How To Treat An Open Wound On A Dog
Treat Minor Pet Wounds at Home – Before you begin, make sure you have someone to help you restrain your pet while you treat the wound. If no one is available, you can also use a muzzle. Even if your pet has never been aggressive, pain can cause a pet to react differently. Avoid scratches or bites by having a plan to keep your pet stable and calm while you treat the wound.
- Stop the bleeding. If the wound is bleeding, put a clean towel or cloth over the wound and apply light pressure. If the wound is bleeding profusely, it’s best to go to the veterinary emergency hospital since this is a more serious wound than a simple cut.
- Clean the wound. Puncture wounds, such as a bite wound, can appear minor, but they are not. Bite wounds contain bacteria that can cause infection. Even if it is small, clean and bandage the wound. To do this, use a water bottle with clean water in it and spray on the wound to clean out any debris, dirt, etc.
- Remove any foreign objects with tweezers. If there are things like glass, twigs, thorns, etc. in the wound, remove them with tweezers. Use a magnifying glass to remove all of the debris.
- Disinfect the wound. Using a cleanser such as diluted betadine or chlorhexidine, which are often included in a packaged first aid kit, gently clean the injured area. Do not use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these can damage the tissue and delay healing.
- Cover up the wound with a bandage. Apply a small amount of antibacterial ointment and cover the wound with a piece of sterile gauze or other bandage. Use the elastic tape to hold the bandage in place.
- Consider an E-collar. Pets can’t understand not to bite or lick at a bandage. Since their mouths can spread bacteria into the wound (and have you repeatedly disinfecting and reapplying a bandage), consider using an E-collar (aka cone of shame) to protect the wound site.
When finished, reward your pet for being a brave boy or girl with a small treat. Take care to remove the old bandage after 24 hours and replace with a new one. Monitor how your pet’s wound is healing. If you notice there is additional bleeding, changes to the color of the wound, swelling, or discharge, contact us.
- 1 What is the best thing to put on a dog’s open wound?
- 2 Can you cover an open wound on a dog?
- 3 Should I let my dogs wound breathe?
- 4 Can I put Betadine on my dog?
- 5 What antiseptic is safe for dogs?
What is the best thing to put on a dog’s open wound?
Steps for Cleaning and Treating Your Dog’s Wound – 1. If the dog is small, place them on a table or counter in front of you. For big dogs, get down on the ground with them. Have a second person gently restrain the pet and use a muzzle, if necessary.2. Clip the hair around the area. Skip to Step 3 if the wound is not covered by hair.
Spread the water-based lubricant over the wound and surrounding area. This decreases contamination and makes it easier to remove shaved hair from the wound. Use electric clippers to shave the hair from around the wound. Scissors or a disposable razor can be used if you are extremely careful to avoid cutting the skin. Gently wipe the water-based lubricant and hair away with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
3. Wash the area with warm water until all visible debris is gone, then pat dry with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.4. Apply a non-stinging antiseptic solution to the area. Chlorhexidine is cheap, extremely effective, and readily available. A 2% solution limits tissue irritation, but 4% solutions are also commonly used.
Povidone-iodine solution is another good option.5. Apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound. Triple antibiotic ointments containing bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B are widely available. AVOID any product that contains a corticosteroid like hydrocortisone.6. Prevent your dog from licking or wiping the ointment off for at least 10 minutes; longer is even better.
You can apply a light, loose bandage over the area to prevent licking, but it will need to be monitored and changed frequently.7. Clean the wound with the antiseptic solution two or three times a day, and apply the antibiotic ointment until the skin is healed.8. Dr. Jennifer Coates Featured Image: iStock.com/andresr WRITTEN BY Jennifer Coates, DVM Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates is an accomplished veterinarian, writer, editor, and consultant with years of experience in the fields of veterinary.
Should I take my dog to the vet for an open wound?
Minor Injuries, Scrapes & Bruises – These can sometimes be handled at home. If your pet has a scrape or wound in an area of an inch or two, first aid may be all that is needed. Larger or deeper wounds need medical attention and cat or dog bites always need veterinary attention.
- If your pet is scared, you may need to begin by calming and muzzling them to protect yourself during first aid treatment.
- For immediate treatment of injuries or trauma, having a calming therapy like a homeopathic or flower essence on hand can be helpful.
- These can help calm down your pet and are safe to give even when veterinary care will be needed and medications may be administered.
