Dog Wound Treatment

A dog wound can occur due to a fight, an accident or a bite from a wild animal. The wounds may be superficial and can be treated at home, or may require veterinarian help and even sutures. Treating a dog wound is important to prevent infections or other problems that may arise. Even if the wound is more severe, you should be able to apply some first aid procedures before rushing to the vet.

Treating Scratches and Bites

If your pet gets scratched or bitten by another dog or animal, you should apply treatment and bandages to protect the wound. The saliva of the dog may contain harmful bacteria that can infect the wound, and dogs tend to lick their wounds.

Stop the Bleeding

Stop the bleeding before starting to disinfect the wound. You can stop the bleeding by using a few sterile cold compresses. Press on the wound and check it every 5 minutes. When the bleeding has stopped, you can continue disinfecting the wound.

Disinfect the Wound

Clean the wound with cold water and antibacterial soap to remove blood, dirt and debris. You may also cut the dog's hair in the wound area, as this will facilitate the treatment and will speed up the recovery. Disinfect the wound with betadine or another disinfectant. Dry the wound and use an over the counter antibiotic cream that you should keep in your first aid kit.

Cover the Wound

Get some sterile gauze and cover the wound. Some vets don't recommend covering a wound, as it may heal faster if in contact with the air, but due to the fact that the dog may lick or scratch the wound, it's safer to cover it. You may also opt for a lamp shade collar instead of bandages, which will hinder the dog from touching the wound. However, a lamp shade collar may cause a lot of discomfort and the dog may attempt to remove it. If the wound is very deep, you should rush to the vet to get some sutures.

Watch out for Infections

You will have to reapply the antibiotic cream once or twice per day to prevent infections. Replace the bandages whenever you reapply the cream.  

Monitor the wound and see if there are any signs of infection: fever, redness or swelling. Consult the vet if you notice any sign of infection. Oral antibiotics will be needed to treat the infection.

If your pet was bitten by an animal, he should get a rabies shot or a rabies booster. Rabies can be fatal in dogs.

Snake Bites

If your dog has been bitten by a poisonous snake, the treatment should be different. Even if you are unsure if the snake is poisonous, you should rush to the vet, as the dog needs to receive an antidote within 60 minutes of the occurrence of the bite. Keep the bite area below the heart level, if possible. Don’t disinfect the wound. Washing the wound can only do more harm, as you may spread the venom. Don’t cover the wound. Avoid sucking out the venom, as the poison is toxic for humans also.

Have a first aid kit ready, as your dog can get wounded at any time. Keep some disinfectants, antibiotic cream, bandages, towels and some surgical gloves.