Cacti encounters in the Valley can be a common issue for pets, particularly in certain areas and depending on the activities they engage in. Removing cacti spines from pets often requires mild sedation or anesthesia, especially since dogs tend to use their feet and mouth to dislodge the spines, resulting in foot and oral spines. A comprehensive body check under anesthesia is usually necessary to find and remove hidden spines, including in sensitive areas like the eyes, mouth, ears, and genital region. Corneal abrasions are checked for, and any unseen spines may lead to abscess formation. Typically, pets are treated with anti-inflammatory medications for pain and antibiotics to prevent infection. Cats, when encountering cactus, often suffer severe trauma and are similarly treated with pain medication and antibiotics post-removal.
Important area to examine include checking the pet's mouth for cactus spines, particularly on the tongue, observing the eyes for any signs of squinting indicative of discomfort or injury, and monitoring for the development of abscesses, which can occur if parts of the spine remain in the skin.
- Look in the mouth for cactus spines and the tongue
- Check eyes for squinting
- Monitor for abscess