Pet First Aid: Safe Household Treatments

At various vet trips we’ve received advice to treat our pets with doses of Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Neosporin. That’s right: medicines we think are for people can also be for pets. There are actually a number of household items or medications we can employ if our animals are having problems. The trick is knowing exactly what medicines, and how much of them, are safe for our pets. For example: most dogs should only have one Benadryl a day. If giving the pet Zyrtec, it should only receive the normal kind – make sure it doesn’t have any decongestants or other … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Fly Bites

In some parts of the world, fly bites are a common problem for pets. Dogs — especially dogs with upright ears — are more susceptible to fly bites than cats are, but any pet may fall prey to a biting fly. Horses are often preyed on by stable flies (also known as biting houseflies). Fly bites generally aren’t life threatening — some first aid action on a human’s part is usually all the injury needs. Signs of fly bites can include: Inflamed ear tips and edges Crusty scabs Wounds on the ears that leak blood or (more often) serum The … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Fishhook Injuries

If you live near water or if there’s a fisherman (or woman) in the family, a fishhook injury is a possibility for your pets. What makes a fishhook attractive? It has a nice, strong bait smell that can be very enticing to a curious dog or cat. Young pets are most often the ones who get into trouble with fishhooks, but a pet of any age can get a hook caught in the lips or mouth. Signs that your pet may have a fishhook injury can include: Gagging or drooling Pawing at the mouth Trouble swallowing You may see a … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: How to Bandage the Tail

When not properly treated, tail injuries can lead to the loss of part or all of the tail! Bandaging a wound can help prevent an infection that can lead to amputation. Many pets are sensitive about having their tails touched — an injury to the tail can make them even more reluctant. You may want to have a friend or family member help restrain your pet while you bandage the tail. First things first: clean and disinfect the wound. One of my brother’s dogs lost part of her tail because a wound got infected. You can’t just bandage a wound … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: How to Bandage a Paw

Bandaging an injured paw or footpad can be tricky. Here are some techniques you can try. First things first: clean and disinfect the wound. You don’t want to throw a bandage on there if the wound is dirty — it can get infected. Wait for things to dry, or you’ll have a hard time getting your bandage to stick. Now it’s time for the bandaging. You’ll need a gauze pad, roll gauze, tape, and an old sock. Place the gauze pad over the wound. Take a doubled strip of roll gauze and place it over the paw and under the … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Allergy Attack!

As I’m sitting here at the computer, merrily tapping away, Lally is cramming her left hind foot into her mouth. She does this from time to time; I figure she’s got an itch on her paw pad or between her toes and the best way to take care of it is with her teeth. Over the last few days, she’s been really attacking her feet. She’s been chewing and licking them relentlessly, which makes me thing she’s having some allergy trouble. Lally has had problems with allergies in the past — she’s sensitive to plastic, and can’t eat from a … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Spider Bites

A spider crawled out from underneath the stove last night and chased me around the kitchen. Like the calm, brave person I am, I screamed for the dogs to save me. They sat and watched the show. Their lack of reaction to a spider got me thinking about spider bites. Most spider bites are uncomfortable, but not dangerous — you can treat them pretty much the same way you would treat a bee sting or wasp sting. Relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. Keep an eye out for an infection developing at the bite site. If your pet is … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Tick-Borne Diseases

Ticks are dangerous for pets and people. A tick’s saliva can transmit microscopic organisms into the person or pet getting bitten. Some of the same diseases that are dangerous to humans are dangerous to pets, and vice versa. The good news is that ticks don’t generally hop from a person to an animal or from a pet to an owner. Once the tick is feeding, it will usually stay with the host. And it can take up to twelve hours or more for a feeding tick to transmit one of the following diseases to a pet. Babesiosis causes severe anemia. … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Toad Poisoning

There is a strange fascination many young dogs have with toads. When dog meets toad, the dog will often try to pick up the toad in his mouth. Why is this bad? All toads secrete mucus through their skin; the mucus can irritate the dog’s mouth and cause some serious drooling. Most toads are harmless. When is this really bad? When your dog encounters a poisonous toad. There are two types of poisonous toad seen in the United States: the Colorado River toad and the marine toad. Colorado River toads are found in the southwestern United States from the Pecos … Continue reading

Pet First Aid: Sticky Situations

Over the weekend, Moose and Lally and I were invited up to a friend’s house. The house sits up on a hill overlooking the Willamette River in Washington state. Around the yard grow wild blackberries (yum) and there are several walking paths through the less tamed areas of the hill. In other words, it’s pretty much puppy paradise! Much to my dismay, Moose came gimping out of the bushes after dinner. I grabbed his feet and checked each one out. His left front paw had all sorts of sticks and stones stuck to the pads — it seems my Moose … Continue reading