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How To Care For Your Dog's Wound

How To Care For Your Dog's Wound

While you don't have to bring your dog to the vet for every graze or cut they get, it's important to know how to take care of their wound and when to bring your pooch to the vet. In this blog, our Visalia vets share how you can care for your dog's wound at home and when veterinary treatment is required.

When Your Dog Has an Accident

All dogs can have accidents that make them get a graze, cut, or another injury, it doesn't matter which lifestyle they have. Although, some cuts that might appear to be minor could actually result in a serious infection, therefore, if you are in doubt it's best to be cautious and call your vet. Bringing your pup to the vet just after they have been wounded could save them from experiencing a lot of pain and you from spending a fair bit of money. 

Wounds That Need Veterinary Care

While a handful of dog wounds are treatable at home, some need to be attended to by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Here, is a list of wounds that need veterinary attention:

  • A wound with a large object lodged in it (ie: a piece of glass)
  • Injuries around the eyes, head or lead to breathing difficulties
  • Animals bites (these may look small but become infected very very quickly)
  • Wounds caused by a car accident or other trauma
  • Skin that has been torn away from the flesh below (often occurs during dog fights)

Preparing Your Dog's First Aid Kit

If your dog gets a minor injury it could be helpful to have a dog first aid kit prepared, and a bit of know-how. Here are some items you should include in your pet first aid kit:

  • Pet antiseptic solution (ie: 2% chlorhexidine)
  • Sterile bandages
  • Soap or cleaning solution
  • Antimicrobial ointment for suitable for dogs
  • Muzzle
  • Tweezers
  • Self-adhesive bandages
  • Clean towels or rags
  • Bandage scissors
  • Spray bottle

Giving Your Dog First Aid

To avoid infection, your dog's wound should be cleaned and attended to as quickly as possible. Prior to starting your dog's first aid, we recommend having someone help you, by restraining your pooch and being supportive.

If you don't know what to do, or if your pooch should be seen by a vet or not, it's always best to be cautious when it comes to your pet's health and call your vet for advice or bring your pooch to an emergency animal clinic straight away.

Put a Muzzle on Your Dog

A scared, anxious or hurt dog may bite while you are trying to help, which is why our team recommends muzzling your hurt pooch before beginning first aid treatment. It's a good idea to practice putting a muzzle on your dog before an injury arises so that your dog is used to the process and how the muzzle feels. This will help prevent adding to your pup's distress.

Look for Foreign Objects Stuck in The Wound

Inspect your dog's wound for lodged debris or objects. This is even more so important if the wound is on your dog's paw pad, as they might have stepped on something sharp. If you are able to remove the item easily on your own with tweezers, do so gently. If the object is lodged deeply, don't touch it and call your veterinarian, or an emergency vet immediately.

Clean the Wound

If your dog's paw is wounded, you can swish their injured paw around in a clean bowl or bucket of warm water to help rinse out any dirt and debris. If the wound is elsewhere on your dog's body you can place your dog in a sink, bath, or shower and gently run clean water over the wound. You may want to add a small amount of mild baby shampoo, dish soap, or hand soap to the water.

Do not use harsh cleaners or apply hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or other caustic cleaning products to your dog’s skin as these can be painful or even make the wound take longer to heal.

Manage the Bleeding

If your dog has nothing stuck in their wound, you can use a clean towel to apply pressure. While most small wounds will stop bleeding within a couple of minutes, larger wounds are likely to take longer. 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 as quickly as possible.

Contain Your Dog's Wound

Do you have an antibacterial ointment close by? You might want to apply a small amount to the area before covering the injury with a piece of sterile gauze or bandage. Don't use products that contain hydrocortisone or other corticosteroids. Use a self-adhesive elastic bandage to hold the gauze in place.

Keep Your Dog From Licking The Wound

If your pup is attempting to lick their wound you might have to put an e-collar on them. 

Continuous Care

You will have to monitor your dog's wound at least twice a day to make sure it doesn't get infected and see if it's healing as it's supposed to. Clean the wound with water or a pet-safe antiseptic solution twice a day, contact your vet immediately if the wound becomes 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.

If your dog has a wound that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian contact our Visalia animal hospital immediately. We are able to provide dogs with emergency care on evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Compassionate Emergency Care for Pets

Tulare-Kings Veterinary Emergency Services is an after-hours emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs from Visalia and surrounding areas. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

(559) 739-7054 Contact