How to Clean Pet Wounds With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Did you know that you can easily treat minor pet wounds at home? If you are a pet parent, you will know that our pets often experience an abrasion, a burn, a wound, a cut, or a scrape now and then. When this happens, you do not need to be scared or worried.

All that is required is proper care and rest with the right antiseptics. Your pet will be up and about doing their favorite activities in no time. Your pet’s lifestyle habits include whether they play outdoors or indoors, the kind of play they do and if they play with other animals.

However, always make sure to be able to differentiate between mild wounds and those which need a veterinarian’s attention.

Avoid attempting to treat any wound that fully penetrates the skin, like a bite or soft tissue injury. Even minor wounds should be tended to prevent bacterial growth and spread promptly.

So, read on to discover how you can clean your pets’ wounds using perhaps the most effective antiseptic: hydrogen peroxide!

The Importance of Early and Thorough Pet Wound Cleaning

It is vital to ensure proper wound care as early as possible. This will prevent infections, stop bleeding, fend off complications, and reinforce healing. Moreover, there will be a lesser chance of scarring. When skin tissues dry and die from raw wounds, the skin’s waterproof barrier is lost, and complications are likely to follow.

Prevent Infection

A crucial aspect of pet wound care is a thorough cleaning. This step encourages the healing process as well as stops bleeding.

You should wash the wound properly with soap, water, and an appropriate disinfectant. After applying a thin layer of antiseptic ointment, you should cover the wound with a gauze or bandage.

Remember to keep a close eye and ensure the wound is clean and dry, especially over the next 24 hours.

To keep yourself safe from the bacterial spread, always wash your hands before and after caring for your pet’s wound. You can observe the healing process by noting the wound’s temperature, bleeding, discharge, or smell.

Clear the Debris

Thoroughly rinsing the pet’s wound in clean water can drastically loosen and remove most of the dirt and debris.

If some bits still remain after washing, you can gently remove the dirt or debris with sanitized tweezers. However, if it is a stubborn wound, call your nearest veterinarian at the earliest.

This step gives your pet’s skin some breathing room. A fresh surface will kick start the healing and readily progress by repairing injured tissues.

With the help of naturally-occurring enzymes, your skin will naturally slough off any dead skin cells or tissue remnants.

Stop Bleeding

If you notice that your furry friend’s wound is bleeding, apply gentle pressure while cleaning it. You can slightly elevate the affected part to counteract gravity and continue to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.

For this step, you need to use any dry absorbent material such as a towel, gauze, or a soft handkerchief.

Most minor injuries will cease bleeding in several minutes, but in case of deeper wounds, they may take longer or reoccur when you stop applying pressure. You can add another layer of gauze or compress if you see any blood soaking through the dressing. This is to encourage blood clotting and start healing.

Start the Healing Process

It goes without saying that the faster you treat your pet’s wound, the more it will heal much quicker. You can aid in encouraging the healing process by carefully monitoring your pet’s wound and dressing it. The skin tissue layer should be clean and hydrated.

When your pet’s wound has a granulation layer, pinkish red in color along an uneven texture is in the healing stage. You will notice little to no bleeding as well. Additionally, feed your pet well with a nutritious, well-balanced diet during this stage to heal faster and fight infections.

Can You Put Hydrogen Peroxide On Pet Wound?

Using hydrogen peroxide on your pet’s wound at home is somewhat controversial. Hydrogen peroxide can cause extreme irritation to tissue and slow the healing phase if not used properly.

Using it at the initial stage is recommended to clean the wound and not repetitively during each dressing.

A study published in April 2017 discussed the clinical use of hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 3% for disinfecting and cleaning wounds.

It was concluded that the therapeutic use of hydrogen Peroxide could drastically promote chronic wound healing. This is because the dynamic change of hydrogen peroxide in wound tissue can aid in balancing the wound healing and inflammation-resolving phase.

How Do I Use Hydrogen Peroxide On My Dog’s Wound?

You should never forget the first and foremost thing to follow your veterinarian’s prescription when using hydrogen peroxide.

