7 common pet injuries and how to avoid them
Has your accident-prone animal friend had more trips to the vet than you care to count? If your fishy, furry, feathery or scaly pet can’t seem to keep out of trouble, you’ve come to the right place. We look at the seven most common pet injuries and how you can treat them – or prevent them entirely.
1. Animal bites
If your territorial feline sees another cat strutting on to its turf like it owns the place, prepare for trouble. Not exclusive to cats, animal bites quite possibly top the list when it comes to pet injuries. This could be a bite from another domestic animal, a fox, snake or even a particularly aggressive possum.
It’s wise to keep your pets indoors or within a safe, enclosed space overnight, and your dog on a leash when walking through bushlands with snake-friendly long grass. Plus, if The Lost World: Jurassic Park taught us anything, long grass is also home to velociraptors.
2. Foreign object or toxin ingestion
Does your dog have an insatiable desire to consume every inanimate object in your house? Do you fear losing a hand when it comes to feeding Bubbles the goldfish? The bottom line: pets often eat things they shouldn’t.
From household chemicals to human medication, or even common foods such as chewing gum, grapes and onions, there are many items that can cause serious issues to your animal when consumed. If your pet is vomiting repeatedly or unwilling to eat for a day, you need to take them to the vet. If you fear they’ve eaten something toxic, a professional evaluation is urgent.
3. Broken nail
Think you’ve got first-world problems when you break a nail trying to open that can of soft drink? When your pet breaks a nail, it’s usually accompanied by excessive bleeding, so make sure your pet’s nails stay trimmed. If they do experience a break, they may have to be sedated at the vet so they can cut the nail back behind the crack.
4. Eye trauma
Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing your poor pooch or feline tearing up. If this symptom is accompanied by excessive blinking, then your pet may have a corneal scratch or abrasion. In the worst case, they may have a tear, which is more common with dogs as they lead with their eyes. This injury is difficult to prevent, but it pays to be aware of any signs your pet may have eye trauma.
5. Insect stings/bites
The catch-and-release method might keep your house relatively bug-free, but it may also introduce some nasty pests into your pet’s domain. Check your yard for infestations of ants, spiders, bees and wasps, and clear out the nests if it’s safe to do so. If your pet has already been stung or bitten, they may require anti-inflammatory medication.
If Mr Snookums is getting on in years and has become a little tubby, then he’s especially susceptible to dehydration or heat stroke in hot weather. Also be cautious when walking your dog in high temperatures, and make sure there’s always plenty of fresh water and shade available.
7. Cruciate ligament rupture
The cruciate ligament provides knee stability and can be injured when pets jump or fall from heights. While most cats possess the nimbleness and agility of a ninja, excitable dogs can often experience ruptures of this ligament. If Patches is holding up his leg or limping, it’s advisable to have him evaluated straight away.
Pet injuries are an unfortunate reality of owning an animal, but expensive vet bills don’t have to be. Consider the pet insurance plans available to make sure you’re covered if Sir Cuddlesworth gets up to mischief again.
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