206.323.4433 2115 - 23rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

Laser Therapy for Pets: Speeds Healing, Enhances Comfort

Laser therapy is a comfortable, drug-free, non-invasive therapy used to successfully treat a variety of painful pet conditions.

Dr. Monahan performs laser surgery on a dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Laser therapy speeds healing and enhances comfort for chronic issues, such as arthritis and some neurologic conditions, as well as acute injuries like wounds, injuries, dental extractions, incisions, and broken bones. And, in the hands of a trained veterinary acupuncturists, therapeutic lasers can also be used to perform laser acupuncture therapy.

While a relatively new therapy, laser technology has significantly improved in recent years from the older, less powerful “cold lasers” to the newest and most effective Class IV Therapeutic Lasers, such as our Companion Laser.

What does laser therapy feel like?

During laser therapy, patients feel a soothing warmth during the treatment and typically relax and enjoy the session. Areas of inflammation may briefly feel sensitive to the touch, before pain reduction occurs. Therapy sessions usually last 10-20 minutes, depending upon the number of body sites treated and the size of the animal.

How often should a patient be treated?

Dr. Munroe with a happy laser surgery patient | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dr. Munroe with a happy laser surgery patient.

Acute conditions can be treated daily, particularly in cases of severe pain. Chronic problems (arthritis, some skin conditions) may respond better with treatments 2-3 times weekly, tapering down to once every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.

How long before results are seen?

While some patients experience significant pain reduction after the first visit, improvement is usually seen by the third or fourth session, and the benefits of treatments are cumulative. Acute conditions often improve quickly, while chronic conditions (such as arthritis) may require ongoing therapy treatment to achieve and maintain optimal results.

Click here to learn more about our Rehab & Sports Medicine therapies.

Why Are My Dog’s Eyes Red?

Why Are My Dog’s Eyes Red?

The causes of red, inflamed eyes in dogs vary considerably, from mild allergies to sight-robbing health conditions, to serious systemic infections.

Red eyes can be a symptom of a serious systemic disease, so a complete physical exam and sometimes laboratory tests are an important part of determining the cause and treatment.

Hay Fever and Allergies

Allergic conjunctivitis often occurs when the pollen count is high. Dogs, like humans, can suffer from “hay fever” and allergies, causing mild-to-moderate inflammation and itchiness of the tissues surrounding the eyeball.

Allergic dogs can be so uncomfortable they rub their eyes, introducing bacteria and causing infection and/or causing a painful scratch or abrasion on their cornea (the clear tissue at the front of the eye). Corneal ulcers may be superficial and heal quickly with treatment. Left untreated, they can become deep and very serious. Best to have us check it out.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers, caused by an abrasion to the cornea, will also cause a dog’s eye to become reddened and inflamed. Corneal ulcers are not uncommon in social dogs that frequent doggie day cares, dog parks, and sometimes grooming salons.

They occur more frequently in “smooshy-faced” (brachycephalic) breeds whose eyes are more exposed, such as French bulldogs, Shih Tzus, English bulldogs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Pugs.

Bacteria, Viruses, and Uveitis

Reddened eyes can also be infectious, ranging from a potentially contagious bacterial infection (“pink eye”) to serious viral upper respiratory infections, like canine influenza and canine distemper.

Viral upper respiratory infections will be accompanied by a fever and other symptoms, and may make dogs very ill.

Uveitis (inflammation within the eyeball) can be caused by an autoimmune disease, trauma to the eye, or very serious systemic infections, such as leptospirosis.

Eyelid Growths

Anything rubbing on the eyeball can cause inflammation and discomfort, and can lead to secondary problems such as infection and corneal ulcers.

Distichiasis is when an eyelash growing in the wrong place (such as on the inside of the eyelid) causes irritation to the eye.

Other times, a Meibomian gland in the lash line goes rogue and grows into a mass that rubs on the eye.

Glaucoma, Dry Eye, and Eye Tumors

Some health conditions causing red eyes are very serious and need immediate treatment.

Glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye), can rob a dog of its sight.

Keratoconjunctiva sicca, or “dry eye” is an autoimmune disease decreasing normal tear production, making a dog’s eye extremely painful and damaging the cornea, also robbing a dog of its sight if left untreated.

Tumors and growths within the eyeball can also cause the eye to become reddened and need to be diagnosed and treated quickly.