For smaller wounds, clip the hair away from the area, gently wash with warm water to remove debris, and apply an antibiotic cream. Keep your pet from licking the ointment off by stroking or brushing your pet for 10–15 minutes while the medication has a chance to do its job.
Apply ointment several times a day. Monitor the wound: you should see healing beginning and improvement in the area within several days. If you don’t see improvement it is time visit your vet. Puncture wounds need to be treated with caution as they can be worse than they appear and can become infected more easily than surface wounds.
Clean and treat with antibiotic ointment as described above, but call your veterinarian if you see any swelling or inflammation. “If an animal has a scrape or wound in an area of an inch or two, first aid may be all that is needed. Larger or deeper wounds need medical attention and cat or dog bites always need veterinary attention.” For bruises or minor strains, the key is usually rest and protection of the affected area.
- Eep your pet confined if necessary and take them outside only on leash.
- Some sprains can take weeks to heal, so don’t let your pet become overexcited or let them begin normal exercise too soon.
- Some joint supplements, both herbal and joint supporting compounds, like glucosamine, can help your pet with discomfort.
Non-sedative calming remedies can be helpful if your pet needs to be confined during rehab and treats, especially natural chews for dogs, can help keep your pet occupied without moving around.
How do you close a wound on a dog without stitches?
Gazette Vet: To Stitch or Not to Stitch By John Andersen, DVM Summer is here, and one thing we are sure to see a lot more of at the veterinary hospital are cuts, bites, and wounds. Running through the woods, playing in the river, tussling at the dog park, dogs are like a bunch of rowdy kids, not always aware of their bodies until play time is over.
- So here you are, on a Saturday afternoon just finishing up a long hike with your family dog, and you notice blood in the back of the car.
- After making sure the kids are all intact, you examine the dog, who now seems to have lost the invincible forest wolf energy she had just minutes ago, and now looks at you sadly and holds her paw up.
You see a deep cut in the pad that at first glance makes you go “ewww.” What do you do? Rush to the veterinary ER? (Of which there are two in Charlottesville, thank goodness!) Clean it and wait until Monday, which is a long 36 hours away? Duct tape? Here is my guide for dealing with these inevitable moments when also inevitably you’ve got soccer games, family travel, and a million other things to deal with! Deal with it now.
- The most common “worst case scenarios” we see regarding cuts and wounds are ones that are brought to us 2-3 days after they happened, and are now terribly infected and much larger problems than they were a few days ago.
- Any time there is a cut deep enough to bleed, there is a break in the natural protective barrier of the skin and bacteria WILL enter—not just bacteria from the dirt, bite, etc., but also the bacteria that already live on the skin.
We routinely see relatively small, but deep, cuts and punctures turn into very large areas of dead skin because of infection. Superficial wounds can be cleaned and treated topically at home, whereas deeper wounds likely need deeper cleaning and antibiotics to prevent infection.
The key thing is it’s always better to deal with it now vs. in two days. Superficial cuts and scrapes can usually be treated at home. Think of these as the “skinned knees and elbows”—not really a cut, but more an abrasion of skin. Just like cleaning your kid’s knee, treating your dog’s scrape is not very different, except that he is very hairy!! So, steps in taking care of these simple wounds: • Get in good lighting! • Clip or cut hair away from the wound—otherwise it will stick to the wound and foster infection and keep it from staying clean.
• Clean blood, debris, etc. from the wound and surrounding skin—a warm washcloth is good here, as is hydrogen peroxide. Note on hydrogen peroxide: while this is a good disinfectant, and is especially helpful when there is a lot of dried blood and goop on a wound, it does delay wound healing.
So think of peroxide as Day 0 wound cleaning only. • Apply antibiotic ointmen. Yep, bacitracin, Neosporin, etc.—all safe for kids, all safe for dogs too—even if they lick it a bit (which they will). Apply a thin layer on the wound and repeat a few times a day until it’s dry. • Keep them from licking. Some dogs are totally cool, while others become a neurotic mess and start licking the heck out of any skin wound.
They can certainly create a larger problem from their tongue and saliva, so if they are obsessing about it, you may need a cone collar or bandage. • Only bandage if you need to. Bandages need to be placed with care—if too tight, they can cause swelling and tissue damage.
If left on more than 12-24 hours on a new wound, they are just becoming a cozy home for bacteria to fester in. Deeper cuts should be dealt with by your vet, ideally that day. There are many deeper cuts that we see that we don’t sew up—if the skin edges are close enough and there is not a lot of motion or skin tension, we may just clean it out and let it heal on its own.
