Nov 13
dog getting attention

How To Manage Dogs Minor Wounds And Skin Irritations

First step is to do a tip to tail check of your dog to see what you’re dealing with and check for any other wounds.

Large, deep wounds exposing underlying tissue or bite wounds need to be seen by the Veterinarian as soon as possible. If the wound is bleeding apply sterile gauze and pressure for about 5 minutes and then apply a light bandage over the top prior to hopping in the car.

Minor cuts or abrasions are a different matter. They are not usually life threatening and can often be treated from home. These kinds of wounds are small (think grazed knee!) and may have superficial bleeding.

Note that as wounds can be sore you need to minimise risk of being bitten or scratched whilst attending to your mate. You can do this by use a muzzle or having a friend to help gently hold your pooch.

If you’re unsure simply take your fur kid straight to the Veterinarian- even minor wounds left untreated can become infected.

Steps are as follows:

  1. Stop any bleeding. Sterile gauze. Pressure for 5 minutes.
  2. Apply a water-based lubricant- i.e. KY jelly- directly to the wound. This stops further dirt or hair getting in.
  3. Use clippers on the hair around the wound – this allows air to reach the wound and you can clean and monitor it more easily.
  4. Bathe the wound with saline (buy from the pharmacy or make at home: 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup boiling water then cooled before use)
  5. Dab with dilute betadine (povidone-iodine). Betadine needs to be diluted n water to make it the colour of weak tea – this is a more effective concentration.

Do steps 4 & 5 twice daily and monitor the wound very closely.  If the area is becoming swollen, red or smelly, or your dog is not well, it’s no longer suitable to manage at home.

About The Author

Claire is a QLD graduate with 19 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of VetChat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.