If your dog gets injured the most important thing you need to know is to not leave the wound open. Wounds in dogs are of varying nature and they may affect different parts. Vets consider many factors before deciding on the best way to treat a wound. For instance, those on the face (or on the leg) are impossible to close using surgical means.
Here are a few pointers on how dog wounds are taken care of. In the event of Abscesses – where pus accumulates in the cavity – they are first lanced and then cleaned. All under anesthesia to minimize discomfort. They are then aired to ensure all fluid is drained thus preventing further infections. If there are any foreign materials on the wounded parts, such as nails or wood chips, they have to be removed from the dead tissue. In cases where it is impossible to surgically close the wound, a protective bandage will then be applied by the vet instead. Antibiotics will then be administered either orally or through injection. In a few cases, painkillers are administered too.
Before your dog is discharged, the vet will give you guidelines on how to take care of them. As a rule of thumb, you should ensure the wound (and surrounding areas) are free of any sticky debris. Apart from slowing the healing process, they could be a source of reinfection. Gently clean the affected areas to facilitate the development of healthy tissue. Follow the vet’s prescriptions to the letter.
Sometimes we’re tempted to stop administering antibiotics when we assume they are fully healed. Many dogs love chewing and licking the affected areas – this is more pronounced in the smaller breeds. You need to fit a protective collar to prevent further injury to the wound.
When it’s time to clean the wound, massage the wound in a slow but firm manner. This will open up the wound and fluid will drain. Do not be alarmed when you see some discharge or bleeding. Allow it to drain completely. In the first few days, the discharge may be yellow-green. It is a common misconception that a dog’s saliva has antiseptic properties. Dogs lick anything from their paws to our faces. When you see him licking his wound, it’s just an instinctive response and not necessarily a healing procedure. Even though mechanically licking the wound helps remove solid matter from the wound, it’s too risky. They may end up tearing the stitches or opting up wounds that had previously healed.
We recommend applying Vet Aid’s Animal Wound Care Spray which protects the sensitive injured tissues as they heal. Just put apply the foam in the injured area a few times a day.
However, do not use human medication such as hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on wounds. Even though they are perfectly safe for humans, they contain toxic substances that may do more harm than good to your furry friend. While shampoos may be effective on the wounds, dogs tend to lick off affected areas and the effects of ingesting ointments could be very dangerous