When your pup comes home and you spot a cut, your reflex may well be to reach for the human standard first aid kit item of Neosporin. But you must first ask yourself: can I use Neosporin on my dog? Medical ointment is highly popular among humans and is super useful. Before you go smearing the substance or spraying the medicine on your dog’s wounds, there is some information of which you should be aware of when wondering Is Neosporin safe for dogs.
Neosporin Ointment: What Is It?
The product Neosporin is used for wound care; it is an antibacterial ointment designed for topical use. This means that it is good for killing bacteria when it is applied on open wounds such as cuts. You may have seen it advertised with the phrase triple antibiotic cream. This refers to three ingredients it contains bacitracin, as well as neomycin and polymyxin b. These ingredients are a trio of antibiotics that work well in halting the development of infections. Neosporin does not have an effect on infections caused by viruses or fungi.
How Does Neosporin Work?
This tough ointment kills off any bacteria that exist, alive, on the cut or scrape. It stops them from growing. Furthermore, when applied on your skin or putting Neosporin on dogs, it helps by creating a physical barrier to stop bacteria and prevent them from seeking entrance to the wound. Thus, Neosporin protects against infection.
Should You Use Neosporin on Dogs?
Because it is so popular for use on human wounds, Neosporin is often the first ointment that is close at hand for dog owners to use on their pooches. Keeping in mind that, generally, it is unwise to use medications on a pet without veterinarian consultation, Neosporin is considered basically safe for minor scrapes and cuts. However, its website states that the company cannot recommend the use of the product on animals.
Is It Safe to Use Neosporin on Dogs
If a veterinarian approves and gives permission to put Neosporin on your dog’s wound, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. First, the initial use should be applied only to a tiny area so you can watch for potential allergic reactions. Symptoms of such a reaction can include redness, itching, and hives at the site. Facial swelling and breathing difficulties are rarer and more severe side effects. Second, it should be used generally only in small amounts. Because dogs are prone to licking their wounds, they will, if capable, ingest whatever substance you put on the site. When ingested, Neosporin can cause vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, and appetite loss. The ointment has the potential to impact the normal bacteria of the gut or the GI flora. Third, do not use an extra-strength variety or one that contains additional active ingredients to ease the pain. Standard strength alone is the route you should take.
Can Neosporin Be Used on Canine Eyes, Ears, or Paws?
Perhaps your dog shows indications of an eye infection. One such sign is the collection of green mucus in your dog’s eye at the corners. The answer here is not to reach for the Neosporin. Rather, go for a simple saline solution on a cotton ball. Eye infections are often caused by irritants located under an eyelid or in the eye’s corner. For dogs, medicated ointment or spray can be simultaneously an allergen and an irritant, worsening the eye of your dog.
Ear infections for dogs generally involve an environmental allergen, such as a parasite bite, plant sensitivity, or water trapped within. The underlying cause must be treated before developed infections can be tackled. Cleaning a dog’s ears does not require human medication. When it comes to ears, do not utilize Neosporin on dogs.
Finally, you should be aware that a dog’s paw pads are unlike its other skin located elsewhere on its body. These pads are comprised of collagen, adipose, and keratin. As with its ears, when an injury or a wound is evident on a paw pad, underlying causes must be sought. If a splinter is a culprit, it must be removed before application of the ointment. Keep your dog’s tongue from interacting with the site, and the substance applied to it, with regular bathing and use of bandages. These should be sterile dressings. Watch your pup to ensure that the bandages do not receive the dog’s attention by way of chewing. Great care must be used when applying bandages, as well, to prevent constriction and the inadvertent side effect of acting as a tourniquet. This reduces adequate blood flow when it occurs, putting the dog’s extremities at risk. An Elizabethan collar or alternative can be used instead.
Is Neosporin Safe For Dogs with Sutures or Stitches?
No. The ointment is intended for minor wounds, and even humans do not use it for the treatment of surgical sites. Developed to prevent the growth of bacteria, it is unnecessary if your dog has had any kind of invasive surgery. Even standard routines like neutering or spaying come with antibacterial provisions. Should any issues appear after an operation, go to your veterinarian rather than reaching for your medicine cabinet.
