How Do I Choose the Best Animal Wound Spray?

Cindy Quarters

Animal wound spray is designed to allow you to treat an injury on an animal without having to touch the wound. This can be a big advantage when dealing with a frightened, skittish or otherwise hard-to-manage animal. Choosing the right wound spray involves considering things such as the type of animal involved and the essential properties the wound spray should have. If you have multiple animals it may be best to have an all-purpose wound spray, or a different type of spray for each kind of animal.

Animal wound sprays are often intended for a specific species.
Animal wound sprays are often intended for a specific species.

When choosing the best wound spray for your animals, the first thing to consider is the overall safety of the product. Sometimes products made for dogs cannot be used on cats, and sprays made for livestock should not necessarily be used on dogs. It is important to look at the label on the package and read the cautions carefully. If it warns against using the product on certain species, the product should never be applied to those animals. There are ingredients that are safe for dogs that are not safe for a cat, for example, and misuse of the product can be fatal to cats.

Sometimes wound spray products made for dogs cannot be used on cats.
Sometimes wound spray products made for dogs cannot be used on cats.

Another important consideration when looking for the best wound spray is whether or not it provides pain relief. If you want a spray that helps an injury to feel better, look for a product that includes a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. This will help to ease the pain of many kinds of small or shallow wounds, though it is not considered a good choice for serious injuries.

The antibiotic properties of wound spray is another aspect to consider when choosing the best spray for your needs. Some sprays contain an antibiotic such as chlorhexidine, while others contain ingredients such as iodine and alcohol that will disinfect a wound but are not antibiotics. Often antibiotics are not necessary for the routine treatment of injuries. It may be best to consider using a disinfectant wound spray in cases where the wound is not infected, and only resorting to antibiotics if they are truly required.

A final aspect that is common with products used for treating animals is the addition of ingredients intended to provide related benefits. Compounds such as Bitrex® make anything sprayed with them taste very bitter. This reduces or eliminates the animal chewing or licking at the treated area, promoting more rapid healing. Livestock sprays also commonly have fly repellent added to them so that flies leave the animal’s injury alone.

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Discussion Comments


@Pippinwhite -- Sounds like good stuff. I'll have to look for it.

On the advice of my vet, I've actually used Bactine spray a couple of times. It does have a numbing agent in it, which helps, and I've covered the place after spraying it, to keep my cat from licking it.

That's the part you have to understand. You have to use something that will not harm the animal if it licks the spray off the wound. I used another numbing spray on my cat and he licked it off. It numbed his tongue, though, and he walked around for an hour or so with his tongue hanging out until the stuff wore off. It was pretty funny. He wasn't harmed -- just insulted about his tongue.


My sister's cat had this thing the vet called a "lick granuloma." Basically, it's a place she's licked until the hair came off and it's a big red place. Very yucky looking.

I'd been seeing ads for this stuff called Vetericyn especially for animals. Supposed to be non-toxic and so forth, and is supposed to heal all kinds of skin conditions. We found some and she used it. It really helped the place. I've even used it on myself a couple of times when I scraped my knee on something. Pricey, but good. The kitty didn't have any reactions to it, and it healed the place in a couple of weeks.

We've had to put the kitty in a body stocking to keep her from getting back at it, but the Vetericyn worked very well.

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