Dogs can get hurt in many different ways, like us, so they always have to be well cared for and watched to avoid incidents. They can injure themselves playing, fighting with another dog or other animals, they can suffer accidents, and so on. In each situation it is better to act in one way or another, especially if there are open wounds, fractures or if it is bites.
At oneHOWTO we want to help you provide the best care to your faithful companion and, for this reason, we have prepared this guide in which we tell you how to heal open wounds in dogs, be it scrapes, bites, ulcers, open fractures, etc. Read on and learn about first aid, healing steps, when to go to the vet, and the best remedies.
How to Identify Open Wounds in Dogs
First aid is the steps prior to healing the dog’s wound. As soon as you realize that your faithful friend is hurt, keep two basic things in mind: first identify the type of wound (even in a generic way) and second follow a few simple steps of cleaning and emergency cure, before going to the vet.
Thus, later we will see the cleaning but first we see the types of injuries. There are many types of open wounds in dogs, but the most common are:
- Cuts and scratches: they can be more or less deep, which are vertical or longitudinal wounds. They are easier to heal than other skin and muscle injuries, but they are prone to infection.
- Bites: they are seen with teeth marks with or without tearing. The severity can vary greatly depending on each case and depending on which animal has been bitten.
- Split nails: The broken nail can be left hanging for a small part or split completely and therefore be amputated. It is a particularly scandalous type of wound, since the nail bleeds a lot and is one of the areas that hurts the most when injured.
- Burns: There are different types of burns that can be classified by degree of severity, by the origin of the burn, and so on. It is necessary to call an emergency veterinarian, since acting on our own can be very counterproductive, for example wetting with fresh water, which would be a normal reaction to the situation, is not always convenient. Neither is adding hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, for the same reason, because depending on the origin of the burn, it can be very serious to use these products or it can be somewhat beneficial. It is best to call the veterinary emergency and follow their instructions.
- Open or wound fractures: are those that occur when a bone breaks and is exposed. When identifying one, the dog must be taken with great care and taken to veterinary emergencies.
- Open wounds that won’t heal or ulcers: These are lesions that have been open for a long time and do not close on their own or with the treatment used for a while. In addition, they are usually damp, smell bad and hurt a lot because they get infected.
- Open wounds with worms: this problem is known as myiasis, worm or bug and it happens when flies and other dipterans lay their eggs in the wounds, infesting it, and in a short time the larvae or worms hatch, leaving the lesion totally infected and infested, normally suffering secondary bacterial infections. These insects use this method because their larvae feed on the muscle, which causes the wound to take on a very bad appearance and immediately begin to see many worms. In this other oneHOWTO article we explain in detail how to heal wounds with worms in dogs. Remember that whenever there is myiasis in any of the aforementioned wounds, it is vital to remove all the larvae and eggs as soon as possible and then clean the lesion thoroughly again.
Remember that depending on the state of your injured furry, it may be necessary that you have to put a muzzle on it before touching the injured area to check and treat it.
How to heal open wounds in dogs step by step – first aid
After knowing what type of open wound your dog has, in case it is not a very serious one that directly needs veterinary attention, such as an open fracture or a burn, you will have to perform the first aid to heal an open wound on a dog.
You can follow these steps to clean an open wound in dogs and make a basic cure before going to the vet:
- Immobilize your dog: the ideal is to work two people at the same time, to hold the dog and heal it.
- Trim the hair: If there is a lot of hair in the injured area it will be better than when there is little blood, if there is first you will have to clean the wound a little and add some hydrogen peroxide, cut this hair a little with scissors (if possible with a round tip) very carefully.
- Remove possible residues: Depending on what the injury was done with, it is easy for there to be remains of an object, be it earth or small stones, pieces of wood or plants, crystals, plastics, etc. The best way to do this is to use water at room temperature or physiological saline and, if necessary, some tweezers. The forceps are only used to remove pieces on the surface of the skin or tangled in the fur, never to remove a remainder of something nailed, as it can cause bleeding.
- Stop the bleeding: To stop a slight hemorrhage or bleeding, it is enough to apply hydrogen peroxide. It is best to place a gauze under the wound and pour the hydrogen peroxide without putting the gauze on or at most giving soft touches, it is not advisable to leave the gauze on because when you remove it, the injury can bleed again. If there is significant bleeding, press on the wound with some cloth or gauze and call the veterinary emergency.
- Disinfect the open wound: once there is no more bleeding, the lesion must be disinfected. It is best to apply some alcohol or betadine or iodine in the same way, with the gauze under the injury and not cover it.
- Let it dry: Do not cover the injury immediately after applying these products, but rather allow it to dry by airing out.
- Cover the wound: Once you notice that the iodine has dried, cover the area with gauze and tape if there is no hair around it or place a bandage on top to hold the gauze.
- Prevent your dog from touching the wound: So that your furry does not undo the bandage and does not hurt itself when sniffing or wanting to lick the lesion, you will have to watch closely that it does not have this behavior or, if possible, place an Elizabethan cone or collar.
- Take your dog to the vet: As soon as you can, take him to the vet, because even if you think you have healed the injury well, it is vital that it be checked by a professional. It is necessary to finish healing the area well, to give you some guidelines for cures, prescribe the necessary medications, probably antibiotics, and to correctly diagnose the cause and state of the injury, among other aspects.
Remember to check and clean the injured area again until it heals completely. Next, we explain more specific cases on how to heal an open wound or injury in a dog.
Heal a wound to a dog with hydrogen peroxide
As we have seen before, this product is essential for good cleaning, disinfection and to stop bleeding, which is achieved by the action of oxygen.
So if you wonder how to use hydrogen peroxide to heal a wound on a dog, you can reread step four of the previous section, keeping in mind that it is better to have done the others indicated as previous ones first. Likewise, it should be borne in mind that the rest of the steps are necessary, but that in cases where the injury is quite mild, letting the hydrogen peroxide dry may be sufficient, especially in cases of scratches, but after a few hours and In the following days you have to check the area well.
If your question is about how to heal deep wounds to dogs because yours has been nailed something or has been bitten, it is good that you add hydrogen peroxide to stop the bleeding and clean well. However, remember not to remove nailed objects and that you must take it to the specialist.
When applying hydrogen peroxide or other products, for example iodine or even water, be very careful to prevent it from coming into contact with delicate areas like the eyes, mouth and ears, especially if it is abundant. In case of treating wounds in these areas, it is best to go directly to the vet or, if it is imperative to apply these products, do it by wetting a gauze very little, or even wringing it so that only something impregnated is left, and then applying gentle touches to the area and let it dry.
How to treat an open and infected wound on a dog
If the open lesion has been around for some time and is infected, you can see that a purulent fluid oozes or that it even has pus, which may be yellowish or greenish. To heal an injury of this type, it is necessary to follow the steps commented at the beginning of the article, but bear in mind that a deep cleaning of the open and infected wound, so that as much pus as possible is removed, and the use of antibiotics, both local and general, to prevent the infection from spreading. The vet It will provide the best cures and antibiotics, whether they are ointments, injections, or oral pills or syrups.
Containing and treating the infection is basic and, in fact, vital because this is how …