Sunday, 12 January 2014

How to treat an open wound on your dog

In the course of their lives, dogs are likely to get injured now and then. Your pet may run into a tree branch or rub against a sharp object. Knowing what to do when your pup has suffered some damage can reduce their pain and promote quick recovery.
Last week Bella our golden retriever cut herself on our new bbq. It was a shallow open wound. It made me realise that I didn't really know what to do about it. I rang the vet and they told me the following information.
Normal skin
Bella's open cut

Wounds fall into two main categories: shallow and deep. Shallow wounds involve just the skin; deep wounds penetrate to the muscles and other tissues below the skin.

To treat a shallow wound:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

2. Place a small dog or on a table or counter in front of you or get down on the ground with a large dog. Have a second person gently restrain the pet if necessary.

3. If the hair needs to be removed: Cover the wound and surrounding area with a water-based lubricant. This makes removing shaved hair from the wound much easier and decreases contamination. Use electric clippers to shave the hair from around the wound. Scissors or a disposable razor can be used with extreme caution to avoid cutting the skin. Wipe the water-based lubricant and hair away with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Wash the area with warm water until all visible debris is gone, then pat dry.

4. Use cotton pads and sterile saline solution to clean the wound thoroughly.  Apply antibacterial ointment that is safe for dogs to the wound. Do NOT use Dettol as it is poisonous for dogs. This is because they can lick the area and Dettol is toxic if they ingest it.

5. Cover the wound with gauze, wrap it with a bandage, and cover it with cohesive bandage (but not so tightly that you cut off circulation).

6. You can slip a stockinet or bootie over a foot and secure it with tape for extra protection. I use baby socks if needed.

7. Periodically feel your dog’s toes. If they become swollen or cool to the touch, remove the bandage and reapply it after the swelling has diminished.

8. Your dog should not be allowed to lick or chew the open wound. Many dogs will require a protective collar to prevent them from injuring the site. If the wound worsens at any time or fails to resolve within a week, consult a veterinarian.

To treat a deep wound:
Cuts that may require stitches should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. If a cut is more than about six hours old, it should not be sutured closed because it almost certainly is contaminated with bacteria from the environment. Suturing the wound closed would just trap the bacteria within the wound, resulting in infection and increased scarring.

1. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure.

2. When the bleeding has stopped, bandage the wound and seek immediate veterinary treatment.

Your veterinarian has considered all of these factors when deciding the best way to treat a specific wound. Sometimes the location or the amount of skin loss prevents surgical closure or bandaging (wounds on the face or high up on the leg). Sometimes, puncture wounds or other trauma force bacteria deep into the tissues.
What should I clean the wound with?
Warm tap water or saline salt solution is recommended for cleaning most wounds. Saline salt solution may be made by adding approximately one level teaspoonful (5 mls) of salt to two cups (500 mls) of water.
Bella is fully healed now a week later and the fur has started to grow back.

♥ Lady Creativity

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