The key decision with these is whether it is deep enough to warrant an antibiotic or not. Remember, every wound is contaminated. If cleaned thoroughly within a few hours and if not too deep, it may not need antibiotics. However if not dealt with for over 4 hours, if deep, or if difficult to clean all the debris out of it, it may need some vet care for proper cleaning and antibiotics to keep it from getting infected.
Many cuts need to be sutured closed. For dogs who are calm we can do this in the office with no sedation, just a local block and a few staples or stitches. However many dogs need to be sedated because they are too scared, wild, or painful. Punctures should always be seen as soon as possible. Bite wounds from a fight/scuffle with another dog/cat can become terribly infected because the teeth can sink deep below the skin, despite some very small skin wounds.
Take a cat bite for example. This may cause only a 2 mm puncture wound in the skin, but that cat tooth may have sunk in ½” and is almost certain to be a painful infected mess in 1-2 days if not treated immediately. Most puncture wounds will be cleaned out and placed on antibiotics—again, virtually all cat bites will become infected due to the nature of the bacteria that normally live in the mouths of cats.
- Not all dog bites will become infected, but the deeper ones usually cause enough tissue trauma that antibiotics are needed.
- It’s not getting better.
- It’s important to see that the wounds are getting better, whether a simple scrape that you treated, or a dog fight wound your vet helped you with.
- Sometimes there is blood supply that was damaged at the time of the injury that will delay healing, or sometimes your pet has been licking at it.
Check these wounds at least twice a day to make sure they are healing. I tell people the wounds should look more “boring” each day: less redness, less discharge, and less painful. Get your pets out there and enjoy our area this summer, but when the inevitable accidents happen, simply ask what you would do if it was your own skin.
Can you cover an open wound on a dog?
Caring for dog wounds – Whether your dog’s wound was sutured or left open to heal, appropriate care is necessary to expedite their recovery. The first step is to follow your veterinarian’s instructions. Ensure you understand every detail about your dog’s follow-up care, and ask questions if you are unsure about anything. In general, tips to care for your dog’s wound include:
Keep sutured wounds dry — Avoid bathing your dog until the sutures are removed, and cover the wound if they go outside in the rain. In addition, don’t apply creams or ointments without your veterinarian’s advice. Don’t allow open wounds to close too soon — Use gauze to gently remove crusty debris on the wound’s edges to promote drainage. Prevent your dog from licking or chewing their wound — If necessary, use an Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from bothering their wound, because they could tear out their sutures or cause infection. Restrict your dog’s activity — Excessive activity could delay healing or result in dehiscence (i.e., suture failure). Check the wound frequently — Monitor your dog’s wound and consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice swelling, redness, an unpleasant odor, drainage, or excessive bleeding.
Should I let my dogs wound breathe?
If the wound is small and clean. – Dogs are curious creatures- and highly social animals- which means they are always looking to sniff out the next adventure and are probably going to do so with other dogs. Because of this, it’s inevitable that from time to time they might get a cut or scratch along the way.
Clean the area. Make sure you use a clean wash cloth and warm soapy water. Gently clean the cut and make sure to get the surrounding fur as well. Apply ointment. It’s also a good idea to put down some antibiotic ointment such as to create a barrier between the cut and everything else. Apply a cone or bandage. If your pet likes to lick their wounds, make sure to get a cone- also known as an Elizabethan collar- to prevent this. You can also lightly wrap your pup’s wound with a bandage. Change the bandage. Wounds need oxygen to heal, so make sure you change the bandage regularly and allow the cut to “breathe.”
These are easy wound remedies that you can take care of at home- provided that the wound is small and there does not appear to be jagged edges to it. Your dog will then go through the process of, which can last for a couple of weeks. Dogs wounds heal similar to humans’ and will go through four phases:
After this- assuming there is no infection- you dog should be back to normal and ready to go for walks and play at the dog park again. Different wounds come with different levels of risk for infection- make sure you know the difference!
Can I put Betadine on my dog?
Application Process – Next, you must consider the proper application of this product on your dog before using it. Let’s say you are treating your dog for, Hot spots are a common issue caused by an overpopulation of your dogs’ natural bacteria that grow on their skin.
When an infection arises from a dog’s bacteria, it is almost always a root cause of hot spots. Luckily, something like this is easy to treat with betadine. To apply betadine on your dog, gently wipe the wound with a washcloth saturated with the betadine solution. You can do this up to twice a day for minor sores or skin infections.
One great thing about Betadine is that it is completely harmless if it’s ingested. If you are applying this solution on the part of your dog that they’re able to reach, you won’t have to worry about any additional problems if they get a little bit of the solution in their system.
