cleaner ground. Clean their paws thoroughly upon returning and also dry their fur if it is even slightly damp. This practice ought to be followed by every pet owner religiously. If you see them scratching their body, inspect that part for redness, rashes or inflammation and consult your vet if need be. Betadine can be applied but if problem persists, an expert opinion should be taken. After all an animal cannot voice the problem it is facing hence, instead of experimenting with it, one should take it to a vet when in doubt.
Q: My Pomeranian has turned quite bad tempered. For a small size dog, he is very ferocious and attacks not only strangers but even family members. Is it a symptom of some disease or is there another reason to his foul temperament? What should I do? Simi Agarwal
If your dog has suddenly turned ferocious, it must be suffering from some disease. In that case, you should contact a vet. Many times, kids- or even adults- tease pets for fun, thinking it would understand it is being done harmlessly. However, the animal may not be in the mood or take the teasing seriously. In that case, it starts growling or even attacks. You must ensure that no one is causing unnecessary tension to your pet. Don't try to force it into compliance or start beating it up when it attacks- if you do, it may grow even more ferocious. There is a different way of dealing with such dogs. Consult your vet for proper diagnosis of the situation.
Q: My pet- a female Labrador-has difficulty in passing stools. She is eight-and-a-half years old. What can be wrong with her and is there a treatment? Kapil Srivastava
Your pet falls in the elderly dog category. She could be suffering from some kidney or liver disease. Try to give her easily digestible home-cooked food. Her meals should be warm. Increase her intake of liquid. But first of all, take her to a good vet. He'd examine her and provide her suitable medication. There is no need to worry, it could even be a simple case of constipation or worms but only a vet can decide that after a proper check-up.
Q: I have a two-year-old Pug. Lately I can see red patches on her skin folds. She does not seem to suffer from any itching. We clean her regularly. What can be wrong with her and what is your advice to us? Seema SenGupta
You must take your pug to a vet because this breed develops allergies in the folds of the skin. If you think it is not an itch, then you could have over cleaned it and the hair from that area might have fallen. Best is to let an expert examine it.