Pet Care Do’s and Don’ts: Part 1

Did you know that your pets biology isn’t the same as yours? What I mean is, they heal differently than we do when they are injured. We have 2 cats and a 60 pound dog and have dealt with a few issues over the years. The most common mistake I come across is pet owners making the honest mistake that certain medicines we use as humans can be used on their pets. So I wanted to cover the 2 most common.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide:
When your pet has a wound of some sort you may be tempted to clean it using Hydrogen Peroxide. Please don’t do this! I encourage you to call any vet and they will tell you the same. (My mom worked in a vet clinic for years and has passed on a multitude of helpful information to me.)

Why is using Hydrogen Peroxide on your pets wounds a bad idea? It actually kills the good bacteria that their bodies carry to help them heal naturally. I say this specific to cuts, scrapes, acne (yes pets, especially cats, deal with acne), and minor wounds. For more serious deep cuts where clotting is not taking place, please take your pet to your vet for care!

What is the recommendation for minor scratches, cuts, or an acne spot that is opened up? Just leave it alone! In most cases these wounds heal just fine on their own. You could use some sterile cotton balls or gauze dipped in lukewarm water to clean the area if you feel it’s necessary and then monitor the area daily for any concerning changes. Some of which include, but are not limited to: seeping, foul smell, not clotting, discoloration, etc.. Your pet may try to lick and wash the wound and this is normal. As long as they don’t over wash the area causing excessive irritation/redness or for it to look infected you’ll be fine.

Our two older cats have dealt with acne and have scratched at and opened the scabs on some of the their acne spots at times. If it’s bleeding I follow the above steps to help soothe the area and be sure it’s clean.

Side note: My cats will sometimes fight with each other and on occasion one of them will end up a slight scratch that’s broken the skin somewhere on their face. These I just leave alone because they will heal on their own just fine. None of them have ever been bad enough that I’ve had to treat them or seek treatment like stitches or antibiotics.

2. Neosporin:
The same issues listed above apply to using Neosporin on your pets. Remember, their bodies have the ability to heal themselves without the use of products like Neosporin. Also, you don’t want your pet ingesting something like Neosporin off of the wound. (Update 4/20/18: We’ve had our new vet tell us we could use Neosporin. Maybe it’s ok? I opted to not do it as this was the advice I had always received prior.)

On the flip side there is a common medication that we humans use that is safe to use on pets.

-Benadryl:
Our dog deals with seasonal allergies where she sneezes and itches constantly. She also gets red bumps on her lips that she scratches at and her ears will also become pink and inflamed inside. We feel so bad for her! Since she is 60 pounds the rule of thumb is that she can have one 1mg per pound. Benadryl tablets are usually 25mg each so she can have at least 3. Our vet assured us that you cannot technically overdose your dog on Benadryl because like I mentioned above, their biology is different than ours. In fact, at times her allergies are so severe we have given her 4-5 at one time and she’s finally gotten relief.

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-Apple Cider Vinegar or Rubbing Alcohol:
I had at one point looked up home remedies for ear infections in dogs and diluting apple cider vinegar with water and or using rubbing alcohol were the two most common. I hesitated to use these methods for fear that it may be painful with my dogs ears looking so raw and pink inside. I did not consult our vet on these home remedies as I wanted a sure thing in helping to clear the infection. The medicated drops and solution were each enough oz’s that we have not had to get any refills since the first time which was back in 2014.

Another side note: Ear infections in dogs with floppy ears.
Our dog has floppy ears and at times has had ear infections. We used to bathe her at home ourselves, but since we downsized to a smaller home and when it’s cold outside like it has been we don’t have the ability. So, we’ve been taking her to get groomed. When we washed her at home we always struggled to be sure her ears were dry enough after bath’s thus the ear infections. Since her ears are floppy they don’t get enough air on their own to stay dry. What we ended up doing was getting an ear cleaning solution from our vet we can use at any time as needed and when she had the infection we also got medicated drops from our vet and this combination worked great!

At best, this is the very basics of information concerning minor wounds your pet may deal with. I always encourage you to reach out and consult with your vet before making any decisions about how to treat or care for you pets wounds. Depending on the situation you may need antibiotics for your pet only your vet can prescribe you.

Please feel free to comment with questions and additional tips!

All photos are the property of Passion Paws blog owner and creator and are not to be used, sold or copied without permission.

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