First, do a tip to tail check 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:
- Stop any bleeding. Sterile gauze. Pressure for 5 minutes.
- Apply a water-based lubricant- i.e. KY jelly- direct to the wound. This stops further dirt or hair getting in.
- Use clippers on the hair around the wound – now air can get in and you can clean and monitor the wound more easily.
- Bathe the wound with saline (from pharmacy or made at home is 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1 cup water boiled water mixed together then cooled)
- Dab with dilute betadine (povidone-iodine). The dilution should be the colour of weak tea.
Do steps 4 & 5 twice daily and monitor the wound very closely. If the area is becoming swollen, red or smelly it’s no longer suitable to manage at home.
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