Can I use Neosporin on my dog?
Whenever we have scratches, cuts, or abrasions, we tend to look for a Neosporin tube and apply it several times a day for several days to help prevent secondary bacterial infections and aid in the healing process.
It generally works, but does this mean that we can also use it on our dogs? According to recent surveys, pet owners who ask if they can use Neosporin on their dogs are ranked number 8 on a long list of pet care questions. So can you use Neosporin on your pet dog?
Should you use Neosporin on your dog?
Neosporin helps prevent a bacterial infection from minor cuts, abrasions, burns, and even scrapes. Applying Neosporin to a dog is generally considered safe.
However, studies show that cleaning abrasion immediately can have the same effect of faster healing times and effective prevention of bacterial infection. This means that if you are vigilant enough about what is happening to your dog, then you can immediately take corrective action at the first sign of a loss in skin integrity. You can wash and clean scraped or worn skin with copious amounts of water. A simple saline solution also works. Therefore, the application of Neosporin is optional.
Additionally, most dogs have been shown to have a very rapid wound healing rate, much faster than that of humans. With this knowledge, if you decide to apply Neosporin to your dog’s wounds, be sure to use it only for a few days as your canine friend’s body will take care of the rest. Applying it no more than three times a day should suffice.
When should you not use Neosporin?
Like all topical antibiotics, Neosporin should never be applied to deep wounds, open cuts, and extensive burns. It should be remembered that the Neosporin formulation is primarily designed for surface use only when the skin’s natural pH and other characteristics have been taken into consideration.
Its use in deeper cuts and wounds may work. Still, its effectiveness cannot really be guaranteed as it was not designed or formulated for deeper wounds. Additionally, deep wounds already involve blood vessels and other tissues that may require more definitive management than merely protecting them from possible bacterial infection.
That is why it is generally recommended that if there are deep cuts or wounds, your first action is to irrigate it with clean water or saline solution and then apply a pressure bandage. Then you will have to take your pet to the veterinary clinic to evaluate the wounds; maybe they will put some points to control the bleeding and give him a more appropriate antibiotic.
What if your dog licked the Neosporin?
One of the canine behaviors that you really can’t avoid is licking. This is especially true if they have cuts or wounds because it is their way of trying to heal their wounds. Unfortunately, if you apply Neosporin to a part of the body that its tongue can easily reach, then you run the risk of developing an upset stomach, vomiting, loss of appetite, or even diarrhea in your pet.
In dogs that are super sensitive to Neosporin components, skin lesions, and even seizures can develop. It is to be hoped that the latter will not occur, as this can have severe consequences for the blood supply to the brain.
If you need to apply Neosporin, be sure to cover it with a bandage. You can put a protective collar around your pet’s neck so it can’t reach the cut or wound.
Neosporin isn’t essential, especially if it’s just minor scratches and cuts. You’re vigilant enough to provide quick first aid treatment. However, if it gives you peace of mind, then applying Neosporin to your pet shouldn’t be a problem.
A look at what Neosporin is
Neosporin is a topical antibacterial preparation that consists of three different antibacterial ingredients, including bacitracin, polymyxin B, and Neomycin.
- Bacitracin: It is a polypeptide antibiotic that mainly kills Gram-positive bacteria through disruption of the bacterial peptidoglycan and cell wall synthesis.
- Polymyxin B: On the other hand, it is primarily targeted at Gram-negative bacteria that are more resistant to antibiotics than their Gram-positive cousins. This antibiotic works by attaching itself to the bacterial cell wall, increasing the pores in the wall, and allowing extracellular fluid to enter the bacteria. This fills the bacteria with water until they burst and eventually die. Polymyxin B is known to act as a detergent.
- Neomycin: Belonging to antibiotics known as aminoglycosides, Neomycin is effective against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. However, its antibacterial activity on Gram-positive organisms is somewhat limited, like all aminoglycosides.
As you can see, Neosporin is a brand name for a topical antibiotic that contains three different antibacterials that have other mechanisms of action. This is important since, like human skin, dogs’ skin is also rich in bacterial and fungal flora.
Bacteria are usually classified according to the Gram staining properties, whether they stain blue (positive) or red (negative). Gram-positive bacteria belonging to the Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Micrococcus ranks can be found on the dogs’ skin. The Gram-negative bacterial levels present in the dog’s skin include Proteobacteria, of which acinetobacter and pseudomonas are widespread pathogens, and Bacteroides.
The use of bacitracin, polymyxin B, and Neomycin helps treat these microorganisms on your pet’s skin. Remember that these bacteria reside in the skin, constituting the normal flora of the skin. They do not cause infection. However, if the skin loses its integrity, such as from a cut or abrasion, these microorganisms can enter the deeper structures of the skin.
Because these organisms are relatively “new” inside the skin, cells of the immune system attack them, causing inflammation and initiating a series of changes that we now know as infection.
Neosporin’s application can help provide a protective barrier on “open” skin so that bacteria present on the skin do not enter it and lead to infection.
Instructions for healing wounds in dogs
When dogs go outside on the street or play in the garden, they are at risk of injury. We can do a lot to help them. For our dogs, it is best if we are prepared and know how to treat the wounds in dogs that they catch.
In the house, they can bump or rub objects; likewise, on the street – also, another dog can bite or injure them there. Even if it is most recommended to go to the vet, we can also treat it at home if the wound is not too deep.
How we can treat wounds in dogs
Of course, if we want to treat dog wounds, we first need to know what steps to follow and how to do it best. Where can we start? We tell you!
Know how deep the wound is
This is the first step we should take. A veterinarian must treat a very deep or sufficiently severe wound.
To know if this is the case, the wound needs to be analyzed – even if it is not always easy, as not all dogs can remain calm and still while we are doing this.
If you can’t assess the wound’s depth because of the blood, grab a bandage and apply light pressure to the area where the fluid is leaking. The bandage will soak up excess blood. So you can see the depth of the wound and act accordingly.
Clean the area
You may need to cut the fur around the wound to do this with great caution and without harming the animal.
First, clean the wound with soap and water to remove dirt and bacteria that may have accumulated in it. You can use lukewarm water to make your work easier.
Now is the time to apply an atypical disinfectant to the wound. After cleaning the wound with soap and water, put ice on the area to relieve the inflammation so that it relaxes a little and doesn’t hurt the animal. Don’t forget to wrap the ice in a cloth.
It’s best to use iodine. Never use alcohol as this can cause a burning sensation, and your dog may react poorly to it.
Then make a mixture of equal parts water and iodine and apply it with a gauze bandage. The gauze bandage is the best choice here because it leaves no residue and is clean. Apply this mixture three times a day.
You can also use ointments, but only if the animal patiently lets you apply them. This will promote his recovery and lead to better wound healing. To know which ointment is best for your pet, talk to a veterinarian who can recommend the best product for your dog.
Let the wound breathe, but protect it.
Usually, air must be left on wounds for them to heal; covering them is of no use, and only causes them to become sore.
Depending on where the wounds are on your body, you need to stop your dog from licking or scratching them. For this, you can ask the vet to give you a so-called “ruff” that will not let him get to these places.
Treating wounds in dogs is not complicated as long as we only know what to do. Just follow our tips, and your dog will get better soon. Just keep in mind that these tips are for superficial wounds. If things worsen or the injury is more serious, it’s best to contact a veterinarian, who usually treats your pet.
Use products such as disinfectants or creams, but only if they don’t burn the animal’s skin – this only aggravates their suffering.