Accidents Happen to Everyone
Even the most laid-back and relaxed dog could experience an accident that leads to a cut, graze, or other injuries. Some wounds that may seem small can result in serious infections so if you are in doubt about whether you should take your dog to the vet, it's always best to seek professional help.
When to Go See the Vet
Wounds that require veterinary care include:
- Animals bites
- Skin that has been torn away from the flesh below
- A wound with a large object lodged in it (ie: a piece of glass)
- Wounds caused by a car accident or other trauma
- Injuries around the eyes or head
- Injuries that lead to breathing difficulties
Have a First Aid Kit For Your Dog
Below are a few things you should always have on hand in case your dog gets hurt.
- Muzzle ( injured dogs can lash out)
- Soap or cleaning solution
- Pet antiseptic solution (ie: 2% chlorhexidine)
- Antimicrobial ointment for suitable for dogs
- Sterile bandages
- Self-adhesive bandages
- Bandage scissors
- Clean towels
Administering First Aid
Wounds should be cleaned and dressed as soon as possible in order to avoid infections. If you are unsure about what to do, or whether your pet needs veterinary care, remember when in doubt contact your vet, or an emergency vet immediately.
Muzzle Your Dog
A hurt dog may bite you while you are trying to help which is why we recommends muzzling your dog before beginning first aid treatment. It's a good idea to practice putting a muzzle on your dog before an injury arises to prevent adding to your dog's distress.
Look For Foreign Objects Lodged in The Wound
Look for objects or debris that may be lodged in the wound. If you are able to easily remove the object with tweezers, do so gently. If the object is lodged deeply, leave it and call your veterinarian, or an emergency vet immediately.
Clean the Wound
Place your dog in a sink, bath, or shower and gently run clean water over the wound. Do not use harsh cleaners or apply hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or other caustic cleaning products to your dog’s skin as these can cause the wound to take longer to heal.
Provided that there is nothing stuck in the wound apply pressure using a clean towel. Bleeding should stop within 10 minutes of applying pressure. If your dog is still bleeding after that time, contact your vet or emergency animal hospital right away.
Bandage Your Dog's Wound
If you have antibacterial ointment that is made for dogs apply a small amount to the area before covering the wound with a piece of sterile gauze or other bandage. Avoid using products that contain hydrocortisone or other corticosteroids. Use a self-adhesive elastic bandage to hold the gauze in place.
Prevent Your Dog From Licking The Wound
If your dog is trying to lick the wound it may be necessary to have your dog wear the cone of shame.
Your dog's wound will need to be checked at least twice a day to ensure that it is healing and there are no signs of infection. Clean the wound with water or a pet-safe antiseptic solution twice a day, contact your vet immediately if the wound become inflamed and shows signs of infection.
If you notice increasing redness, swelling, discharge, increasing pain in the area of the wound or a bad odor coming from the wound, contact your vet right away.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.