When accidents, illness, or emergencies happen it can be overwhelming. Some simple problems, like scrapes, can be dealt with at home, while others need veterinarian intervention. If you are ever concerned for your dog or cat’s well-being call an emergency veterinarian (like us here at East Valley Animal Hospital) as they can help you determine if your pet needs to be seen. 

Some Problems can be Treated at Home

Some small problems like cuts and skin irritations can be treated at home. Accidents do happen, and they always make us worry. If you are ever in doubt about whether or not to take your pet to the vet, don’t hesitate to call! We can let you know if your pet needs urgent care or if you can treat them with first aid at home. 

Cuts and Scrapes

We wouldn’t head to the ER for a papercut. The same goes for your pet. Small scrapes, cuts and skin irritations can be treated at home. As long as the wound is small and shallow, and it’s not because of a fight with another animal, it can be treated at home. 

Here’s how to care for a small wound or irritated area:

  1. Clean the area. Use warm, running water to rinse away any dirt and debris. (if your pet is large, won’t enter the bath, or you’re far from a bathroom, place a towel under the area and pour water from a clean cup or bottle.)
  2. Spray the wound with an antiseptic solution, such as Bactine. Allow time for the antiseptic to dry, and always check to make sure that the solution is not past its expiration date. 
  3. Cover the wound with clean bandages, and replace them every 24 hours. We recommend using layers of gauze wrapped gently in an ace bandage. If your pet is licking or nibbling the area, they may need a cone to keep them away from the damaged skin. 
  4. Monitor the area for infection. If you notice any spreading redness, increased sensitivity, swelling,  pus or anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian for an urgent appointment. 

Muscle Aches

If you notice your pet has a strange gait after intense play there are some things you can do to alleviate the aches and pains without the veterinarian. However, if your pet cannot put any weight on their extremities, are whimpering, or the injury is related to an impact, call your veterinarian right away. 

How to Care for Minor Muscle Aches:

  • Encourage relaxation by separating pets, or limiting their wanderings to a room with low furniture
  • Provide calm activities, like chewers or lick mats, and puzzle toys
  • If your pet will tolerate it, apply ice to the area for 10 minutes twice a day. Be sure to add a layer between the icepack and your pet’s skin. 
  • If the ache continues for more than three days or is worse after 12-24 hours contact your veterinarian for an urgent appointment

When to See an Emergency Veterinarian

Not all injuries can be treated at home. If your pet is experiencing any of the following conditions or symptoms, take them to your nearest emergency veterinarian.

Pet emergencies include:

  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Impact injuries (like car accidents)
  • Bite wounds
  • Heat stroke
  • Seizures
  • Burns
  • Ingestion of toxins (pest control poisons, poisonous plants, non-prescribed medicines, or large quantities of prescribed medications)
  • Extreme lethargy, or lethargy coupled with other symptoms 
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • Refusal to eat or drink 
  • Wounds that are bleeding excessively
  • Wounds that are red, inflamed, swollen, or oozing pus

Excellent Veterinary Care When You Need It Most

Our pets are an important part of our families. We love them so much that taking care of them during an emergency can be a difficult thing to do. Here at East Valley Animal Hospital, we care for every pet like they’re our own. We offer emergency appointments, as well as comprehensive yearly health checks to help keep them healthy for years to come. Contact us today to make an appointment, or call 480-892-1577 if your pet needs urgent care.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/30/24). Photo by REGINE THOLEN on Unsplash.