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First Aid for Dog Wounds - Treating Dog Wounds at Home

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. December 8, 2020
First Aid for Dog Wounds - Treating Dog Wounds at Home

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When caring for a dog, it is very important to keep their health care in mind as accidents will occur and we must be ready. Having a first aid kit for dogs at home is a great way to be prepared for these situations, as well as knowing how to treat common dog wounds.

In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain everything you need to know about treating dog wounds at home, using a first aid kit for dogs. Keep reading to learn more!

You may also be interested in: Natural Disinfectant to Treat Wounds in Dogs

Common wounds in dogs

Just like us, dogs can suffer from various types of injuries from playing, running around, trying to do something complicated or being involved in a fight, among other things. Common wounds in dogs include:

  • Cuts: this is most common on their paw and is usually caused by walking on hard floors such as tarmac or cemented floors, by stepping on glass, cans or other similar objects. Dogs may also become entangled in brambles or other plants, which can cause cuts and other injuries.
  • Broken or torn claws: this is a very painful injury as it affects the nerve of the claw and usually becomes infected quickly if not treated immediately. If our dog's claw is very long, it's for easy for them to get caught in different materials, such as clothes, blankets, etc. To free their claw, the dog will begin to pull away from it, which can lead to them injuring their claw, causing lots of bleeding. Learn more in our article about how to properly trim a dog's claws.
  • Bites from dogs or other animals: sometimes we find it impossible to avoid accidents like fights because it is already too late when we notice it happening. If your dog is bitten, the injury will vary according to the severity (depth and breadth) of the bite and the resulting wound. Nevertheless, you must act fast. These injuries need to be treated immediately; failing to do so will result in infection at the very least. Moreover, if the wound is serious and starts haemorrhaging, you need to know what to do to stop it, as this could be fatal.
First Aid for Dog Wounds - Treating Dog Wounds at Home - Common wounds in dogs

How to treat dog wounds at home

When you find your dog suffering from a common wound, you need to know how to treat it effectively to avoid any possible complications. Here are some first aid tips and steps on how to treat wounds in dogs:

  1. First, you should put a muzzle on the dog (unless it is a snub-nosed breed such as a pug) if you see that it is very hurt and does not let you investigate the injuries without becoming very agitated. This prevents you from being bitten by the dog, which they may do as a reaction from the pain they feel as a result of the injury.
  2. You should clean the wound with warm water, saline or with a disinfectant such as chlorhexidine and remove any traces of material (dirt, leaves, twigs, glass, hair, etc.) that may have come in contact with the wound. You can trim the hair around the wound if you believe that it may get into the injury and infect it. But this is not recommended if the dog is agitated as it can move and get further injured.
  3. You can disinfect and thicken the blood around the wound with hydrogen peroxide. Never do this with alcohol because it is not a coagulant and therefore, though it does disinfect, it does not stop the bleeding, no matter how minor the injury. Hydrogen peroxide is a better option as it slows down the bleeding in addition to disinfecting the wound. You can also use sterile dressing to remove any debris. Always do this with gentle tapping movements and never rub the skin. In cases of severe bleeding, apply pressure to the wound as long as possible before covering it with a bandage. If you cannot stop the bleeding, call an emergency vet to come as soon as possible or let them know you are going to the clinic and seek immediate attention. Never compress a limb with a cord or tight bandage unless the vet tells you to do so when you make the emergency call. They will explain exactly how to do this without causing further injury to your dog.
  4. Leave the wound open to the air before covering it to dry it out as much as possible. Do this at least for a couple of minutes.
  5. Cover the wound without applying a lot of pressure - just enough to protect it and prevent it from coming into contact with contaminating materials before arriving at the vet's clinic. Do this with a sterile gauze and tape if you have removed the fur from around the wound, or alternatively with a sterile gauze and a bandage to hold it in place.
  6. Go to the veterinarian to have the wound check and inform your vet on the situation. Your dog may need antibiotics, a couple of stitches or other things that only the vet can provide. This is why it's very important to call them and take your dog in for a check-up.

You may also be interested in our article about how to treat an injury on a dog's paw pad or how to stop your dog from scratching a wound.

First Aid for Dog Wounds - Treating Dog Wounds at Home - How to treat dog wounds at home

What should an emergency kit for a dog contain?

Now that you know about the common wounds in dogs and how to treat them, let's take a look at what your first aid kit for dogs should have. The following items are the most essential things you should have in your first aid kit for dogs:

  • The emergency telephone number veterinarians near you and your trusted veterinarian.
  • A muzzle appropriate for the size of your dog.
  • Throwaway latex gloves (to be used only once and then thrown).
  • Sterile gauze, cotton, bandages and absorbent pads.
  • Physiological saline solution, chlorhexidine, iodine or an equivalent disinfectant spray, liquid or powder.
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide and alcohol 96º.
  • Highly adhesive plaster.
  • Blunt scissors, nail clippers and tweezers.
  • Medicine that a veterinarian has prescribed for your pet.
  • Food syringes (not syringes with a needle) to perform oral administrations.
  • Digital rectal thermometer.

All the items mentioned above are essential in your dog's first aid kit. You can also contact your veterinarian and ask them what other products you could have at hand to have it tailored more for your dog's needs and their lifestyle with you. Learn more in our article about what your first aid for dogs should have. You can also watch the video below to learn more about preparing your own first aid kit for dogs.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to First Aid for Dog Wounds - Treating Dog Wounds at Home, we recommend you visit our First aid category.

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