How to Remove Cactus Thorns From Dogs

By Susan Patterson

Although beautiful to look at, cactus plants are no friend to your four-legged friend. Removing cactus thorns from a dog needs to be done as soon as you discover the thorns to avoid any serious health issues. It also is critical to remain calm during the removal process. If you are nervous, the dog may become nervous, which adds insult to injury.

Take your dog to a clean, bright, indoor area to remove the thorns. Encourage your dog to stand up. This way you can clearly see all areas of its body. Check all over the dog's body for thorns. Try to keep the dog from chewing or licking the areas where the thorns are.

Cactus plants are beautiful to look at but difficult to deal with.

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Wrap a wet paper towel around your hand. Pull the largest thorns out first. Gently grasp the thorn with the paper towel and pull straight out of the dog's coat. The thorn should stick to the paper towel. Repeat with each large thorn and dispose of the thorns carefully. If the dog begins to bleed in any of the areas where you pulled out the thorns, apply a small amount of flour to the area to stop the bleeding.

Remove any large thorns that are hard to get out or in tough places with a pair of hemostats. Place the thorns in a bowl of water after pulling them out with the hemostats. This will keep the thorns from becoming lost. Dispose of the thorny water carefully.

Carefully check all over the dogs body for any small hairlike thorns that may be in its skin. These small thorns may be shorter than the dog's hair, so you will have to look hard.

Remove the small thorns with a pair of tweezers. Swish the tweezers around in the bowl of water to remove the thorns from the tweezers. The small thorns are difficult to remove, but try to get as many of them out as possible.

Use a fine-tooth comb to comb through the dog's coat to check for any thorns you missed. Remove as needed.