Pet Expert: Questions Answered

Marc Abraham our resident pet expert has selected three of his favourite questions to answer this month. Marc is a practising vet with years of experience, and an avid animal cruelty campaigner, so much so he founded his own charity Pup Aid which aims to eradicate puppy farming.  

Here are the three pet questions Marc answered:  

Q: My dog has bad breath, is there anything I can do about that?

Marc says: Bad breath (halitosis) is incredibly common and has several potential - and sometimes serious - causes. It's important to get your dog checked by your vet as some conditions responsible for halitosis are serious requiring immediate treatment e.g. broken teeth, infected gums/lip folds, ulcerated growths. Depending on veterinary examination appropriate treatment will be recommended ranging from important dental work to simple advice to keep your dog's teeth brushed regularly - with doggy toothpaste rather than human toothpaste as it doesn't contain fluoride which can be dangerous if swallowed.

Q: Can dogs get hayfever?

Marc says: Dogs can commonly suffer seasonal allergies just like us. Often pollen and grasses are responsible for causing similar symptoms e.g. watery eyes, general itchiness, chewing feet, as well as resulting skin reddening and possible secondary bacterial/fungal infections. Any dog displaying allergic symptoms (of any kind not just seasonal) must be seen by their vet ASAP as treatment can sometimes be complicated - often a mix of identifying the allergen (allergic trigger/particle), ruling out other causes e.g. food allergies, fleas, and then prescribing appropriate, safe, and sometimes long-term treatment.

Q: My dog has started to scrape his bottom on the floor. What does this mean?

Marc says: There can be a number of reasons your dog scrapes his bottom on the floor but by far the commonest are worms, fleas, and anal glands. Worms are fleas are fairly straightforward to treat making sure you purchase appropriate treatments from your vet. Regarding anal glands these are two small structures situated just behind your dog's bottom - one on either side. Anal glands are scent glands that normally empty without complications however they can occasionally become full with secretion and block. This can be uncomfortable for your dog leading to classic scraping bottom behaviour or 'scooting'. In order to relieve this discomfort please visit your vet and ask them to check your dog's anal glands and most-likely emptied. 


If you have a question you would like Marc to answer, please submit it here.


Posted by Marc Abraham (15/07/2015)