What You Should Do if Your Dog is Sprayed with Mace or Pepper Spray

What You Should Do if Your Dog is Sprayed with Mace or Pepper Spray

What to Do for Dogs Sprayed with Mace or Pepper Spray

Usually used as a crime deterrent, mace and pepper spray are rarely sprayed on animals. Both have the same effects on dogs and cats as they do on people. They will burn the eyes and mouth.

What to Watch For

Signs of dog exposure to mace or pepper spray may include: 

  • Squinting
  • Crying
  • Rubbing eyes/face
  • Drooling
  • Excessive licking
  • Whining
  • Reddened inflamed skin
  • Diagnosis of Dog Sprayed with Mace or Pepper Spray

    Diagnosis of mace or pepper spray is based on known exposure to the spray and the physical exam findings. Blood tests are not necessary.

    Treatment of Dogs Sprayed with Mace or Pepper Spray

    Treating mace or pepper spray is based on which part of the body is affected. Most animals are sprayed in the face. Treatment consists of attempting to remove the spray by flushing the eyes and mouth with copious amounts of water. Typically, the eyes are stained with fluorescein to determine if there has been any chemical burn to the surface of the eyes.

    Based on the results of this test, animals may require topical eye ointment.

    Since the effects of mace or pepper spray are temporary, no additional treatments are necessary.

    Home Care and Prevention

    If your dog has been sprayed with mace or pepper spray, flush his face, mouth and eyes with large amounts of water. This will help reduce some of the pain and remove excess spray. If your dog continues to squint or the eyes tear, veterinary examination is recommended in case the surface of the eyes has been damaged.

    Keep your dog confined to your home and yard. Free roaming dogs have a greater potential for trauma and may be the object of someone’s cruel tricks.

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