We Provide Physical Therapy and Rehab Therapy for Animals

Veterinary rehabilitation therapy is new and exciting field in which human physical therapy techniques are adapted to treat animals with debilitating and painful musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

Rehab-certified veterinarians use an array of traditional and alternative therapies to reduce pain, increase strength and flexibility, and enhance recovery from injury, surgery, and degenerative diseases in their efforts to help their animal patients live full and comfortable lives.

Dr. Tricia Munroe | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dr. Tricia Munroe

Dr. Tricia Munroe, cVMA, CCRT, completed a rigorous training course and certification in canine rehabilitation therapy and sports medicine in 2016.

She uses her training to evaluate our patients with orthopedic and neurological conditions, then prescribe and implement an individualized treatment plan aimed at increasing muscle strength, joint flexibility, and balance, while decreasing pain.

Treatment plans may include:

  • specialized exercises
  • laser therapy
  • acupuncture
  • massage
  • cold or heat therapies
  • electrical stimulation
  • medication

Dr. Munroe educates owners about their pets’ condition and what they can do at home to help their pet, such as home exercise programs. She can also suggest home adaptations and tools that may be useful to help a pet move more comfortably and confidently.

As one of only 17 veterinarians with CCRT certification in Washington, Dr. Munroe is seeing an increasing number of patients for rehab therapy and accepts referral patients from other veterinary clinics for patients who would benefit from rehab therapy.

Here’s a video of Dr. Monroe working with patients (on our Facebook page)

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit

By Hannah Feinsilber
Intern at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital

It’s not a surprise that some dogs and cats dislike vet visits. The different sounds and smells, as well as getting poked and prodded, can upset their routine of playing, sleeping, and eating.

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Our Pets Are Just Like Us

The way some humans think about dental visits – or even yearly doctor check-ups – is similar to the way some pets think about vet visits: uncomfortable, stressful, but unquestionably necessary. Pet owners know that annual checkups and vaccinations are crucial to their pet’s long-term health, yet some dread the anxiety-laden trip that comes with it.

According to The American Veterinary Medical Association:

“Thirty-eight percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are fearful of vet visits, even more fearful than kids are of going to the dentist. Even 38 percent of cat owners and 26 percent of dog owners are stressed just thinking about it.”

Twenty-eight percent of cat owners and 22 percent of dog owners would visit the veterinarian more frequently if it wasn’t so stressful for the owner and/or the pet.

Fear Free Takes the “Pet” Out of “Petrified”

Fear Free is an organization that helps alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them. Fear Free provides online and in-person education to pet owners, veterinary professionals, and the pet professional community. There is so much YOU can do to help your pet(s) have the safest and most productive vet visit EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Why You Should Care

Veterinarians and pet owners take the physical health of pets very seriously, yet the pet’s mental health is sometimes overlooked. Reducing anxiety, stress, and fear in cats and dogs will significantly reduce their sensitivity to pain, and create a safer and more productive visit for everyone involved.

Fear vs. Anxiety

Fear and anxiety are two different problems, and can be often reduced in quick and easy ways. Fear is the instinctual feeling of apprehension resulting from a situation, person, or object presenting an external threat – whether real or perceived. Anxiety is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in physiologic reactions.

Be Educated in Fear Free Practices

In order to provide pets with long, happy, healthy lives, regular visits to your veterinarian for both preventive and acute care are crucial. By becoming educated in Fear Free techniques, you can help to brighten and enrich your pet’s life to the fullest.

Veterinary visits are a crucial part of Fear Free Happy Homes. Reducing the anxiety, fear, stress, and pain sensitivity for the pets we care about will create a more productive and safe environment for everybody involved – pets, pet owners, and veterinary professionals.

Here are 12 easy steps you can take that will make a huge difference in the long-term health of your pet:

For Cats

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Be Prepared

Do not wait until the day of or the day before to prepare for your cat’s visit.

After working on creating positive associations with various predictable aspects of the vet visit, like getting in the crate, riding in the car, and being handled by new people, if your cat still seems anxious about the visit, talk to your vet about other methods for soothing them.

For example, pheromones, supplements, or medications may help to manage your cat’s fear, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, before you take your cat to the vet, work with your veterinary team to discuss your cat’s emotional health during their visit, and patterns you have observed at home. Little changes, such as waiting in your temperature-controlled car until an exam room is ready, can make a huge impact on your cat’s mental health and reduce their anxiety and stress levels.

