Pet Health

Neosporin for Dog

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Medication details

  • Medication type: Antibiotic
  • Form: Topical
  • Prescription required? No
  • FDA approved? No
  • Brand names: Neosporin
  • Common names: Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Available dosages: Typically includes 3.5 g Neomycin / 400 IU Bacitracin / 5000 IU Polymixin B per gram
  • Expiration range: Long shelf life

It’s a smart idea to have a first aid kit in your home for minor injuries and illnesses. Triple antibiotic ointment (also known as Neosporin) is a staple in every home’s first aid kit. This product may have been used on human family members, but you might be wondering if Neosporin is safe and effective for dogs.

A small amount of Neosporin may be okay for your pet if recommended by your veterinarian. However, there are some important caveats. You should be aware of the risks and alternatives to Neosporin before you give your dog a tube.

What is Neosporin?

Neosporin is a topical antibacterial ointment available over-the-counter at most human pharmacies. The ointment is formulated with three antibiotics, neomycin, polymixin B, and bacitracin zinc. It’s usually in a petroleum base. The ointment is effective against most common bacteria but will not treat viruses, fungi, or parasites. However, increased bacterial resistance is a growing concern with the widespread use of topical antibiotics. Some studies also show that long-term use of neomycin can lead to hearing loss. Neosporin, an over-the-counter product, is not subject to FDA review or regulation.

Can You Put Neosporin on a Dog?

Neosporin can also be applied topically to minor cuts and scrapes for dogs, just as it is for humans. It is best to consult your veterinarian before using any over-the-counter medication for dogs. A light coating applied to the area affected may prevent infection and promote faster wound healing. It is not for external use (on the dog’s skin). The dog should not lick the Neosporin off. Neosporin isn’t safe for dogs and can cause gastrointestinal side effects (more to come). You can’t stop your dog from eating it, but you might consider an alternative to Neosporin. Should not be applied Neosporin to the ears, eyes, mouth, or throat.

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Neosporin is a good option for emergencies but should not be used frequently. There are better products that are specifically made for pets. You should not use it to treat deep or large wounds or apply to large areas of your body. Your pet should not be treated at home if a cut or scrape becomes red, painful, swollen, or discharged. If your pet’s wound does not heal within a few days of using Neosporin, you should consult a veterinarian.

Is Neosporin safe for dogs?

Neosporin can be used in small doses on the skin to make it safe for dogs. Contact dermatitis is a condition that causes local inflammation in the area where the ointment has been applied to some dogs. Use a warm washcloth to gently remove any ointment residue and stop using Neosporin. Consult Your veterinarian if the irritation persists beyond 24 hours.

Your veterinarian may permit you to use Neosporin for your dog. However, Neosporin should not be applied topically to your dog’s skin. It can cause irritation and even death. You should never use it in your dog’s ear canal. It can damage the eardrum or worsen existing ear infections. Neosporin, which is is not the same as triple antibiotic eye drops, should not be applied to your pet’s eyes. Ophthalmic problems can quickly worsen, so it is better to consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet has eye problems.

Neosporin should not be administered to dogs by mouth. This is not only ineffective but can also cause diarrhea for your dog. You should not apply Neosporin topically to areas your dog cannot reach. You can also lightly cover the area with a T-shirt or socks. To stop your dog from licking the area, you can use an Elizabethan collar or a dog cone alternative. Your dog may lick the area, which will allow the ointment to be ingested by the dog. It can also cause the injury to get worse.

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Neosporin Side Effects in Dogs

It is important to be aware of possible side effects when using Neosporin. Itchy, reddened, or scaly skin may be signs of an allergic reaction. Although rare, more severe side effects may occur.

    • Vomiting or diarrhea if ingested
    • If it is used in the eyes, irritation
    • If used in the ears, hearing loss, infection, or irritation can occur.
    • Resistant infections are becoming more common

Neosporin should never be combined with any other topical medication unless your veterinarian directs you to. Neosporin can only be used externally and will not interact with any medication your pet is taking by mouth.

Neosporin Alternatives For Dogs

You can also buy over-the-counter silver sulfadiazine ointment and bacitracin cream. There are also topical antibacterial products specifically designed for dogs like Vetricyn, Silver Honey, and Sulfodene. These can be bought over-the-counter at your local pet shop or veterinary clinic.

Silver Honey combines the healing power of MicroSilver (BG) with Manuka honey to quickly heal skin conditions and soothe wounds. Pure micro-particles of silver have antibacterial properties that fight harmful germs and support the skin’s natural defenses. This honey, which has been carefully refined, is extremely potent. It kills bacteria, retains moisture, and helps to shed excess tissue.

These products should be applied externally to small areas of the skin. They should not be used for large or complex wounds. Should consult Your veterinarian if the condition of the cut or scrape you are treating doesn’t improve within 24 hours.

For serious injuries, it is not a good idea to use over-the-counter products. They are not meant to replace veterinary care. It is best to consult your veterinarian if your pet has suffered a severe injury, such as a deep or large wound or skin infection that affects a large part of their body.

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Your veterinarian may recommend oral antibiotics, medicated shampoos, or stronger topical ointments to speed up your dog’s healing. A combination of oral antibiotics and topical treatments such as Silver Honey may be recommended for severe or chronic skin infections.

 

Jeremy C. Harper

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