Maggot infestation has to be treated timely 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. Donâ€™t use bleach or powdered lime, donâ€™t use boiling water or acids and donâ€™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: My Spitzâ€™s tear glands swells up and she tries to rub her eyes with her paws. I put a few drops of my eye drops and then the swelling subsides. Why is this happening? Is there a permanent cure? Can I use human eye drops on her? Ritu Singh Swelling of tear glands is common in dogs. There are two ways to treat thisâ€”one by operation and the other by administering eye drop. If the swelling is occasional and subsides easily after administering eye drops, there is no need to go for surgery. Some of human antibiotic eye drops can be used on pet. But it can even be some eye infection that should be treated properly for permanent cure. You must consult your vet and he will prescribe the right medication. Q: I have a young Indie dog who loves to eat paper in any formâ€”newspaper, packets, envelop and even wrappers. How do I stop my dog? Is my pet being naughty, or can it be a symptom of some deficiency? Jasmin Eating paper is a very bad habit in dogs that can even prove fatal. You will have to discipline your dog and punish it every time you find it eating paper. Be extra responsible and keep such things out of its reach. Sometimes a deficiency of vitamins and minerals may also lead to such bad eating habits. Get it checked by your vet.