Is Betadine safe for dogs wound?
Betadine is an over-the-counter topical antiseptic meant to reduce the number of microorganisms on the skin. It contains povidone-iodine, which is a potent antiseptic. For many reasons, veterinarian surgeons use it when preparing the skin for surgery. It is also great for dog wounds.
Can dogs treat their own wounds?
What Will Happen If My Dog Keeps Licking the Wound? – Although licking the wound can provide a small benefit initially, most dogs lick their wounds excessively, This can actually introduce more bacteria into the wound, leading to an infection. Not only can licking wounds lead to infections, it can also cause irritation and damage to the surrounding tissues and the wound area.
What antiseptic is safe for dogs?
Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant and antiseptic used on dogs to remove unwanted bacterial or fungal growth from the skin. It can be used for a number of reasons, from keeping wounds clean to treating skin infections.
What’s the worst thing to put on an open wound?
Posted January 17, 2022 by Mary Lareine Pastoral, M.D. Cuts from household items, such as knives, broken glass or needles, are commonplace. All it takes is a slip of the knife during meal prep or a broken glass while cleaning up and suddenly, you’re bleeding. Now what? Immediately apply pressure on the area with a tissue, gauze pad or clean cloth to stop any bleeding.
- It should stop after a few minutes, so don’t remove the gauze until you’ve applied pressure for two to three minutes.
- Removing the cloth too soon will break the clot that is forming.
- The good news is minor cuts and scrapes can be treated safely at home by following Summa Health’s Do’s and Don’ts to preventing infection and ensuring complete healing.
However, if blood spurts from the wound, or it does not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of pressure, seek medical help. You may need stitches. Do’s to treating cuts and scrapes at home
Do wash your hands with soap and water before tending to the cut. After the bleeding has stopped, do rinse the cut thoroughly with cool water. Do gently clean the skin around the wound with mild soap and a soft cloth after bleeding has stopped to boost the natural healing process and prevent infection. Do use tweezers cleaned in alcohol to remove any gravel, dirt, glass or other foreign matter that’s still in the wound. Do apply petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist to help the healing process. Do keep the cut or scrape covered with a bandage to keep it moist and prevent it from reopening for faster healing. Change the bandage daily — or sooner if it becomes dirty or wet — to keep the wound clean.
Don’ts to treating cuts and scrapes at home
Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine to clean the cut. They are harmful to the skin and can actually delay healing. Don’t leave a cut or scrape exposed to the air. A bandage can protect the area from rubbing against clothing and getting dirt and bacteria in it, while keeping the cut moist to heal faster. Don’t remove bandages quickly. Instead, remove them slowly and gently. If it feels stuck, soak it in warm water to soften the scab. Ripping it off quickly can pull off the scab with it or reopen the wound. Don’t scratch, pick or remove a scab. It may itch due to healing, but scratching it can rip the new skin underneath, which can delay healing or worse, leave a scar.
When to seek medical attention for cuts or scrapes Most cuts and scrapes can be treated at home and will heal in about a week or less. However, in some cases, they may need medical attention to reduce the risk of infection and speed the healing process. A cut needs medical attention if:
The wound is from a human or animal bite. It is deep enough to see fat, muscle or bone. It has jagged edges or edges that gape open. It is a long cut or blood is spurting from it. It is on the face, wrist, hand or finger; and joints aren’t working. It is difficult to remove any dirt that is in the cut or scrape. The cut becomes tender, inflamed or drains a thick, creamy, grayish fluid. You develop a fever of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The area around the cut feels numb. Red streaks form near the cut. It’s a puncture wound or deep cut and you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years.
Can an open wound heal on its own?
Open Wounds That Do Not Heal Well – While most people heal from wounds without much medical intervention or complications, some do not. They may have lacerations that have reopened or have a skin infection caused by MRSA or strep. They may have a severe burn that causes scars or blunt trauma that causes soft-tissue blood clots.
What are the 5 rules of wound care?
Conclusion – Wound care is increasingly becoming complex with the introduction of advanced wound technology. However, the entire wound care can be distilled into five basic principles. These five principles include wound assessment, wound cleansing, timely dressing change, selection of appropriate dressings, and antibiotic use. The Wound Pros deploys licensed, qualified health care professionals (Physicians, Surgeons, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners) providing advanced surgical wound consultation and treatment services at the patient’s bedside in long-term care facilities. : The Truth About the 5 Principles Of Wound Management