Create a Safe Carrier

Get your cat accustomed to being comfortable in her carrier.

If the only time your cat gets in her carrier is when going to the vet, chances are she will fear and reject it. Instead, try creating a link between the carrier and safe and happy feelings by incorporating her carrier into her daily life.

Use the carrier as a place for your cat to sleep or eat, as well as rewarding her with treats once inside.

Additionally, try leaving her carrier open throughout the day, incorporating it into playtime with feline friends.

Provide a Comfortable and Safe Car Ride

Try spraying Feliway® (a pheromone that has a calming effect on cats) in your car’s interior 30-60 minutes before you will leave for the vet visit. This spray will reduce your cat’s anxiety and stress, making kitty more calm once he heads in for his appointment.

During the drive, try to avoid sudden braking, stopping, acceleration, or sharp and fast turns.

Tuning the radio to a soothing channel like classical music can also calm your cat, causing a more relaxed visit.

Finally, once you arrive at the vet, make sure you have brought a blanket or large towel to cover the carrier to reduce visual stimulation of seeing other pets.

Manage the Waiting Room

Some veterinary waiting rooms can be a scary place for your cat, especially when shared with other anxious, loud, and unhappy pets who aren’t thrilled to be there either. In an ideal world, your cat should be able to be moved to the exam room right upon arrival; ask the front desk whether this is possible.

To make the waiting room experience more tolerable, try positioning the carrier so that it faces the back of a wall, chair, or couch.

Additionally, cover the carrier with a towel and stay with your kitty – reassure by talking to them and letting them smell your fingers. If possible, seek out a place to sit that is animal-free.

Timing is also very important, too. Be on time. Do not arrive too early, and do not arrive late. Waiting a long time for the vet can cause a buildup of stress, anxiety, and fear that will not make the vet visit as easy and productive as it could be.

Consider Anti-Anxiety Medications

If your cat still has an anxious mind, your vet can prescribe or suggest prescription medication or over-the-counter remedies that can help take the edge off during the vet visit. Talk to your vet for specific recommendations.

Implement Regular “Happy Visits”

Cat’s visits to the vet shouldn’t just be limited to when they are hurt, sick, or need vaccinations.

The more familiar they become with the environment of the vet, the more comfortable they will feel going to the vet.

Even just popping in occasionally for a reward of treats and a friendly hello from the veterinary staff can make your cat feel more safe and relaxed at the vet.

For Dogs:

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Bring Toys

Does your dog get stressed out by unfamiliar or presumed unsafe environments? Like the cartoon character Linus’s famous blanket, some dogs benefit from bringing their favorite toy to provide a familiar scent and a dose of comfort at the vet’s office.

Implement “Happy Visits”
Taking your dog to the vet clinic even if they do not have a scheduled appointment can make them less fearful, stressed, and more comfortable with the veterinary environment. Many veterinary clinics encourage “happy visits” where the staff will pet your dog and feed him treats. As a result, this can make your dog feel more relaxed at their vet visits.

Arrive Hungry

You may be thinking, “Why would I ever want my dog to be hungry?” Arriving at the vet visit with a hungry dog can encourage them to take treats for good behavior, which has been scientifically shown to decrease anxiety, fear, and stress.

Bring their favorite treats from home if you are not sure if they are going to like the vet treats.

Take Joy Rides

Does your dog associate car rides with going to the vet? If yes, after they are finished with their visit, take your dog on a car ride that ends with a treat or a stroll in the park. As a result, your dog will not associate the car with only vet appointments.

Medications from your vet to treat car-sickness for your pet is also a great option, and is highly advised if applicable. Additionally, it is unsafe for your dog to be in the front seat of the car due to possible inflation of airbags, so put them in the back for optimal safety.

Create a Safe Crate

Crates can be a scary place for some dogs, increasing their anxiety, stress, and fear levels when placed inside of it before the appointment. Try to avoid taking out the crate only when going to the vet. Alternatively, at home, leave it out as a safe place for your dog to sleep or eat in, instead of an unsafe/negative environment.

Most veterinarians recommend crate training when your dog is a puppy as well to make this process easier. As a result, your dog will hopefully go inside when you need them to, will not associate the crate with only going to the vet, and will feel safe and secure.

Make a Difference

Reading body language for detailed cues, playing specific music, and providing short-acting anti-anxiety medication are just three examples of the many ways to reduce anxiety, stress, and fear in the pets we love.

