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Dog Care for a Pepper Sprayed Canine

What To Do For a Dog That Has Been Pepper Sprayed

Pepper spray is carried by many people as a self defense weapon.  Most people assume they are at risk of being approached by a human attacker.  However, there are also joggers, mailmen, meter readers, and other people who are frequently approached by loose dogs and carry pepper spray for their personal protection.  One shot of pepper spray will disable a human attacker and a canine attacker just the same!  Unfortunately, if it is your pet that is sprayed, you will have to worry about taking care of them after the incident.

If your dog is sprayed with pepper spray, they are likely to be experiencing a significant amount of discomfort.  Pepper spray causes significant burning sensations in the eyes, nose and mucous membranes.  This non-lethal weapon has the same effects on dogs as it does on people.  Your dog will be having symptoms for about 45 minutes.

Signs That Your Dog Has Been Sprayed With Pepper Spray

A dog that has been sprayed with pepper spray will be in obvious discomfort.  Chances are, he got sprayed directly in the face with the pepper spray.  He will probably be squinting and having difficulty opening his eyes.  He will probably be trying to lick his face and clean off the irritant as much as possible.  Your dog will be most likely whining and crying because of the pain and discomfort, and may not let you get close enough to readily help.

How To Help Your Dog

When your dog is sprayed with pepper spray, trying to provide immediate relief is difficult.  You should try to flush his eyes, nose and mouth with as much water as you can.  This is difficult to do for a pet in distress, but by using a hose, you can often provide some lessening of the effects of the pepper spray.  Keep flushing for as long as your pet will tolerate.

Does My Dog Need Veterinary Care?

If you can immediately flush the affected areas (eyes, nose, mouth) and relieve the discomfort, you may not have to take your dog right to the vet.  However, if after a few minutes of flushing, your dog does not seem to be getting any better, you may want to take a trip to the emergency vet office.  Remember that the effects of pepper spray last for approximately 45 minutes, and decide if your pet is getting better quickly enough.  If your dog’s eyes have been burned by the pepper spray, there may be a topical ointment that the vet can give you to help the effects disappear more quickly.  However, ultimately, there is not any specific medicine or treatment that can reverse the effects of pepper spray any more quickly than washing the affected areas and time.

Effects Are Temporary

Although the effects of pepper spray are temporary and should not cause any long term damage, the effects of these chemicals are significant and your dog will be suffering.  Keeping your dog under close supervision, either in a fenced in yard or on a leash, is highly recommended to prevent them from ever approaching a stranger and possibly encountering pepper spray.