How to Treat Your Dog’s Wounds - dummies

By M. Christine Zink

In the course of their lives, dogs are likely to get injured now and then. Your pet may run into a tree branch or rub against a sharp object. Your dog may even get in an occasional fight and wind up with a wound that requires attention.

Knowing what to do when your pup has suffered some damage can reduce his pain (and your worry) and promote quick recovery.

Wounds fall into two main categories: shallow and deep. Shallow wounds involve just the skin; deep wounds penetrate to the muscles and other tissues below the skin.

To treat a shallow wound:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. Use cotton pads and mild antibacterial liquid soap to clean the wound thoroughly.

  3. Rinse the wound with sterile saline solution.

  4. Apply antibacterial ointment to the wound.

  5. Cover the wound with gauze, wrap it with a bandage, and cover it with cohesive bandage (but not so tightly that you cut off circulation).

    You can slip a stockinet or bootie over a foot and secure it with tape for extra protection.

  6. Periodically feel your dog’s toes.

    If they become swollen or cool to the touch, remove the bandage and reapply it after the swelling has diminished.

If the wound is small and clean, you can use NuSkin to glue the ends of the wound together. It works just like sutures.

Cuts that may require stitches should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. If a cut is more than about six hours old, it should not be sutured closed because it almost certainly is contaminated with bacteria from the environment. Suturing the wound closed would just trap the bacteria within the wound, resulting in infection and increased scarring.

An older cut should be thoroughly cleaned and allowed to heal gradually as an open wound. If the wound is large, it may be partially sutured and a drain left in to help the infection escape.

To treat a deep wound:

  1. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure.

  2. When the bleeding has stopped, bandage the wound and seek immediate veterinary treatment.