The emotional and physical health of the ones we care the most about is the #1 priority, and each of us can play a vital role in in helping vet visits become Fear Free.

Pet Doesn’t Like to Travel? Let Us Come to You!

Does your pet get anxious when traveling to the vet?

Does he have a medical condition that makes him difficult to transport?

Do you have young kids at home, and don’t want to find a sitter for them while you take your pet to the vet?

Or maybe you just want to avoid Seattle traffic.

Let us come to you.

Pet Doesn't Like to Travel? Let Us Come to You! | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

A veterinary house call blends our commitment to exceptional veterinary care and old-fashioned service, brought to your door.

Many (but not all) types of appointments are suitable for home visits. Learn about our well pet house calls and hospice care house calls.

House calls are scheduled weekdays for pets who live in the following zip codes: 98144, 98108, 98118, 98122, 98134, and 98040.

Slug Bait – It’s Dangerous for Pets

Slow-moving, slimy slugs are everywhere this time of year. These shell-less gastropod molluscs can devour your garden, and they can infect pets who eat them with lung worms.

The Dangers of Slug Bait to Pets | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Danger!

Be cautious about putting slug bait out, as it is a common source of poisoning in dogs and cats. That’s because slug bait includes brown sugar or molasses to attract slugs. Unfortunately, the sweet stuff also makes the bait irresistible to our furry friends.

In addition to brown sugar or molasses, slug bait (which comes in pellet, liquid, or powder form) typically contains the active ingredient metaldehyde.

Ingestion of even small quantities of metaldehyde can be fatal. Poisoned pets may show symptoms within minutes, and symptoms may develop up to three hours after ingestion.

Symptoms of Metaldehyde Poisoning

If you suspect that your pet has ingested slug bait, call us immediately. Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Panting
  • Twitching
  • High fever
  • Hypersalivating (drooling)
  • Vomiting
  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Hyperthermia (high fever)
  • Convulsions

Safer Ways to Get Rid of Slugs

This article outlines four alternative ways to lure slugs and snails:

  • Beer or milk traps
  • Cornmeal traps
  • Humane traps
  • Night hunting

4 Remedies for Hairballs in Cats

Did you know that cats spend up to a quarter of their day grooming themselves?

4 Remedies for Hairballs in Cats | atlanticvetseattle.com

Their rough tongues catch loose hair, which is swallowed and usually passes unnoticed through their GI tract. When a larger amount of hair has accumulated in the stomach, however, cats have a unique talent of vomiting up a trichobezoar, or “hairball” (although it’s hardly shaped like a ball).

This is protective measure that usually works just fine to rid the cat of excessive hair in its stomach. Occasionally, the trichobezoar grows so large it cannot pass out of the stomach or blocks the intestinal tract, requiring emergency surgery to remove it. Fortunately, these occurrences are rare.

Other times, cats are vomiting hairballs more frequently than normal, indicating some other underlying medical problem that needs to be addressed (besides having the carpet cleaners on speed dial).

Cats that vomit hairballs more than once a month (except in May and June, perhaps twice a month), may be grooming excessively. Or, the frequent hairballs may be a result of inflammatory bowel disease, food sensitivity, or an intestinal motility problem. It’s time to give us a call and schedule an appointment.

4 Common Remedies for Hairballs

Here are four ways to remedy hairballs.

1. Hairball diets

Over the past 15 years, “hairball diets” and “hairball treats” have become common place in the world of cat food. These diets and treats are usually higher in fiber and are thought to help cats pass swallowed hair in their stool. Whether they actually work as advertised seems to vary amongst cats.

2. Hairball Laxatives

Another common remedy is hairball laxatives, typically petrolatum-based (think Vaseline) or oil-based, that is also meant to help a cat pass swallowed hair in their stool. We suggest the oil-based hairball laxatives, but only once a week (not daily). Oil-based hairball laxatives can be harder to find than the petrolatum-based products.

3. Regular Grooming with a Cat Comb

The very best remedy for hairballs (not caused by an underlying medical problem) is regular grooming. During May and June, “regular” can mean twice a day.

Our favorite grooming tool is a nylon comb from the drugstore, or you can purchase a cat comb from a pet store. Nylon combs are inexpensive, their teeth are rarely sharp, and they can be tossed in the dishwasher to clean.

Try dipping the comb in a tumbler of water, tap it on the edge of the glass to remove most of the water, then comb your kitty in the direction the hair grows.