Using a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution at a 50:50 ratio with water is best. Also, ensure that your pet does not lick it as it is unsuitable for oral use.

#1 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean an Open Pet Wound

Hydrogen peroxide is a staple cleaning agent and a renowned active ingredient in many disinfectants or antiseptics.

It is highly efficient against numerous microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spores, and yeasts. The mechanism of action of hydrogen peroxide is a reactive biochemical pathway through its high oxidative property, which is an essential requirement for routine wound healing.

Due to mixed opinions from experts, it is a good idea to check and ensure you have exhausted all other potential natural antiseptic solutions.

Hydrogen peroxide is recommended when you do not have other options, and your pet suffers from mild wounds that could do without a veterinarian’s attention.

What You Need

Steps

The initial step is to thoroughly rinse your pet’s wound with clean, warm water to clean out any dirt and debris. Next, you will need to wet the washcloth properly with the solution of hydrogen peroxide. Dab your pet’s wound with a cloth with gentle pressure to disinfect it.

You can apply the solution directly if your pet’s wound is bleeding profusely, even after this step. Simply wet your pet’s fur with diluted hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for a couple of minutes or so.

Slowly comb or wipe the bloody discharge with a clean cloth. Fluid discharge from the wound on the furry skin can irritate if you leave it on too long.

Stuff to Keep In Mind

Ensure that your pet does not lick its treated wound, as even 3% hydrogen peroxide can cause inflammation and even ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract.

If you have a long-fur pet, it may be a good idea to trim the hair around the wound for easy cleaning. This practice will be useful as it will be less likely to trap debris.

Always visit your nearest veterinarian immediately if you suspect or know that your pet has ingested hydrogen peroxide or any chemical. Regardless of the wound size, if another animal’s bite causes it, you will want to see a vet anyways.

#2 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean an Old Pet Wound

Hydrogen peroxide is also great for cleaning old pet wounds.  However, you should use the chemical solution with caution, as rubbing a healing pet wound too vigorously is likely to damage the surrounding healthy tissue.

New tissue is particularly susceptible to chemicals and antiseptics as it’s much more sensitive than mature skin.

You can tell if the old wound is healing by looking for some signs. General cuts and skin punctures go through three healing stages, which are bleeding, clotting, and scabbing.

Another good symptom that your immune system is repairing your wound is swelling. Tissue growth and scarring are the last stages of a healed wound.

What You Need

Steps

Start off by unwrapping any dressing. Then you will need to wash the wound under running tap water for 7 to 10 minutes. Using a washcloth, gently dab away any crusty skin or tissue in their healing phase, and try not to pull on the skin.

Apply a thin layer of diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. Cover the treated wound with a sterile bandage so your pet does not lick the chemical. Keep repeating these steps until the wound has fully recovered.

Stuff to Keep In Mind

For better healing of old wounds, ensure to feed your pet with a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Avoid giving medicines or treats that may interfere with their body’s natural healing phase.

Most mild to moderate wounds are healed, but some extreme cases may lead to complications.

Keep an eye out for infections in old wounds. These can be in the form of pus, pimples, soft enlarged scabs, red areas and streaks, unusual swelling, and swollen nodes. Notice your pet’s habits and behavior, as it may change when there is a lot of pain.

How Do You Disinfect a Pet Wound?

You can simply wash away the affected area with warm tap water to clean most wounds. Apart from commercial disinfectants and chemical antiseptics, you can make your DIY solution. Warm saline solution is a brilliant cleaning agent readily available in every household.

Additionally, you can use diluted vinegar solutions for disinfecting mild pet wounds as well as rinsing off any unwanted debris or fur.

The pH of vinegar also has a soothing effect on your pet’s skin, relieving itchy skin. Some veterinarians also suggest coconut oil to soothe and disinfect minor pet wounds at home.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Hurt a Dog?

It should be fine if you stick to the standard over-the-counter 3% hydrogen peroxide on your dog’s skin. Higher concentrations may be toxic and can cause burns and damage.

The same concentration is occasionally used to induce vomiting in dogs to expel any suspected harmful substance from their gastrointestinal tract.

