Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. 5 things you can do today to help your dog live longer We wish our pets could live forever. Slip a soft muzzle over the dog’s nose and buckle it behind his head. Start with a coarse comb to remove loose spines, but watch out — blood may spurt out of an entry point, so keep a styptic stick and gauze at the ready. If nothing else the boots will protect your dogs feet from picking up all cactus needles therefore it is an easier job for you. Cactus is not difficult to remove but they do take up a considerable piece of your day if your dog has picked up a lot of them. Remember this is not easy on your dog either and can be considerably painful until the cactus needles are removed. Different types of needle-bearing cacti grow all over the world, and certain areas of North America contain high concentrations of the plant. Here are a few suggestions for the removal of cactus needles. If there are just a few needles in a non-vital area such as the dog’s leg or muzzle, you can attempt to remove the needles at home. Let’s hope your dog will learn to avoid cacti in the future — and keep you from being on pins and needles. If the area becomes swollen, discharges or does not improve, make an appointment to see your vet immediately. Take your pliers and pull out the largest of the cactus needles. To ensure your dog is cactus needle free use your duct tape on the area and rip it off quickly. A stuck cactus spine should be treated as a puncture wound. If they are stuck in the dog’s eyes or inside his mouth, head to your vet’s office at once. This special tool looks like a pair of scissors with ridges at the tip, and these ridges bite into the cactus needles and remove them without slipping. With these 5 steps, you and Fido can continue to … As you remove the spines, clean off any blood and stop bleeding at the entry points. There are boots that can be placed on your dog’s feet to help prevent the cactus from getting on your dog. This should remove any fine needles that may be left there. Every step he takes will drive the needles in the pad deeper and make it more difficult to remove. After removal and/or treatment, check the entry points for infection and apply antibiotic ointment as needed. Unlike small needles, large cactus spines and ball-like hitchhikers are easy to remove from clothing. There are those that can be removed by the fingers. Squeeze the needle between the tip of the tweezers and pull it out in the direction of hair growth. Get someone to help you — it may make it infinitely easier to remove the needles. Pack a muzzle, a comb, a pair of pliers, a set of tweezers, some duct tape and some antibiotic cream for the real nasty needles. Follow this by using the comb to comb out any that may be still in your dog’s body. Grasp short or slippery needles with a pair of hemostats. Depending on which part of your dogs body the cactus needles are in try and position your dog between your legs to get a good hold on him. If your dog got in a fight with a cactus and lost, here are some tools and tips to tackle removing needles. Pinch the needle between your fingers and pull it quickly out of the skin. Your pet may also salivate or foam at the mouth if spines have penetrated that area. This needs to be done precisely though to prevent the It may be hard to pull out the spines or keep your pet steady or calm. Some use tweezers while others who have hunting dogs prefer hemostats. It might be better to sedate the pet, rather than have them suffer in distress. Depending on where a spine is stuck, loosening or removing the spine may cause excessive or continuous bleeding. Use the comb to remove any loose spines from the dog’s coat. Older dogs that have lived around cactus all their lives have learned to avoid it but young dogs have yet to learn this lesson. Cactus can be removed easily without much after affect although it is time consuming and a little uncomfortable for your dog so should be done as quickly as possible. This is for your safety as well as the dogs. Please seek professional veterinary help if your pet becomes distressed. Removing cactus thorns from a dog needs to be done as soon as you discover the thorns to avoid any serious health issues. Once your dog has picked up cactus needles he needs your attention immediately especially if they are embedded in the pads of their paws. If the dog has spines in different areas of the body, apply antibiotic ointment in one section before moving on to another area. While not normally life-threatening, cactus needles will cause your pooch some discomfort. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications. For spines stuck at a sharp angle against the direction of the fur, remove these as gently as possible in the direction at which they’re stuck. Cactus can be literally a pain for your dog and in some cases a pain for you to remove. Care for a Basset Hound With Droopy Eyes→, Remove Scratches & Scuffs From Aquarium Glass→. The sight of a needle-covered dog will most likely have you running for the tweezers, but sometimes you should leave the spines for the professionals to deal with. Remove all cactus plants from your property and keep you dog leashed while walking through cactus-prone areas. An inexperienced dog will very likely be picking up some of the needles. Schedule your dog for a follow-up to make sure your pup is free of infection. Schedule your dog for a follow-up to make sure your pup is free of infection. Dab on a bit of antibiotic ointment to combat infection, and call your vet to schedule an appointment. Remove tiny needles with a pair of tweezers. Some spines may not need to be removed, but this should be determined by your veterinarian. It also is critical to remain calm during the removal process. Pinch the needle as close to the skin as possible and pull out in one smooth motion. The damp paper towel provides grip and acts as a mitt to catch loose needles. Once these are removed you can use your tweezers to remove the medium ones.

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