Most, but not all, cats enjoy grooming if it doesn’t hurt. It’s a social thing cats do for each other when they like each other. The damp comb helps pick up more hair, keeps it from flying around your home, cleans the kitty, and prevents static electricity so you don’t “zap” your cat (who would no longer find grooming much fun after that!).

It’s best to start regular grooming as a kitten so your cat, however, even many adult cats like it if you’re gentle.

4. Lion Cuts

Some extra furry kitties come see us for a lion cut because their heavy coats cause them to shed A LOT.

Our nurses love doing lion cuts, and most extra furry cats like them too (however, occasionally we have to provide light sedation to accomplish the task).

Lion cuts involve clipping the fur on the trunk, but leaving the fur on the “ruff” (neck), head, legs, and tail, thus making the cat look like an adult male lion. Older cats usually act pretty kittenish after a lion cut.

Why Smooshy-Faced Dogs and Cats Require Additional Dental Care

Smooshy-faced breeds of dogs and cats, technically called brachyocephalics, require additional dental care when compared to their longer-faced cousins.

Why Smooshy-Faced Dogs and Cats Require Additional Dental Care | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Frenchies, Pugs, Bostons, Boxers, English Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Bull Mastiffs, Pekingese, Persians, Exotic Shorthairs, Himalayans, British Shorthairs, Scottish Folds, and the like have been bred to have shorter faces.

However, although their jaws are shorter, their teeth are still typical size, resulting in dental crowding. Instead of their teeth lining up in a straight arcade, their molars and premolars are turned sideways, creating valleys where food can lodge.

Unless it’s removed within 24 hours, that food becomes plaque, which in turn becomes tartar, causing gingivitis.

Left untreated, gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease, then tooth loss and pain.

Fortunately, with good dental hygiene and routine professional teeth cleaning, these fun, adorable breeds of dogs and cats can enjoy excellent dental health and keep their teeth for a lifetime. It just takes a bit more effort, but they’ll thank you for it.

Link Between Ticks and Kidney Disease in Dogs

Dogs exposed to Lyme disease have a 43 percent higher risk of developing kidney disease, according to a study from IDEXX.

Ticks transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Dogs, cats, and humans (along with many other animals) can become infected with Lyme disease when they are bitten by an infected tick that has been attached to the skin for 24-36 hours.

New Study Shows Link Between Ticks and Kidney Disease in Dogs | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Ticks are blood-sucking arachnids, not insects. Slow-moving and unable to jump, they lay in wait on grass or leaves until their prey walks by, then grab on for the ride.

The longer a tick is attached, the greater the chance of infection. The Lyme disease bacteria can establish a long-term infection that affects the heart, kidneys, joints, and brain.

Lyme Disease is on the Rise in the PNW

Lyme disease is increasing in the Western US, particularly in the Southern Cascades and along the Oregon coast.

And guess what? Ticks become active in the spring.

Ticks can harbor bacteria, viruses, and protozoal parasites, sometimes more than one at a time. In addition to transmitting the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, ticks are also to blame for the spread of other of life-threatening diseases that affect humans and animals: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, anaplasmosis, and erlichiosis, to name a few.

Signs of Infection

Signs of infection include fever, lethargy, lameness, stiffness, pain, vomiting, and diarrhea – signs shared by several other diseases.

It is important to note that the typical “bulls-eye” rash that commonly effects people with Lyme disease is uncommon in dogs.

Chewable Tick Preventives

The first line of defense against Lyme disease and any other tick-borne disease is a rigorous tick control program.

Fortunately, we have monthly chewable tick and flea preventives that can help minimize tick exposure.

For dogs, consider chewables such as Simparica or Bravector. For cats, consider topicals such as Bravecto or Catego.

No more messy topical medication or stinky collar, just a tasty “treat” that safely and effectively prevents fleas and ticks from 30-90 days, depending on the product.

Additionally, new laboratory tests help us spot tick-borne diseases faster, sometimes before they cause disease symptoms.

You know the 4DX lab test we recommend for your dog every year? Well, test #1 screens for heartworm disease, but #2-4 are screens for tick-borne illnesses – Lyme disease, erlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.

What To Do If You Find a Tick

Keep your pet away from potentially tick-infested areas (tall grass, low brush, and wooded areas) if possible.

Be sure to conduct a daily tick inspection of yourself and your pet after traversing these areas.