For such purposes, it is crucial to measure the dose carefully. The correct amount to administer orally is about one teaspoon per five pounds of the dog’s weight. The maximum is three tablespoons for dogs weighing over 45 pounds.

Most researchers do not recommend hydrogen peroxide for dogs. The Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care conducted a clinical study to characterize the extent of the mucosal injury on the upper digestive tracts of dogs

This was when using 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in a healthy dog.

The results showed some significant changes in the gastric mucosa, both visual and microscopically. The lower gastrointestinal tract parts, like the duodenum, showed lesser severe lesions.

Overall, it was concluded that dogs should only give hydrogen peroxide if the benefit outweighs the risk.

What Happens If A Dog Licks Hydrogen Peroxide?

As discussed above, hydrogen peroxide is sometimes used in dogs therapeutically to release ingestion of harmful toxins.

Nevertheless, it can cause ulceration and inflammation of the animal’s gastrointestinal tract. In case the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is more than 3%, it can cause small chemical burns on the dog’s tongue and gums.

You should not delay a consult with your nearest veterinarian if you think your furry friend has licked hydrogen peroxide unintentionally.

Meanwhile, encourage your dog to have a good drink of water while you wait for your appointment. Keep a close eye on your dog’s gums; they should maintain a nice pink salmon color.

What Is the Fastest Way to Heal a Dog Wound?

On average, it takes about one to four weeks for dog wounds to heal, depending on the severity. This phase is primarily of two kinds, contraction and epithelialization. It takes diligent wound care and careful monitoring to ensure your pup is up and about in no time.

The four healing stages of dog wounds are inflammation, debridement, repair, and maturation. The goal is to get through these changes without any major complications. The two main steps are wound management and antimicrobial hydrogel.

Ensure the dog wound is clean, hydrated, and free of any potentially contaminating debris. Then you can apply a cooling, protective layer of a hydrogel. These simple steps can vastly enhance your dog’s natural healing process.

How Much is Hydrogen Peroxide Toxic to Dogs?

The key point to remember is never ever to use hydrogen peroxide over a concentration of 3% for your dog.

The dose to follow is an easy rule of thumb: one milliliter per pound of your dog’s weight. A concentration of, let’s say, 10% hydrogen peroxide is extremely corrosive to the gastrointestinal mucosa lining, with potentially fatal effects.

There have been some cases reported of hydrogen peroxide overdose in dogs. The lesser severe effects were poor appetite or prolonged vomiting. There were also more severe cases such as chronic gastritis, bleeding, ulcers, and even death due to internal bleeding.

What Happens If I Put Hydrogen Peroxide On My Cats Wound?

Again, it is debated whether to use hydrogen peroxide for cats. If the benefit outweighs the risk, you can apply a small layer of diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and then cover the wound.

Too much hydrogen peroxide can actually damage the surrounding tissue and delay wound healing.

If used correctly, hydrogen peroxide is safe in cats as a disinfectant for wounds, although safer products are available. When you use it, combine it with de-ionizing water in a 50:50 ratio. This step aids in reducing the irritability of hydrogen peroxide on your cat’s skin.

How Do You Tell If Your Pet’s Wound Is Healing or Not?

As long as you see new pink tissue formation, you can be sure that the wound is healing nicely. Coming across blackened or dying tissue is not a good sign, though. Towards the final healing stage, you will see a smaller wound, more skin, and lesser fleshy pink.

Within a few minutes, the immediate healing stage starts when blood clots, dries, and forms a scab. This essentially protects the tissues underneath from any microbial invasion.

Over the next few days, blood vessels open to transport the essential nutrients and oxygen.

As weeks follow, your pet’s body repairs broken blood vessels and grows new tissue. The blood cells create collagen, and the wound fills in with new tissue skin, called granulation. The wound is stronger when a scar or scab forms.

This scar may go away with time or may be permanent. It is much smaller than the original wound. A good diet and systemic factors can aid in quicker healing. Keep your pet’s wound away from infections and complications.

