Rainy season requires special pet care
Q: I have a two-year-old Pug. Lately I can see red patches on her skin folds. She also seems to suffer from itching. What can be wrong with her and what is your advice to us? Rinki SenGupta
Your pet has allergy, you should take it to the vet immediately. Also, 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). 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.
Q: A stray dog has come into our area with a ghastly wound on the head. First we thought the dog was mad, but it was not attacking anyone. It ate and drank when we gave it food and water, and wagged its tail when we addressed it. The dog must be in a lot of pain because the wound is pussy and smells. How can we help it? Rajat Singh & friends
This dog can be suffering from maggot infestation which is caused by screwworm fly. It is very common in Indian strays. Most stray dogs and cats have some form of physical injury or cut from fights, road accidents or abuse from humans. If the animal cannot reach the wound to lick it clean, it becomes an easy target for maggot infestation. It can even cause slow death. Cleaning of the wound will be required. Do not attempt to help an animal yourself if inexperienced but seek the help of a local veterinarian or an animal welfare organization. In case the animal is not hostile and lets you treat it, you can clean the wound with Betadine (by pouring adequate quantity over it). Once cleaned, coat it with Neosporin dusting powder (or even turmeric) to prevent any infection and from further larval accumulation. This has to be repeated everyday for a week. If there is improvement, good, otherwise you will have to visit a vet. However, never use petrol, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, alcohol, deodorants or any other flammable spirit on the wound. Besides causing unbearable pain, their ingestion can be dangerous to the animal. Don’t use bleach or powdered lime, don’t use boiling water or acids and don’t spray anti-parasitic sprays used for killing ticks and fleas. In any case, the best help would be, take the animal to a vet.
Q: How much exercise does my pet needs to maintain a healthy weight? Vividha Mishra
You have not mentioned the breed or the age of your dog! For most dogs, a 20-to 30-minute walk twice a day is a sufficient amount of exercise. However, traditionally active breeds or high-energy dogs may require more exercise, including the chance to run off leash in a safe area for longer periods of time. In addition, your pet’s exercise needs will vary based on their age, size and overall health. While exercise is one important aspect of maintaining a healthy body weight, proper diet and feeding practices are equally important. Pets should be offered portion-controlled meals of a high-quality, balanced diet while avoiding people foods or excessive quantities of treats.
Q: My cat is painfully shy and hides almost all day. How do I get him out of his shell? Parveen Iqbal
Just like people, some cats are quite introverted and it can take a fair amount of effort to get them out of their shells. For many of these cats, their ‘shyness’ is actually a sign of stress and anxiety, which is often fear-related. Try to find something your cat enjoys – a special treat, ear scratches, playing with the laser pointer – and encourage your cat to approach you. Do not force any interaction, as this often makes stress and anxiety worse. It may take a bit of patience and time. If these strategies are not successful, it may be best to consult a veterinary behaviorist for further advice.