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Home remedies for when your pet gets sick

January 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
It's clear many people don't hold back when it comes to caring for their pets. Americans will spend $47 billion on our furry friends this year alone.But what happens when your pet gets sick and you can't get to a vet? There are some quick fixes you can probably find in your own home.

Veterinarian Melissa Webster from Tampa Veterinary Hospital says if you can't get to a vet and your pet has a cut, grab your baking supplies.

"Flour or corn starch can be a product that you can apply to the wound that will help coagulate the blood a little bit," said Webster.

Did your dog eat something he shouldn't?

"Your pet ate a whole bunch of say chocolate, for instance, because chocolate can be toxic for dogs. I would highly suggest you get some hydrogen peroxide and give that to the pet until it vomits," said Webster.

As far as human medications, Benadryl is safe for pets with allergic reactions, one milligram per pound.

"So a 50-pound dog will take two tablets or 50 mg dose in other words," said Webster.

Pepto-Bismol is also safe in small doses.

So what are some doggy and kitty don'ts?

"I think as veterinarians, we say please don't give your cat Tylenol because you won't have that cat in the morning," said Webster.

Any form of ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin can be deadly.

One pet myth is that olive oil makes their coats shine and look healthy. Vets say that's false -- oil can actually cause pancreatitis in pets.

Experts say nothing replaces a visit to the vet, and if you're unsure of a home remedy, call one before trying to treat your pet yourself.