One of the most experienced veterinary specialists in India, Dr SB Mathur is running a successful practice in Lucknow
Q: My dog suffers from bad breath. What can be the cause and how can I rid my pet of it? Mayank Kumar
There can be a number of reasons for bad od from the mouth- like it could have worms in its stomach or may have poor digestion, maybe one of its teeth might be rotting or it may have plaque. If it is health-related, then the remedy would be a combination of drugs or extraction of decaying tooth, but if it is plaque, then the teeth will have to be cleaned and you would be advised to let your dog chew on things like bones- especial bones that are prepared with the very intention of helping a dog keep its gums and teeth healthy as well as exercising the jaw. Some vets also advise brushing the teeth of your dog but it is a habit that has to be inculcated in your pet from the puppy stage. In later stages, it might refuse to cooperate or even bite. However, chewing is a healthy habit and one for which you must not chide your dog but let it know what it is supposed to chew and what it must not damage. Puppies chew on footwear when they are growing teeth. This is nature's way of ensuring there is no plaque or tartar on their teeth. However, by giving them good toys and chewing bones, you can turn their destructive tendency into a good one. But, be very careful while purchasing toys for your pet. Refrain from buying toys that are stuffed with synthetic fibre that the puppy might ingest and fall grievously ill. Do not give your puppy anything that it might swallow. You must also ensure to place a bowl of clean water when you give your pet its meals. After eating the food when it drinks the water, it will automatically rinse its mouth too. Many owners who give their dogs commercial food, add water to it with the intent of softening. They generally think that the water that they have added is sufficient for the dog. However, it is not a wise practice as water acts as best mouthwash for dogs.
Q: I have an Indie parrot which I keep in a well-ventilated, clean and large cage. It is shedding its feathers. Is it normal or has it developed some allergy? Is there a treatment? Golu Sharma
You say you keep your parrot in a well-ventilated, clean cage so it should not be suffering from any allergy. Like dogs, birds too shed their feathers in the rainy season. It should stop soon and it would then grow new feathers. However, if there is such a loss that you can actually see the skin, you must consult a vet who is qualified to treat birds, like those at the zoo.
Q: My spitz has ticks. I give him occasional bath with medicated shampoo but he gets them back. I was given a powder but we developed an allergy from it. What do I do? Nisha Awasthi
Ticks or fleas on pets are a common problem during the rainy season. Mostly we give medicated bath to pets and that works. But if your pet is not responding to medicated shampoo then you must take him to a vet and he might give him injection to cure him of this problem. He might be suffering from some skin allergy as well. There are a couple of other points to be kept in mind by all pet owners, that is to ensure that the surroundings where your pets live are always clean, you comb and groom your pets on a regular basis, if you have a lawn do not use cow dung manure, or, at least keep your pet from going there while taking him on walks avoid dirty spaces and do not let your pet mingle with street dogs as they are mostly carrier of fleas and ticks as well as allergies and infections. By following these simple directions, the common flea problem will never pester you and your pet.