With spring and summer upon us, many pet owners are yearning to hit the trail with their pets. While this is a great way to exercise our pets, keep an eye out for potential dangers along the trail and remember to pack a basic first aid kit.
Venomous critters: Snakes and scorpions can be a real concern when out hiking; try and make sure you keep your pet close. If you suspect that your pet has been bitten or stung, the best course of action is to get veterinary attention immediately. Do not tourniquet the limb or try to suck out the poison; prompt medical attention is the paramount concern.
Foxtails, spines and thorns: Some dogs seem to have a special skill at finding cacti or foxtails! Remove any offending objects as best you can, clean the area with an antiseptic (e.g. a “weak tea”-appearing solution of iodine/betadine and water) and apply an antibiotic ointment. If you can’t remove something easily, see your veterinarian.
Sharp stones and rocks: Cut paws and pads are not uncommon after your pet has been scrambling around; clean any wounds with an antiseptic and apply an antibiotic. Deep cuts may not stop bleeding after this simple treatment and may need to be stitched or have a bandage applied by your veterinarian.