Lacerations, or cuts, happen to the best of us and the same can be said for our dogs. Sometimes all of the wrong circumstances come together and our furry friends get cut and they need treatment from us or even their vets. Knowing what to do when your dog suffers a laceration is an important part of ensuring that your dog will come away from the laceration no worse for the wear.
Symptoms of a laceration are just like they would be in a person, cut or torn flesh which is causing bleeding, irritation, and pain for the dog. When you have found a laceration on your dog your first focus needs to be controlling the bleeding and once you have done this you can turn to controlling or preventing infection. A laceration generally isn’t hard to identify, though you may need to clip hair around the wound to get a good look at it.
Preventing lacerations can be difficult because they are usually accidents, nothing that you could have foreseen. While this is true, there are some steps to make sure that your dog is safe. Make sure that there are not any breakable objects that your dog can easily knock over and break, make sure that your dog is kept away from heights where he or she may fall, and also make sure that your dog stays away from broken fences, glass, and other dogs that are known to bite. These are some simple ways to ensure that your dog will be less likely to become injured, but even if you “dog proof” your life your furry friend may still suffer a laceration.
The first thing that you will want to do when your dog has suffered a laceration is to stop the bleeding. You can do this by simply applying pressure or by creating a tourniquet that will restrict blood flow to this portion of the body. Once you have the bleeding under control you need to move onto cleaning the wound, starting from the outside edges. Clip away any hair and clean the area with hydrogen peroxide. Then, you need to bandage the area up to make sure that it stays clean and dry. You’ll want to replace the bandage every day until the skin is closed. If the skin starts to look red or swollen, you may need to bring your pet to be seen by a professional. Generally, lacerations that are over one inch in length and have any depth to them need to be stitched up and a visit to the vet is in order.