Spray Neosporin on Dogs: A Handy Means of Application
If you own dogs and are assembling a first-aid kit for your canine companions, you may be happy to learn that Neosporin comes in a spray form that is widely available. Easier to apply than your basic antibiotic cream, the spray is convenient. The skin also can absorb the spray more quickly. This gives your dog less time to seize a chance to ingest the substance.
What if Your Dog Ingests Neosporin?
When used as directed, you are unlikely to experience disaster when the pea-sized portion applied to a dog’s scrape or cut is licked. While it is unlikely to linger long enough to be absorbed and do any good if applied in such a way that the dog can readily lick it, the ointment should do little more than make your dog a bit queasy. In fact, if the regular-strength formula without additives is consumed by the tube-full, the worst that is likely to happen is a temporary bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
When Not to Use Neosporin for Dogs
Dogs are often enthusiastic in their locomotion. They race over stones and through prickly underbrush, risking wounds from rocks and branches. Even a sedate walk through a neighborhood can result in stepping on a piece of broken glass from some careless citizen or a splinter from the rough board of a porch or boardwalk. Not every minor cut or scrape requires such attention, however. While it is unlikely to cause harm and can assist in preventing infection, making your dog a bit more comfortable, it is by no means required. There is the risk of an allergic reaction that can complicate matters, also. This is in addition to the fact that, in many locations and without precautions, your dog is likely to simply lick the ointment off, rendering it useless. Finally, it should not be used without the recommendation of a veterinarian.
Basic Canine Wound Care for Small Scrapes in Dogs
So what should you do should your pooch become scraped or cut? Follow a few basic first-aid steps. First, gently wash the site of the wound with comfortably warm water. Make sure to rid the site of all debris. Then kill off bacteria with a pet-safe antiseptic solution. Be sure to avoid your dog’s mouth and eyes. Permit the antibacterial solution to dry before proceeding. Now is the time, if any, to apply Neosporin. Keep your dog from licking the ointment off for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes, permitting the absorption and effectiveness of the antibiotic. As the next few days pass, keep a watchful eye on the injury. Ensure that it does not worsen and prevent your dog from chewing at the site or licking it. This prolongs the process of healing. If the wound does worsen, make a prompt call to your veterinarian.
Keep in mind that these steps only apply to particularly minor injuries such as small scrapes and cuts. Play it safe by consulting your veterinarian before applying topical antibiotics that are intended for human use. And know when to take your dog to the vet in the first place.
While it can give any dog parent nightmares, the prospect of your dog returning inside with a serious wound bleeding visibly is one to prepare for. What should you do when your dog suffers a wound that is more serious? First, identify the type of serious wound. It could be an open wound experiencing profuse bleeding, a puncture wound as of a deep bite, wounds or cuts that go deep, broken bones, and burns. While doing so, remain calm. Hysteria helps no one, least of all your canine. For profuse bleeding, use a towel and apply pressure to the wound area to slow the flow of blood. Next, give your veterinarian a call to inform them of the situation and alert them to your imminent arrival for emergency treatment. Try to maintain compression while maneuvering your dog carefully into your vehicle, and safely drive your dog to the veterinarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happens if a dog licks Neosporin?
While truly little of the ointment should be applied, some of the Neosporin can still be ingested when a dog licks a cut that has received a thin coating. This can upset the balance of the dog’s GI flora. This refers to the canine’s normal bacteria in its gut. While not extensively harmful, the dog may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
2. What can you put on a dog wound?
In minor cases, your veterinarian may advise that you use a dilute solution for cleansing, an iodine solution for assistance with debris removal, or surgical soap. You should absolutely not use hydrogen peroxide, herbal preparations, tea tree oil, soaps, shampoos, or any other such products for the cleaning of open wounds. With a veterinarian’s approval, you will find Neosporin safe for dogs with minor cuts and scrapes.
3. Can you use hydrogen peroxide on a dog’s wound?
No. While the substance kills bacteria, it also can damage living tissue. Cleanse wounds with iodine 1solutions so you can wash out debris. You can also use a cleansing solution that has been diluted. But you should not use hydrogen peroxide.
4. Can you use triple antibiotic ointment on a dog’s wound?
You can do so in small amounts. Triple antibiotic ointment is the category under which Neosporin falls. The three antibiotics are neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin b. Is Neosporin safe for dogs? The answer is a qualified yes.