SAGE veterinarians have spoken to hundreds of dog owners at our Wilderness First Aid talks at local REI stores. Here are some of the most common questions we hear:

Are there any NSAIDS that are safe for dogs?
SAGE Redwood City criticalist Dr. Sara Lefman says dog owners can administer low dose aspirin if it is needed in a pinch. However, there are safer, canine-specific non-steroidal medications (carprofen, meloxicam, etc.) that are available from your veterinarian. If you are using aspirin, always consult your veterinarian for the proper dose.

Is hydrogen peroxide the best thing to use if my dog eats something toxic?
If you are unable to bring your dog to the veterinarian, hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting at a dose of 1 tsp/10 lbs. However, hydrogen peroxide irritates the stomach lining and may cause ulceration. If vomiting is unsuccessful after one dose, it should not be repeated. Ideally, patients should be brought to a veterinarian to have vomiting induced safely with injectable medications.

How do I get a dog to release something from their mouth that they shouldn’t have?
Dogs get into the strangest things! If we catch them in the act, the easiest way to get them to release the item is to offer them something they love. SAGE Concord surgeon Dr. Lissa Richardson has used treats (freeze dried liver or chicken on the trail, or liverwurst at home) with great success.[1] Her dog Pepper grabbed a rat skull on the trail once and refused to drop it until a fragrant treat became part of the bargain.

The key to success is to practice at home first. Give your dog a tasty, hard-to-eat treat (like a pig’s ear or Kong with peanut butter) and then say “May I have it please?” Take it from them and immediately give them a nice, easy-to-eat treat, like freeze-dried liver.

Will Krazy Glue work on a paw pad laceration?
Dog paw pads are thick with a layer of fatty tissue and they have a slightly rounded shape. Krazy Glue is not strong enough to hold a paw laceration closed. If your dog sustains a cut to a paw pad, seek veterinary care for cleaning and stitching.

What if I remove a tick and I don’t remove the head?
SAGE Dublin Emergency veterinarian Dr. Zuhal Elhan says this is not a cause for concern. If the head is left in, it will eventually scab over and fall off. However, we know that it can be disconcerting to know that blood-sucking head is still there. Dr. Richardson recommends this extra step prior to removing the tick: Annoy it! Dr. Richardson spends about 2 minutes flicking the tick with her fingers. Just flick it over and over again. This will annoy the tick and get it to release its jaws, making it easier to remove the whole tick body, head included.

 

[1] Dr. Richardson learned this tip at Sirius Puppy Kindergarten training classes.