Accidents happen. Your dog's playful and curious nature can lead to cuts, scratches and punctures at some point in his life. Cleaning the wound properly at home will help with the healing process, give you more time if you can't take it to the vet right away, and prevent infections by enabling you to quickly take it to a vet and have your pet's wound evaluated better.
Method 1 of 3: Stopping Bleeds
Step 1. Calm the dog
When you notice that the animal is hurt, control and calm it if it is too agitated. Caress him with care, speaking calmly and in a low voice so that he is also calmer. Make sure you are calm, too, even with the worry present. Your dog can "read" your body language and knows very well how to distinguish the intonation of your voice, noticing your behavior and following it.
Step 2. Put a muzzle on it if necessary
Remember that you must also care for your own safety when dealing with an injured animal; therefore, even if the dog is normally docile and gentle, it can attack to protect itself from further pain. If you're concerned about your safety (when you see the animal growling, trying to bite you, or if it has a history of biting when it's nervous), put on a muzzle.
- If you don't have a muzzle, wrap a collar or soft rope around the dog's muzzle.
- If the animal is extremely restless and does not allow you to mess with it, stop and take it to the vet as safely as possible.
- Protect yourself by placing a blanket or towel over him before taking him to the veterinary hospital.
Step 3. Treat any bleeding you find
While cleaning is important, it is even more important to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. If blood appears to be squirting from the wound, the dog may have an arterial injury that is possibly fatal - large bleeds should be treated very seriously.
- Apply pressure to the wound directly using a clean, absorbent material such as a towel, washcloth, t-shirt, gauze, or even a feminine tampon.
- Keep pressure on the wound for 3-5 minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped. If you constantly remove the pressure, the blood clot will not be able to form, delaying the process.
Step 4. Do a tourniquet only if necessary and under specialist instructions
A tourniquet should be the last measure applied to control bleeding, as doing it incorrectly can lead to complications, resulting in tissue death. Your pet may even need amputation if you cut off circulation; if you don't have specialized training to make a tourniquet on a dog, call your veterinarian to instruct you on the following basic guidelines:
- Place a clean towel or pillow around the limb (but not around the neck, chest or abdomen).
- Wear a belt or collar to hold it in place. It should be placed over the wound, towards the body.
- Leave it on for no more than 5-10 minutes before removing the pressure to avoid permanent damage to the limb.
- Use enough pressure for the bleeding to slow down or stop completely, but avoid "crushing" muscle and soft tissue.
- Applying the tourniquet should not be painful for your pet.
Method 2 of 3: Cleaning the Wound
Step 1. Remove the hairs around the wound using an electric clipper
After controlling the bleeding, the cleaning process can be started. If the dog is long-haired, you may need to trim it, but only if you can do it safely. If you don't have clippers, use blunt scissors very carefully, trimming the fur but not touching the animal's skin with them, as this increases the chance of causing more injuries. Removing a part of the animal's coat will allow you to see the wound well and will also prevent hair or dirt from getting stuck, irritating the exposed flesh.
Step 2. Rinse the wound with warm saline water
Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt to a glass of hot water and stir until dissolved. Fill a syringe (no needle) or syringe to moisten turkey with the mixture and gently squirt it on the wound until it is clean. The tissue must be clean and shiny before you stop rinsing the lesion.
- If you don't have either of these two types of syringe, pour the water directly onto the wound.
- If the sore is on the paw, you can dip it in a bowl, bucket or plate for 3 to 5 minutes. Have a towel on hand to dry it.
Step 3. Disinfect the wound
Dilute Betadine (Povidine Iodino) or Nolvasan (Chlorhexidine) in hot water. Use this solution to finish the rinse or dip the paw one last time. These solutions can also be used in place of saline water when starting to clean the wound.
Step 4. Dry the wound
A sterile gauze is best, but any clean absorbent material will do. Don't rub the wound; instead, give it careful taps so it doesn't cause more pain or new injuries.
Step 5. Apply an antibiotic cream or spray that is safe for humans
Know that the spray can scare the dog and even burn a little. Do not use creams and ointments if you have other options, as they can attract dirt to the lesion. Also, he will likely try to lick them, so use these products only if you can prevent the dog from reaching the spot. If desired, wrap the treated area with protective gauze or place an Elizabethan Collar (protective collar) on the animal.
- Be careful not to spray anything in the pet's eyes.
- Do not apply steroid ointments such as hydrocortisone or betamethasone, which can interfere with wound healing. Use only antibiotic ointments.
- Avoid antifungal creams (ketoconazole, clotrimazole) unless your veterinarian has recommended them.
- If you have any questions, call your veterinarian or talk to a pharmacist before applying the product.
Step 6. Observe the wound daily
If you find any signs of infection, take the dog to the vet immediately. Some signs that indicate infection are unpleasant odors or yellow, green, or gray discharge.
Method 3 of 3: Seeking Professional Veterinary Help
Step 1. Don't wait for a vet appointment if the sore is in the eyes
Take him to a veterinary emergency, as cuts or eye injuries can result in permanent damage to the dog's eyesight. To increase the chances of a good recovery, take him to the doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Step 2. The animal should immediately go to the vet to get stitches if the wound is more than superficial
If the cut appears deep and gives the impression that it won't heal on its own, take it to a veterinarian emergency. All injuries that penetrate through the skin and muscles, tendons or fats need professional evaluation. After evaluating the injury, the veterinarian may suggest stitches to speed up the healing process.
Step 3. All bite injuries should receive veterinary attention
Bites often extensively damage the animal's epithelial tissue, which can complicate recovery, so bite wounds need to be rinsed and drained, both under veterinarian anesthesia. The animals' mouths are full of bacteria, so the risk of infection will be present even if the bite doesn't seem too serious.
Step 4. Ask the veterinarian to drain or debride the wound, if necessary
When you notice that the lesion is filling with fluid rather than healing in a healthy way, ask your doctor if he or she recommends draining it. Debridement is the removal of damaged or infected tissue around the wound. Both procedures require the veterinarian to anesthetize the dog.
Step 5. Ask your veterinarian about systemic antibiotics
This type of medication can treat or prevent infections, which delay healing. Your veterinarian should assess the lesion, determine if there are signs of infection, and discuss antibiotic use with you if necessary.
- Take the animal to the vet if the wound is deep, extensive, or is bleeding heavily.
- He should also be taken to a doctor if the wound becomes infected.