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Cruz Bay
Tuesday, July 5, 2022


Unfortunately, wounded animals are an all too common sight along our roads. Regardless of whether the animal is your beloved pet or a feral cat or dog, their behavior is often unpredictable due to the injuries.
Some precautions on your part may prevent harm to yourself and further injury to the animal. Any animal in pain may try to bite while being handled. Most dogs can be muzzled with a piece of gauze or old pantyhose tied around the mouth. A blanket or heavy towel placed over a cat's head
can be effective. The animal should be handled as little as possible. If it is unable to stand, gently slide the body onto a piece of plywood or heavy cardboard for transport. Small animals can be placed in an open box.
A broken limb should not be splinted or bandaged unless the bone itself is exposed. A splint that is too short or not properly applied can worsen the situation. A piece of clean gauze and light wrap around an open wound can prevent further contamination to the site. If the bleeding is excessive, direct pressure to the wound or, if on a leg,
directly above the wound, can assist in blood clotting.
Minor abrasions on an otherwise healthy animal can be managed by cleaning with anti-bacterial soap. All sand and dirt must be removed from the wound to prevent infection. Lightly running water will remove
most grime if the animal will allow it.
All injured animals should be observed closely for 24-48 hours after the incident, especially if the source of the injury is unknown. A veterinarian should be consulted after any major incident or any time
the extent of the trauma is in doubt.
Editors' note: Dr. Laura Palminteri practices veterinary medicine at Cruz Bay Canines, Cats & Critters on St. John. A 1991 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, she practiced small animal and equine medicine in New York before opening her practice on St. John.

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