If you own a dog, it's crucial to be prepared for injuries and emergencies. In this blog post, our vets in Danbury will cover standard dog wound care, the essential first aid items you should have ready, and when you should promptly contact your vet during an emergency.
Dog Injuries & Wounds
Whether your dog is young and full of energy or old and mostly rests, they can sustain injuries. You can address some injuries at home, but remember that even minor wounds can develop infections.
Remember that sometimes, even the tiniest wound carries the risk of infection.
To ensure your dog's well-being, closely monitor injuries and promptly seek veterinary care when needed.
Taking your canine companion to the vet immediately after an injury can prevent your dog from enduring unnecessary pain and save you money in the long term.
When a Dog May Require Veterinary Care
Several wounds can be treated at home, but some need a vet's help. Wounds needing a vet's care include:
- Animal bites (these may look small but become infected very, very quickly if not treated)
- Skin that has been torn away from the flesh below (often occurs during dog fights)
- A wound with a large object lodged in it (i.e., a piece of glass or nail)
- Wounds caused by a car accident or other trauma
- Injuries around the eyes, head or that lead to breathing difficulties
What Items To Include In Your Dog First-Aid Kit
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you can manage a medical situation involving your dog is by having a well-stocked first aid kit always on hand. Below are a few things you should always have on hand in case your dog gets hurt.
- Soap or cleaning solution
- Pet antiseptic solution (i.e., 2% chlorhexidine)
- Antimicrobial ointment suitable for dogs
- Sterile bandages
- Self-adhesive bandages
- Bandage scissors
- Spray bottle
- Clean towels or rags
How To Care For Your Dog's Wound or Injury
When your dog gets injured, cleaning the wound is crucial to prevent infection immediately. Before administering first aid to your dog, it's advisable to enlist someone to assist in restraining your pup and providing overall support.
If you're uncertain about the necessary steps or if your pet requires veterinary attention, it's safer to exercise caution. In case of any doubts, promptly contact your regular veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian.
It Is Recommended To Muzzle Your Dog
Muzzling your pet during medical care proves to be a wise choice. Animals can react with snapping or biting when confused or in pain. It's prudent to familiarize your dog with wearing a muzzle in advance to prevent any accidents. This approach ensures your dog won't be afraid of it when necessary.
Inspect The Wound For Embedded Objects
Inspect the wound promptly for foreign objects or lodged debris, particularly if it's on your dog's paw pad and they may have stepped on something sharp. If you can easily remove the object with tweezers, do it gently. However, if the object is deeply lodged, immediately contact your vet or an emergency animal hospital.
Thoroughly Clean Your Dog's Wound
You can clean your dog's paw wound easily with water. Fill a bowl or bucket and gently swirl your dog's paw in it to remove 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.
Avoid using strong cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or any harsh cleaning products on your dog's skin, as these can be painful and slow down the healing process of the wound.
Utilize Pressure To Slow The Bleeding
If the wound is clear of any obstructions, use a clean towel to apply pressure. Small wounds typically cease bleeding within a few minutes, while larger wounds may require more time. Make sure bleeding stops within 10 minutes of applying pressure. If your dog continues to bleed beyond this timeframe, promptly contact your vet or an emergency animal hospital.
Wrap The Wound In a Clean Bandage
If you have antibacterial ointment available, apply a small amount to the area before covering the wound with sterile gauze or another bandage. Do not use products containing hydrocortisone or other corticosteroids. Use self-adhesive elastic bandages to hold the gauze in place securely.
Do Not Allow Your Dog To Lick The Wound
E-collars are great for dogs with easily reachable wounds because they stop your dog from licking or biting the injury while it heals.
Continuing To Care For Your Dog's Wound
Monitor your puppy's injury closely by performing twice-daily checks to ensure it remains infection-free and heals properly. Clean the wound gently using either water or a pet-friendly antiseptic solution twice a day. If you observe any signs of redness or infection in the wound, immediately contact an emergency care veterinarian.
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.