- Pet can get wounds or lacerations (cuts) for many reasons
- Dog/Cat bites
- Hit by car
- Barbed wire fences
- Paw pad injuries
- One of the biggest concerns with wounds is the potential for them to develop infection.
- Many wounds can be hidden by fur and can appear days later as discharge from infection
What Does It Look Like?
- Wounds can present as punctures, abrasions, or lacerations
- They can be superficial and only affect the outer layer of skin or they can be deep and be through the skin.
- If allowed to become infected, they can also have a purulent discharge (pus).
What Do You Do?
- The first step is to be safe and muzzle your pet to prevent unintentional biting due to pain.
- Next, it is important to shave the fur over the wounds and the surrounding area to assess the extent of the injuries
- Deep wounds that are through the skin and into the flesh need to be sutured by a veterinarian within 2 to 3 hours after the incident.
- Superficial wounds can be managed at home
- There are two aspects of wound management
- Use betadine scrub to clean wound after shaving
- Hydrogen peroxide can be used, but betadine is better
- Once dried, apply antibiotic ointment
- Apply bandage if bleeding is present, but it is better to leave bandage off if possible and use medical collar to prevent licking
- Use a clean, wet washcloth to remove any discharge or debris
- Re-apply antibiotic ointment
- Change bandage if present
- Hydrotherapy (spraying wound with water from kitchen or bath sprayer for 10-15 min) can speed healing time significantly
- Do NOT apply hydrogen peroxide after initial use - it can actually slow down healing