How to Get Jumping Cactus Spines Out of a Dog's Mouth

Protect your dog from outdoor hazards.
Protect your dog from outdoor hazards. (Image: Images)

When you take your dog outdoors, all sorts of accidents can occur. It is wise to supervise your dog when outside, especially in unfamiliar environments. For example, in warm environments your dog could come into contact with a jumping cactus, also known as a cholla cactus. The jumping cactus is particularly problematic since it only takes the touch of one spine for an entire joint of the plant to come off, bringing more spines with it. Should these spines end up in your dog’s mouth, you’ll need to take great care to remove them.

Things You'll Need

  • Bright light
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Antibiotic ointment

Shine a bright light in your dog’s mouth. It will help you see the jumping cactus spine more clearly.

Hold your dog firmly to prevent squirming. This will help protect you and your dog. For a larger dog, ask someone to help you.

Pull the jumping cactus spines out of your dog’s mouth using clean needle nose pliers. Pull gently and carefully to cause your dog as little pain as possible.

Apply antibiotic ointment to any area of the skin outside your dog’s mouth that was cut by the cactus spine.

Take your dog to the vet as soon as you can. When your dog has a foreign object in the mouth, especially if it causes a cut in the skin or inside the mouth, you need to have your dog examined by your vet.

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