As much as we adore our furry companions, accidents happen and our dogs may sustain injuries. Whether it's a minor scratch or a more severe wound, our Mooresville veterinary delve into the various stages of the healing process, when it's necessary to seek professional help, and how to properly tend to minor injuries from the comfort of your own home.
Wounds That Require Veterinary Care
Although owners can handle some dog injuries, a veterinarian must evaluate certain wounds without delay. Examples of wounds that necessitate veterinary attention include:
- Animal bites (these may look small but become infected very quickly if not treated)
- Skin that has been torn away from the flesh below (often occurs during dog fights)
- A wound with a large object lodged in it (ie: a piece of glass or nail)
- Wounds caused by a car accident or other trauma
- Injuries around the eyes, head or that lead to breathing difficulties
Stages of Wound Healing
Your dog's wound will go through 4 stages of healing Inflammation, Debridement, Repair, and Maturation.
Inflammation is when the initial wound happens and the immune system activates and sends cells to fight infection and temporarily repair the damage. This causes the initial swelling and redness.
Debridement is where the body removes damaged cells and bacteria.
Repair Is where the wound begins to heal and either the wound is able to knit itself back together which happens if the cut is clean and narrow with a small amount of scar tissue or new cells or if the wound is large the new tissue will be added to replace the damaged section.
Maturation is the final stage where the excess cells and resources that were sent to repair the damaged tissue are redistributed among the body
Providing First Aid to Your Dog
It's important to clean and care for wounds on your dog as soon as possible to prevent infections. It's recommended to have assistance in restraining your dog before administering first aid. If you're unsure about the proper course of action or whether veterinary care is necessary, it's always best to immediately contact your vet or an emergency vet for guidance.
Place a Muzzle on Your Dog
If you come across a frightened, nervous, or injured dog, it's important to take safety precautions as they may bite in self-defense. Prior to administering first aid, we suggest using a muzzle to ensure your protection. It's advised to train your dog to wear a muzzle beforehand to reduce their anxiety and make the process more familiar for them.
Remove Any Foreign Objects Lodged in The Wound
Look for objects or debris that may be lodged in the wound. This is especially important if the wound is on your dog's paw pad and they may have stepped on something sharp. If you can easily remove the object with tweezers, do so gently. If the object is lodged deeply, leave it and call your vet, or an emergency animal hospital immediately.
Clean your Dog's Wound
If your dog has a wound on their paw, it's best to rinse it with warm water by swishing the injured paw in a clean bowl or bucket. For wounds in other areas of your dog's body, gently run clean water over the wound while your dog is in a sink, bath, or shower. Adding a small amount of mild baby shampoo, dish soap, or hand soap to the water can be helpful. Avoid using harsh cleaners or caustic products like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on your dog's skin as they can be painful and slow down the healing process.
Control The Bleeding
If there is nothing stuck in the wound, you can stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean towel. Smaller wounds generally stop bleeding within a few minutes, but larger ones may take longer. Bleeding should stop within 10 minutes of applying pressure. If your dog is still bleeding after that time, it is important to contact your vet or emergency animal hospital immediately.
To protect the wound, cover it with a piece of sterile gauze or other bandage. It is best to avoid using products that contain hydrocortisone or other corticosteroids. Secure the gauze in place with a self-adhesive elastic bandage.
It is important to prevent your dog from licking the area to avoid further irritation or infection. If your dog tries to lick the wound, consider having them wear an e-collar, which is also known as the "cone of shame."wound, consider having them wear an e-collar, which is also known as the "cone of shame."
It's important to keep a close eye on your dog's wound to prevent infection and ensure proper healing. Be sure to clean the wound with water or a pet-friendly antiseptic solution twice daily. If you notice any signs of inflammation, such as increasing redness, swelling, discharge, or pain, or detect a foul odor emanating from the wound, contact your veterinarian immediately for prompt treatment.
Treatment Using Cold Laser Therapy to Promote Healing
If you are looking for a non-invasive and drug-free treatment for inflammatory conditions, cold laser therapy may be a viable option for you. Also known as low-level laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy, this treatment employs focused light to promote cell regeneration and enhance blood circulation. Furthermore, it can also help accelerate wound healing.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet