3 Common Pet Injuries and How You Can Treat Them

If your pet frequents the outdoors or is generally pretty active, they will likely get injured at least once or twice in their life. Some injuries like cuts and scrapes are minor, while some injuries such as ACL tears can require surgery. Regardless of the severity, you must seek veterinary attention as soon as possible, even if they seem fine.

Here are three of the most common pet injuries and how to deal with them.

Cuts And Scratches

It is not unusual for a pet to come home with random cuts, scrapes, or bruises. Many cats and dogs will often come home with wounds on their paws or between their toes after walking around areas with glass, sharp rocks, metal, or other hazards. Fights between cats and dogs are also quite common and can lead to skin lacerations, bleeding, and bruises from bites and scratches.

If you notice your pet has cuts, wounds, or bites anywhere on their body, you should bring them to the vet as soon as possible. Some of their injuries may require stitches or bandages, and bite wounds that seem unimportant could be penetrating wounds to the chest or abdomen. At the very least, your vet will likely prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and anti-inflammatories for any pain or swelling. Any bitten or injured animal is likely to be more aggressive as a result, so be sure to take proper precautions when transporting them to and from the vet.

ACL/CCL Tears

ACL and CCL tears and ruptures are two of the most common knee injuries in both cats and dogs. They occur when the cruciate ligament which stabilizes the knee becomes injured, usually because of trauma or overextension of the knee while running. The most common signs include swelling of the knee, limping, and hind limb pain.

Only a veterinarian can determine if your pet has sustained an injury to their cruciate. Most pets start with a partial rupture or tear in one leg, almost always go on to injure the other leg in a matter of weeks or a few months.

If your pet sustains this injury, they will almost always need surgery to repair the ligament, and the quicker they get it, the faster they’ll recover and the less chance they’ll damage either leg any further. Similar to humans, a brace is needed to support the limb and ensure a full and proper recovery following surgery. Fortunately, there are several options available, and companies like GoHeroGo offer things like a dog brace that is tailored to fit your pet for optimal recovery.

Blockages and Foreign Body Ingestion

It is a well-known fact that cats and dogs will try to eat anything from rocks to bones, broken glass, clothes, shoes, and even sand. Usually, eating these things isn’t harmful to your pet and will pass through the digestive system like anything else. However, sometimes the items they eat are toxic or won’t pass through completely, creating blockages.

Symptoms of blockages include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • pain or tenderness in the abdomen
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • lethargy
  • general aggressiveness when handled around the abdomen

A veterinarian will check for blockages with x-rays and blood or urine tests. Treatment ranges from a laxative regimen to exploratory surgery.

Blockages and foreign body ingestions can have toxic and potentially deadly effects on your’s pets internal organs, so it’s best to take measures to prevent them altogether. Many plants, cleaning supplies, human medicines, and even foods contain chemicals that can cause illness or death. It’s a general rule of thumb to keep anything not meant for your pet to eat locked away and out of their reach. Things like toys shouldn’t be small enough that your pet can swallow.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, call the pet poison control helpline, and don’t force them to vomit unless told to do so.

In conclusion, injuries are pretty common in household pets and can range from minor cuts and scratches to severe ligament tears or ruptures. In any case, it is best to closely monitor your pet to prevent them from occurring in the first place. If you find yourself concerned about the safety or health of your pet, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to determine if an examination or treatment is necessary. Your pet can’t talk, so it’s up to you to pay attention to their behavior & to changes that may indicate something is wrong.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.