Chlorhexidine Gluconate (Nolvassan) -- Antiseptic Solution
Povidone Iodine (Betadine) -- Antiseptic Solution
Non-Antiseptic Cleaning/Soaking Solution
Salt Water -- General Rinsing Solution
Hydrogen Peroxide -- NOT RECOMMENDED
Bepanthen First Aid Cream -- Topical Antiseptic Cream
Bepanthen Ointment -- For Urine Scald
Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2% -- topical antimicrobial cleansing/drying solution, diluted 1:40 (1 part solution to 40 parts water). DO NOT USE NEAR THE EYES. Chlorhexidine (a non-prescription product) is widely used in veterinary offices for cleaning open wounds. Nolvasan is a chlorhexidine product that can sometimes be found in feed stores or purchased through veterinary supplies online. Read more about chlorhexidine at the Pet Place. Note that they do not describe all chlorhexidine products, some of which have cleaning compounds added (like Nolvassan-S) and are only suitable for cleaning the environment and not an injury. A human product, Hibiclens, can be purchased in a pharmacy.
This relatively benign antiseptic solution when diluted with water is also quite useful for soaking injured feet. Nina (the author's sow with foot problem) had her front feet soaked daily. The feet were inspected (a magnifying mirror helps those with poor sight), soaked for a short while, dried, and a generic hemorrhoidal ointment was applied to the pad. Due to its stability, a ceramic food bowl works well for soaking. The bowl is prewarmed with water then filled with 1/4 cup warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of chlorhexidine gluconate 2% solution.
Nina became unenthusiastic about her treatment so to maximize soak time, her movement was restricted. Aim for 5 minutes if possible. Feeding a treat and/or massaging the jaws and petting your animal may make it a more enjoyable experience. Some people soak a gauze pad with dilute chlorhexidine gluconate and apply the pad to the foot. Chlorhexidine gluconate is drying. Can be alternated with povidone iodine soaks.
Povidone Iodine (Betadine) -- topical antiseptic microbicide. Safe to use near the eyes. Can also be diluted to a "weak tea" concentration (40 parts water to one part povidone iodine) and used to clean injuries or soak feet. Povidone iodine is less drying and also readily available at any pharmacy.
Non-Antiseptic Cleaning/Soaking Solution
Salt Water Solution -- Sterile saline solution can generally be purchased at any pharmacy. In a pinch, a teaspoon of common salt can be diluted in a pint of warm water (per V.C.G. Richardson in Disease of Domestic Guinea Pigs) and used to rinse injuries if an antiseptic solution is not available. Josephine recommends a sterile saline solution for flushing abscesses.
Hydrogen Peroxide is thought to prevent healing because it kills cells and is not recommended as a rinse for wounds. However, for deep abscesses that keep closing up and require flushing, adding in a little peroxide to a povidone-iodine solution may prevent the skin from healing over.
Bepanthen First Aid Cream can be used for the treatment and prevention of infection in minor cuts, wounds, abrasions, and insect bites. Bepanthen contains Chlorhexidine hydrochloride which acts against Staphylococcus aureus (the organism most commonly occurring in skin infections) as well as other bacteria. Must not be ingested or used on mucous membranes.
This cream contains 5.5 mg chlorhexidine hydrochloride as the active ingredient in each gram of cream. It also contains:
More detailed information on Bepanthen can be found on this New Zealand government website: www.medsafe.govt.nz/consumers/cmi/b/bepanthen.pdf (the above ingredient list is from this website).
- Dexpanthenol (A Form Of Vitamin B5)
- Cetyl Alcohol
- Stearyl Alcohol
- White Soft Paraffin
- Liquid Paraffin
- Lanolin (Wool Fat)
- Polyethylene Glycol Stearate
- Purified Water
Bepanthen Ointment contains Pro VitaminB5 (Dexpanthenol) Bepanthen is a water in oil emulsion containing 5% dexpanthenol (pro-vitamin B5). This is an alternative to zinc oxide (Desitin) used for urine scald. Read more at the manufactuer's website: www.bepanthen.ie