How To Treat A Bite Wound On A Dog
If your sweet, gentle dog has ever been involved in a fight with another canine or attacked by a strange dog, you know that the aftermath can be pretty scary. Depending on how severe the wounds are, you may need to get your dog to an emergency veterinarian right away. But first aid care can help to stop bleeding, prevent infection and ensure that your dog is as comfortable as possible while he waits for professional care.
Wash your hands!
After touching your dog’s wound, wash your hands with soap and water. You can also use a disinfectant to kill bacteria on the skin around the bite wound. It is important to wash your hands before eating or touching your face in order to prevent infection.
Take a deep breath
The next thing you want to do is take a deep breath. This will help you calm down, which in turn will help your dog calm down. Dogs are extremely sensitive to their owners’ moods, so if you’re panicking and freaking out, your dog will become stressed as well.
So before anything else, take a step back from the situation and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Give yourself time to think about what’s going on and why it happened so that you can regain control of yourself before taking any further action towards treating the wound or cleaning it up (if necessary).
Find the wound.
You must be able to find the wound in order for it to be treated. You need to look for bleeding, swelling, pain, redness and any other signs of infection.
Stop the bleeding.
One of the first things you should do when treating a dog bite wound is stop the bleeding. Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean towel or washcloth. You can also use gauze, but make sure it’s not torn. Do not apply pressure to an area if it is already swollen or purple, as this means you’re pressing too hard on an artery. If you are unable to stop the bleeding, call your vet or local emergency animal hospital immediately because they will know what steps to take next.
Clean the wound.
The first step is to clean the wound. Use a sterile saline solution, hydrogen peroxide solution, or rubbing alcohol solution to irrigate the wound and flush out any dirt or debris. Be sure to use soap and water before cleaning the wound so that you don’t introduce bacteria into it.
If your dog has an open sore that has been allowed to heal on its own (without intervention), it’s very important not to disturb this healing process by applying any kind of topical treatment or antibiotic ointments until the scab has completely separated from its base (this can take anywhere from two days up to several weeks).
Use an antiseptic solution like Betadine (povidone-iodine).
- Before applying Betadine, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Apply Betadine to the wound with a cotton swab.
- Leave the Betadine on for at least five minutes, but not more than 20 minutes at a time (you can leave it on longer if needed). Do not use any more than once every hour if possible; more frequent applications could cause irritation or burning of the skin and may take longer for healing to begin due to excessive exposure to iodine in one sitting
Apply pressure, then a bandage if needed.
If the wound is bleeding heavily and you can’t apply pressure for 10 minutes, elevate your dog’s limb above the heart. Once you have applied pressure to stop the bleeding, cover your dog’s bite wound with gauze and bandage it tightly.
If you don’t have a bandage available, you can try using a clean sock (if it has no holes) or even just a clean dish towel or piece of cloth to cover the wound. You will want to keep your dog’s paw elevated if possible, as this will also help slow down blood flow into their paws and prevent swelling.
Call your veterinarian.
- Call your veterinarian immediately. If you can’t reach your vet, go to your local emergency animal hospital. The most important thing is to get the dog’s wound cleaned out, debrided (removing dead tissue), and stitched up as quickly as possible.
- If you are unsure of what to do, call your vet or local emergency animal hospital for advice before attempting any sort of treatment yourself.
Dog bites are serious and need veterinary attention. If you notice that the skin around the bite is red or swollen, fluid is leaking out of the wound or your dog is not acting like himself, don’t hesitate to call your vet or local emergency animal hospital.
Dog bites are serious and need veterinary attention. If you notice that the skin around the bite is red or swollen, fluid is leaking out of the wound or your dog is not acting like himself, don’t hesitate to call your vet or local emergency animal hospital. Dogs can carry rabies and other diseases that can be transmitted through saliva and blood during a bite injury.
A dog bite also causes an open wound, which means it’s more susceptible to infection than a regular cut would be because bacteria already present on your skin can get into it more easily. Bacteria in your saliva may also enter into the wound along with whatever germs are already there from wherever you were bitten—a park? The beach? An outdoor space where many other dogs have been? It’s important not only to get a tetanus shot if needed but also antibiotics as soon as possible after getting bitten by a canine companion (or any other kind of mammal).
You should also keep in mind that a dog bite is not the same as a human bite. Human bites are more likely to become infected and need antibiotics, while canine teeth are designed to puncture and rarely cause infection. Still, it’s always better to be on the safe side. If you follow these steps carefully, you’ll be able to take care of your dog if he ever gets bitten by another animal or even another dog!