I have lost count of the number of times I have returned from a walk or park and found little wounds on my dog.
These are small scraps, cuts or scratches that can result in some bleeding but are not serious enough to warrant a trip to the vet.
I have used Blu-Kote a couple of times on my dog but wasn’t too fond of the residual blue or purple Blue-Kote stains that the spray left behind.
One concern that many dog owners have is the risk of side effects if their dogs happened to lick some Blue-Kote.
Although Blue-Kote is made to be safe for usage on dogs, it is meant to be only applied to surface wounds and not ingested. Blue-Kote contains several active ingredients that can be toxic or cause discomfort to dogs when consumed in large enough amounts.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what Blu-Kote is made of and the precautions that you should take when using it on your dog.
What Is Blu-Kote?
Blu-Kote is a fast drying antiseptic wound dressing application that is meant to be used on surface wounds and abrasions. It is said to be effective against pus producing bacterial and fungal infections.
It can also treat skin lesions of animals that are caused by ringworm.
You’re not supposed to be using Blu-Kote on your dog if it has, serious burns, deep or puncture wounds. These wounds need to be properly cleaned and stitched up at the vet.
These days you can get Blue-Kote as an aerosol spray, pump spray or dauber bottle.
The active ingredients of Blu-Kote are:
- Sodium Propionate
- Gentian Violet
Other included ingredients:
- Isopropyl Alcohol
What Do The Active Ingredients Do?
Blu-Kote is only as effective as its active ingredients and here’s a brief breakdown of what each of them does.
Sodium Propionate is a chemical compound that is used as a food preservative and also for treating wounds.
Its main job is to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as mold and bacteria, in food or on the surface of the skin.
Gentian violet is an antiseptic dye that is good for treating and preventing bacterial and fungal infections on the skin.
Contrary to what the name says, gentian violet isn’t a natural ingredient but is synthetically made.
It gets its name from the actual flower due to the color of the stain that it leaves when used. This is one of the main reasons why I stopped using Blue-Kote was it made me and my dog look like a chemistry experiment gone wrong.
Acriflavine is a chemical compound that is in the form of a brown or yellow powder. It can be used as a stand alone antiseptic solution for treating minor cuts and burns.
It also works well to prevent the risk of bacterial infections from happening.
Is Blue Kote Toxic To My Dog?
Generally speaking, the majority of the ingredients used in Blue-Kote are non-toxic to dogs. But the manufacturer has specifically mentioned that this antiseptic solution is only meant for external use.
If the solution has been ingested by your dog, it would be best to seek advice from your vet or poison control.
And for good reason too.
Many of these ingredients can cause your dog to have a bad tummy upset when ingested. They can be rather harsh in nature and can irritate the stomach lining of your dog.
This can result in symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
However, there is one ingredient in Blu-Kote that I am rather concerned about which is the presence of isopropyl alcohol.
Alcohol Poisoning In Dogs
Isopropyl alcohol is an ingredient that can be commonly found in many medical products for pets like parasitic treatments or anything that has an antiseptic quality.
It is basically alcohol which is very toxic to dogs.
When used topically within the recommended dosage, it should cause any adverse side effects unless your dog has a severe allergy to it.
The problem happens when your dog happened to ingest isopropyl alcohol in dangerous amounts.
Alcohol poisoning in dogs can happen very quickly, almost within 30 minutes.
- Loss of bodily control
- Breathing difficulty
- Foaming and excess salivation
- Liver damage
Isopropyl alcohol acts as a suppressant which can cause central nervous system depression when ingested in large amounts.
There isn’t a direct remedy for it and all that the vet can do is induce vomiting and stabilize your dog with medication and hydration.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ingested Blu-Kote?
If your dog has accidentally ingested Blu-Kote, the first thing that you can do is to try and dilute the concentration levels of the solution in your dog’s digestive system.
An effective way to do so is to let your dog drink more water, bone broth that is safe for pets or even some milk/yogurt if your dog can tolerate dairy products.
The faster that you dilute the Blu-kote in your dog the lower the risks of a severe reaction. It takes about 3o minutes to 2 hours for the body to absorb the contents in its stomach so time is of the essence.
Some sites might suggest the usage of human medication like famotidine to help settle your dog’s upset stomach.
But I highly advise against it unless you have spoken to your vet and it is ok to do so. Every dog is different and what might work for another dog might not work for yours.
Trying to self-medicate your dog when it is in such a vulnerable state isn’t a good idea.
Depending on the amount of Blu-Kote that your dog has ingested, the vet will either as you to bring your dog in immediately or observe for any adverse signs over the next 48 hours.
Wash And Brush Your Dog’s Mouth
The Blu-Kote won’t be leaving a great aftertaste in your dog’s mouth after ingesting it. The active ingredients in the solution might also irritate your dog’s tongue and the soft tissue in its mouth.
Furthermore, the gentian violet will be turning your dog’s mouth purplish-blue.
You can flush your dog’s mouth with a gentle stream of water from the garden hose or sports water bottle to try and clear out as much of the dye and taste as possible.
Do not angle the flow of water directly at the back of your dog’s throat or water can enter its lungs.
If your dog is comfortable with your brushing its teeth, that is also another way of cleaning your dog’s mouth. But please do not use human-grade toothpaste as that is toxic to dogs.
Feed A Bland Diet
If your dog is back from the vet or is still under observation at home, its tummy won’t be in the best of shape.
The first thing that you need to do is stop feeding your dog anything that can further upset its stomach. That means no food items that are high in sugar, carbs, dairy or fat.
Feed your dog a bland diet of mainly boiled or steamed chicken meat together with some rice. A bland diet will give your dog’s stomach an easier time digesting and absorbing its food.
Keeping feeding your dog this diet until its condition is back to normal.
What Are Other Alternatives To Blu-Kote?
I stopped using Blu-Kote as I wasn’t a fan of the blue dye and the use of isopropyl alcohol as an ingredient.
When applying Blu-Kote on my dog before, I had to put on an Elizabethan collar on him to make sure that he doesn’t lick the solution and he hates that.
A better alternative would be to get an antiseptic cream from your vet that you can apply to your dog or cat for minor wounds. I find them safer to use and give me better peace of mind.
There are times when I will soak my dog’s paws in some epsom salt as it has some healing properties. But please do not let your dog eat epsom salt as it can be toxic to dogs.
Another homemade remedy that I use from time to time is saline solution.
All you need to do is mix some salt in warm water and rub the solution on the wound.
There’s no worry of toxicity if your dog licks the saline solution from the wound and the saline solution helps to disinfect the wound as well
Can You Use Blu Kote On Cats?
It is printed in large bold fonts that Blu-Kote is not to be used on cats. I think that is a good enough deterrent if you are planning to use it on your feline friend.