If you find a tick on yourself or your pet, do the following:

  1. Safely remove the tick with tweezers as soon as possible, pulling straight back to make sure the tick is completely removed. Otherwise, tick mouth parts can remain embedded and infection is still possible.
  2. Disinfect the bite area, your hands, and the tweezers.
  3. Save the tick in zippered sandwich bag for identification and possible testing.

If you are uncertain how to safely remove a tick from your pet, please call us at (206) 323-4433, and we will make a same-day appointment to remove the tick from your pet.

Basics for Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit

Basics for Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

We’ve all experienced accidents. Injuries. Sudden illness. Poisoning. Natural disasters. These things happen to our pets, too, so it’s important to have both human and pet-specific first-aid supplies on hand.

We recommend putting together two pet first-aid kits – one for your car and one for your home. Before you create your pet’s first-aid kit, talk with your veterinarian, who will suggest items appropriate for your pet’s breed, age, medical history, and lifestyle.

You can buy ready-made first-aid kits for pets, and you can also use many of the supplies in your household first-aid kit for your pet.

Here are some basic items for your furry family member’s first-aid kit:

➡️ Contact information. A hard copy of phone numbers and email addresses for your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, animal control, and animal poison control. Program this information into your cell phone, as well.

➡️ Medications. Backup supplies of all current prescribed medications (make sure they have not expired). Also include vet-approved, over-the-counter medications such as flea and tick preventives, sedatives for traveling, and antacids.

➡️ 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. If your pet ingests something poisonous, you may need to induce vomiting. Always contact your local animal poison control or your veterinarian before inducing vomiting.

❗ Do not use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean or disinfect wounds, as it can slow healing.

➡️ Milk of magnesia or activated charcoal can be used to absorb poison. As with Hydrogen Peroxide, always contact your local animal poison control or your veterinarian before administering either of these items.

➡️ Canned tuna (in water) or a can or chicken broth. Some plants and household cleaners can irritate your pet’s mouth, causing severe drooling and foaming. Giving your pet something tasty (such as the water from the can of tuna) can dilute the taste and safely flush the chemical out of your pet’s mouth and esophagus.

➡️ Saline wound flush for cleaning, irrigating, or flushing a wound. A bottle of saline eye/contact lens flush or saline nasal spray can also be used.

➡️ Liquid dish soap (not dishwasher soap) can be used to gently remove potentially poisonous chemicals or toxins from your pet’s fur.

➡️ Antibiotic ointment. For minor skin wounds, over-the-counter antibiotic ointment may work in a pinch. Ask your veterinarian which ointment they recommend for your pet.

➡️ Bandages and gauze. Do not use human adhesive bandages on pets. Invest in vet wrap, a flexible, stretchy, self-adhering bandage that is semi-watertight. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the correct width and to show you how to properly apply it.

🐾 Also include gauze rolls, gauze pads, non-stick bandage pads, self-adhesive bandage covers, bandage tape, blunt-tip bandage scissors, and tweezers.

➡️ Rectal thermometer, water-based lubricating jelly for use with the thermometer, and disposable gloves. Know what your pet’s “normal” is and ask your veterinarian how to properly use the thermometer.

➡️ Muzzle. When pets get wounded, they can become frantic. A muzzle covers your pet’s head and keeps it from biting.  If your pet is vomiting, do not muzzle it!

➡️ Leash, collar, poop bags, and kitty litter. Dogs can snap leashes in accidents, and a sick dog goes through a LOT of poop bags! If you are a cat owner and need to evacuate your home, you’ll be thankful that your first-aid kit includes a quart-size bag of kitty litter.

➡️ Collapsible travel food and water bowls. Whether you’re running errands, taking a road trip, or hiking, your pet needs to stay hydrated. Silicone bowls are ideal, as plastic can easily break into sharp pieces.

🐾 Include bottled water in your first-aid kit, too, of course.

➡️ Canned pet food. In some emergencies, you may need to evacuate immediately. Make sure your kit includes several cans of canned food with a pop-off lid, in case you forget a can opener.

Where to store pet first-aid supplies

Put supplies in a large tool box, fishing tackle box, backpack, shoulder bag, rubber bin, or in a heavy-duty, sealable plastic bag. Whatever storage system you use, make sure it’s easy to pick up and take wherever your pet needs treatment.

Store a kit in each automobile you drive, and one kit inside your home, out of the reach of children and pets.

Check your first-aid kit every few months and replace any missing or expired items.

Additional Resources

Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.