Many pet owners will agree: our furry family members can and will get into trouble. Unfortunately, trouble means our pets can suffer injuries that can become serious issues. Here are some common injuries for cats and dogs that we have to watch out for.

Foreign Bodies and Eaten Substances

Dogs and cats will, at least once, try to eat something that they shouldn’t. When this happens, it’s important to know what they’ve eaten or swallowed. Treatment can be either forcing your pet to vomit, or making them drink activated charcoal or milk of magnesia, to prevent poisoning. Always be aware of what can be poisonous for your pet. In any case, you should bring your pet immediately to the vet.

If you can, locate where your pet is injured. Stay calm; if you panic, your emotions may upset your pet as well.



Punctures involve foreign objects, but in this case, it can be as small as a splinter, or it could be as life threatening as a nail. For smaller puncture injuries, you can use tweezers or needle nose pliers to remove the object. Be sure to disinfect the wound afterwards thoroughly, and then use bandages if needed. Clean the wound regularly, until it heals. For larger puncture injuries, you have to bring your pet to the vet pronto.

Fight Injuries

Some pets will never work well with each other, and this will lead to fights. Be on the lookout for skin lacerations and bruises, even joint injuries. For smaller animals, you should watch out for broken bones, crushed ribcages, and damage to the abdominal organs. Treat surface lacerations as you would normal wounds (clean and bandage), but if your pet has deeper wounds and suspected internal injuries, it’s time to go to the vet.

The more information you can give your vet about your pet’s injury or affliction, the better they can treat him or her.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are more common with dogs, since they lead with their snouts. If your dog looks like it has an irritated eye, or is tearing or blinking too much, check his or her eye out. If there are no obvious injuries, it may just be irritated rather than scratched or something more serious. You can use eye-cleaning solutions, or ophthalmic ointments. (Just check with your vet first, and don’t use human medications on them!) If the condition is not improving, go to a vet. And if it looks like the eye is in bad shape, no questions, go to a vet.

Insect Bites and Stings with the Philippines

Having many sorts of annoying—but not necessarily deadly—insects, it’s a good idea to have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic medicines in your pet first aid kit, if your furry companion is prone to getting into insect jams. However, it’s a good idea to check with your vet first if your medicines are okay for your pet.

Heat and Dehydration

Unless you have stupidly locked your dog in your car while the sun was beating down on it, dogs and cats usually aren’t affected too much by the weather for short periods. However, it’s a good idea for you to bring hydration not only for yourself, but for your pet, too. A good rule of thumb is that if you think you will need a drink in reserve, how much more your pet, with all the fur? If it’s an emergency, it’s a good idea to have an ice pack, wrapped in a towel.

Be observant of your pet; if you can, take a photo if he or she throws up to give your vet a better idea of what to do.


This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s October 2017 issue.