Furthermore, ensure that your pet is not obese or diabetic, as these systemic factors can delay wound healing. Give your pet plenty of rest time to encourage healthy blood flow and a relaxed body for better healing.

What to Do if Your Pet’s Wound Has Become Infected?

One of the first signs you will notice is that your pet will be in pain. It might be having any symptoms like shaking, being aggressive, being reluctant to play, limping, having low ears or posture, and a loss of appetite.

Other signs of wound infections are greenish-yellow pus, redness, excessive fluid around the wound, or black edges around the injury.

These might be accompanied by a fever that continues over four hours. Another sign is bleeding at the wound site, even after applying pressure.

If you notice one or more of these signs, wash the wound properly under running water. The next step is to call your veterinarian right away.

Why is hydrogen peroxide the Best Remedial Wound Cleaner?

Hydrogen peroxide is considered to be a mild antiseptic. This can be used efficiently on wounds to prevent infection from minor scrapes, cuts, and burns.

In the dental industry, hydrogen peroxide is readily used as a mouthwash to relieve minor mouth irritation and remove mucus.

  • Antibacterial Properties

Hydrogen peroxide has brilliant bactericidal effects. These include growth inhibition of one bacterial species and killing microorganisms. For this reason, this chemical is used both in gas and liquid form as a preservative, sterilizer, and disinfectant.

The mode of hydrogen peroxide is by producing destructive hydroxyl free radicals. These are the compounds attacking DNA, membrane lipids, and other vital cell components. It overcomes bacteria by destroying their cell walls, a process called oxidation.

  • Antifungal Properties

The fantastic features of hydrogen peroxide also include its ability to cause a significant decrease in both the number of individual fungi species and the total amount. Hydrogen peroxide can kill viruses, mold spores, fungi, and yeasts.

You can use it to water your plants and eliminate fungus gnat eggs or larvae. Simply combine four parts of water with 1 part of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a bottle and spray your plants. They will thrive and grow much better. Hydrogen peroxide does not hurt plants as the strength is sufficiently diluted.

  • Boosts Healing and Repair

Although there is limited research, hydrogen peroxide generally cannot differentiate between bacterial, human, or animal cells. While you clean wounds, corrosive tissue damage and delayed wound healing can occur.

This is why you should use it with caution, as it will be beneficial in smaller amounts. For example, a burst of hydrogen peroxide activates neutrophils, part of the body’s immune system. These can readily remove damaged tissue and begin the process of inflammation for boosted healing and repair.

Safety Precautions to Observe While Using Hydrogen Peroxide on Pets

The primary safety measure you need to take while using hydrogen peroxide is to ensure you are using a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. This solution needs to be diluted in equal portions with water.

You should ensure that your pet does not accidentally ingest the hydrogen peroxide solution orally.

Inhaling a higher exposure may cause fluid build-up in the lungs, causing dizziness, nausea, and headaches. It is also corrosive to the ears and eyes and can cause severe, irreversible damage and possible deafness or blindness.

Do not use hydrogen peroxide in the area where your pet usually sleeps, rests, eats, or plays. Topical exposure can irritate your pet’s paws and skin, even causing rashes. It is recommended to wear gloves while handling the solution.

However, if you do not have your veterinarian’s go-ahead, avoid using the chemical solution at home.

The Bottom Line

Part of the responsibility of a pet owner is to care for your furry companions safely. They cannot care for themselves so they are heavily reliant on you.

Even being able to differentiate a healthy wound from an unhealthy one is a great contribution to your pet’s well-being.

Hydrogen peroxide is both extremely beneficial and dangerous.

Whenever using it, you need to be vigilant and careful to prevent fatal accidents. You should only use hydrogen peroxide for your pet if your veterinarian recommends it or you think the medical outcome is greater than the risk.

Hundreds of pet owners worldwide have used the chemical to clean their pets’ wounds, and it has worked just fine. However, there have been some cases where hydrogen peroxide did more damage than it did well.

Therefore, the best way to go about it is to use it in a regulated, controlled concentration and immediately stop using it if your dog gets unusually uncomfortable.

With all that said, order your set today!

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