Pet Injury – Bug Bites to Wounds, What to Do?
They dig, they jump, they play, and they even beg to eat our food! Yes, our pets are extensions of our family, and, like children, we need to protect them. With the weather warming up, bugs coming out, plants getting bigger, and everyone going outside more, we all need to know what we can do as pet parents to keep our four-legged family members safe from pet injury.
It’s important that we have a small first-aid kit at home for our pets, just as we have one for ourselves. This first-aid kit should contain tweezers, betadine or chlorhexidine, some sterile bandages, tape, scissors, Neosporin (or a store brand of it), muzzle, syringe, and sterile saline or tap water.
Most bug bites do not call for any kind of treatment as they only cause mild itchiness that will go away on its own. If there is any swelling present especially in the face, a call to the vet is necessary. Do not try to treat the swelling with Benadryl on your own as you would do for yourself, as an overdose is likely, and, according to the American Kennel Club, there can be interactions with any other underlying medical conditions.
Ticks can transmit several serious illnesses such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, bartonella, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and these illnesses can take several months after the bite to start to show symptoms. The best thing to do regarding ticks is to try to prevent the bite through the same medications for flea prevention as well as checking for ticks following every outing.
If you do happen to miss a tick, and it does bite your furry friend, use tweezers to remove the entire head and body. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and gently pull without squeezing the body of the tick.
Pet Injury — Cuts and other Wounds
Cuts and scrapes can be painful! Almost all dogs will bite when in pain or when you do something that they are unfamiliar with, so be careful! If you don’t have a muzzle, you can loosely take a leash and wrap it around your dog’s nose as a make-shift muzzle to prevent bites. Pet Helpful shows you how you can do this!
Just as with a human child or with ourselves, we want to make sure that the wound is not bleeding first. If, with pressure, the wound does not stop bleeding, contact the vet immediately!
If the wound is not bleeding or the bleeding stops, we want to clean it and put on a quick bandage before contacting the vet for a thorough cleaning of the wound and an evaluation to see if antibiotics are needed. This is how we will do that. We will rinse the wound with either sterile saline, bottled water, or tap water in a syringe, taking out any debris we see. After that, we will sterilize it with either chlorhexidine or betadine, put on a little Neosporin, and cover it with some sterile bandages and secure it with tape until the appointment. Pet Helpful goes into more detail about this as well.
Pet Injury — Strains and Broken Bones
They’re limping, not putting weight on a leg, and squealing when we touch it. What do we do? Pet injuries are painful, so we muzzle, and we leave it alone. If there is any visible broken bone, make sure you support the limb without trying to move it into place. A flat wooden spoon and a towel is an effective way to wrap the limb for carrying. A call to the vet is needed at this point, as well.
If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact us, and we’d be more than happy to assist you and be careful on your outdoor adventures this season!