Health and Nutrition

How to Remove a Foreign Object from Your Pet’s Skin

Splinters and thorns are common foreign objects that become embedded in a pet’s skin. They can be found anywhere on pets but are frequently embedded in the pads of their feet. Other foreign objects include porcupine quills, sticks and glass.

Causes can include accidental injury, an encounter with a porcupine or running into a sharp object such as a stick or fence. The signs of an object in your pet’s skin include, not placing any weight, or placing less weight, on a limb, swelling at the site of the foreign object, licking at the paw, and an obviously protruding quill, thorn or other object.

Tip: Run your hands lightly over your pet’s head, body, legs and feet every day to check for foreign bodies, injuries or parasites. Your pet will love the contact!

First Ad

#1 Sterilize a pair of tweezers and a needle, either by passing them through a flame or by dipping them in an alcohol solution.

#2 Direct a good source of light at the area.

#3 With the ends of the tweezers, take hold of and pull out the object. If it breaks, or if there are deep fragments, particularly of glass, do not attempt to remove them. Take the animal to a veterinary hospital.

#4 If the object is just below the surface of the skin, try to scrape the overlying skin with the needle, then grasp the object with the tweezers.

#5 After removing the object, soak the affected area in a dilute solution of warm (not hot) water and Epsom salts for fifteen minutes. Repeat this step three or four times daily until the healing is complete.

#6 For cats with a foreign object in the paw, do not use clay litter in the litter box until the wound seals over. Cats sometimes react to changes in litter by refusing to use the litter box. If this occurs, talk to your veterinarian.

#7 If the wound is deep or if you cannot remove the entire object, or if your pet does not put weight on the limb, take the animal to a veterinary hospital.

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