Can I use neosporin on a dog. A common staple in our medicine cabinet, Neosporin is the brand name of a topical antibiotic, which is typically used to prevent infections spreading from minor skin wounds. This includes cuts, scrapes, burns and it also offers analgesic properties as well. It contains 3 antibiotic agents: Bacitracin, Neomycin and Polymyxin B. Some types of Neosporin come with pain relief properties, and soothe the inevitable pain that comes with injuries.
However, this time the real question to ask, is Neosporin safe for dogs to use? Also, does it work the same way on dogs, as it does on humans?
Using it on dogs:
Neosporin helps create a physical barrier against the bacteria entering the wound and offers antibacterial properties to prevent infection as well. Neosporin is completely safe to be applied topically, for pets with minor cuts, scrapes or abrasions. While most dogs take this topical cream well, it is important to remember that it is not a treatment for deep cuts or major wounds. If your dog has a huge wound and is bleeding heavily; it is recommended to use a compression device or a bandage till you get them to a clinic.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that dogs tend to heal very quickly from superficial wounds — much faster than their human counterparts. They can heal themselves from superficial cuts most of the times. In this case, Neosporin might not be necessary, but will definitely not hurt. You could apply pea-sized amount of Neosporin 2-3 times a day, until the wound is healed. It is important to make sure your dog does not lick it off as well, as it is toxic when ingested.
How to use it:
Cleanse the injured area with clean water and a soft cloth.
Dab a pea-sized amount of Neosporin on your finger.
Apply a thin layer of gauze and bandage — as this will keep the area clean and prevent your dog from licking it.
Re-apply the same amount of Neosporin twice a day.
If wound does not heal automatically after seven days, consult a trained vet.
Safe for eyes, ears, or paws:
For instance, if you notice some pus gathering in the corner of your dog’s eye — reach for a cotton ball and saline solution first. Most infections are caused by irritants that get stuck in the corner of the eye and under the dog’s eyelid. Medicated cream like Neosporin could be an irritant, making your buddy’s eyes worse.The takeaway? Don’t use topical antibiotics in or around your dogs eyes unless your vet approves.
Ear infections are most often caused by environmental allergens, such as insect bites, too much hair in ear canal, trapped water or sensitivity to plants. You will have to treat the underlying cause before tackling bruises or the infection that has developed as a result. Clean your dog’s ears thoroughly with saline and cotton; and give the Neosporin a miss.
Your buddy’s paws are not like the skin on the rest of their body. Made up of collagen, keratin and adipose tissue; this area is most exposed and therefore prone to injuries. Figure out if there is an external cause, like a splinter or a bite before applying Neosporin. Since your dog’s tongue is going to be in contact with problematic areas, ensure that you wash and bandage the area well.
On stitches or sutures:
As mentioned earlier, Neosporin can be used as a treatment for minor wounds and not areas that are healing from surgical wounds. If your dog has been recently spayed, neutered, or had any kind of invasive surgery, antibacterial provisions are given as a part of this operation. However, should you notice any issues or discomfort, consult a trained veterinarian, not your medical cabinet.
When to avoid using Neosporin:
In some cases, you may not need to use antibiotic at all. These include:
When the wound is very superficial and does not seem to be bothering your dog.
When the wound is very deep, bleeding heavily, or is very severe.
If your dog is pregnant or still nursing puppies, you should consult a veterinarian before using the ointment.
Testing for allergies:
Neosporin should always be applied as a small patch test first to check for possible allergic reactions. Here is how you do it:
1. Pick a small area and spread a tiny dab of Neosporin.
2. Watch area for mild rashes, redness, or hives.
3. Adverse reactions could include upset stomach, loss of appetite, or vomiting
More rare and serious reactions include liver damage, trouble breathing. Take your dog to a vet immediately if this happens.
It is no secret that canines have a propensity to lick their wounds, and this is a cause of serious concern. The ointment should not be licked, and could cause an upset stomach, diarrhoea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite. Don’t worry, because all of this can be avoided very easily by putting a funny-looking cone around your dog’s head.
However, if your dog does ingest Neosporin and you’ll most likely face some temporary vomiting and an upset stomach. This should settle down by itself, however if you’re very worried, grab $59 and call the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).
It is interesting to know, that without the ointment — your dog can and most definitely should lick their open wounds. This is because the enzymes in their saliva help with a quick recovery.
While the Neosporin website clearly states, “We can’t recommend using these products on animals,” it is safe to be used on minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions. However, if you want to completely avoid a possibility that your dog could lick his open wound and ingest the ointment, there are safer, pet-friendly options available.
One such pet alternative is Vetericyn Wound & Skin Care Spray Solution, which is completely safe if licked or swallowed. You could also try other alternatives, including Veterinus Derma gel, PROTASIA-vs Skin and Wound Care and Pet Silver Spray.
To wrap it up, applying Neosporin on a small cut is perfectly alright. However, you have to make sure to cover it up with a bandage or give your buddy a cone, to ensure and prevent them from licking the wound along with the Neosporin, because it is toxic when eaten.
Always remember, dogs with serious wounds, scabs and heavy bleeding should be rushed to a trained immediately. Such cases require immediate professional care, and no topical cream will be of help.