Symptoms Of An Infected Dog Wound Every Owner Should Know
Pups are naturally playful creatures, but sometimes that playful nature can get them into trouble. Whether they scrape themselves while romping, or sustain a wound from becoming a little too playful with a friend, your pup can become injured in a variety of ways. But, you donât have to worry about it too much because wounds are no big deal â until they become infected. An infected dog wound can be extremely painful for the pup, and even life-threatening if itâs not properly addressed. Thatâs why if you think your dogâs wound may be infected, you should visit your vet ASAP. But, if you need a little help figuring out if your dogâs wound is infected or not, thatâs what this article is for. It will include:
- The symptoms of an infected dog wound
- Whether you should take your dog to the vet
- How to treat an infected wound
- How to prevent infection in the first place
How Long Does It Take For A Dog Bite To Stop Bleeding
Dog bites can bleed profusely depending on the location of the bite. Within roughly five minutes of applying pressure to the bite, the bleeding should have significantly slowed or ceased entirely.
Can a dog bite leave an open wound?
Front teeth can leave a puncture wound and even smaller teeth can tear your skin and leave an open, jagged wound. One of the biggest health concerns associated with dog bites is infection. Infections come from not taking care of the open wound as well as the transfer of bacteria.
Give Your Dog Lots Of Love
While many dogs are smart and curious, they may not understand whats going on during the treatment process. It can leave them feeling distressed and uncomfortable.
After treating their wound, make sure to lift your pups mood by rewarding them with a treat and some loving attention. A few good dog compliments can go a long way too.
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Treatment Of Open Wounds In Dogs
Your veterinarian will begin by fully assessing the open wound and stopping any bleeding that may be occurring. Depending on the location and size of the open wound, bleeding may be profuse. Once any bleeding is controlled, your veterinarian will disinfect the wound. Some open wounds will require debridement and irrigation before closure of the wound. Debridement means that any compromised tissue or dead tissue is removed so that the wound can be sutured closed.
Some open wounds will require wound closure using sutures. Your dog may need to be put under general anesthesia so your veterinarian can surgically close the open wound.
Depending on the location and the amount of skin that is available, your dog may not be able to have an open wound sutured closed. In these instances, your veterinarian will thoroughly clean the wound and then apply bandages to keep it clean. You will be given precise instructions on how to keep the open wounds clean and free of dirt and debris.
To prevent infection, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics. To combat swelling, NSAIDS may also be prescribed. Antibiotic creams or ointments may be applied to some open wounds. Speak with your veterinarian regarding all prescribed medications for your dog.
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Home Treatment Dog Wound Care
Most first-aid instructions for minor wounds involve these three steps:
*Rinse or wash the area, then blot or air dry. Rinse or soak burned paw pads in cool or cold water.
*Apply a first-aid salve or antibiotic ointment.
*If appropriate, bandage the wound for protection. Bandages should not be applied so tightly that they interfere with circulation, and they should be removed after a few hours, whenever wet, or whenever the wounds dressing is changed.
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What Should I Do If My Dogs Wound Is Bleeding
Initially, attempt to stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound with an absorbent dressing, such as dry gauze, followed by a layer of bandage material or a clean, dry cloth. This will protect the wound during transport to the veterinary clinic and prevent any further contamination of the injury.
If possible, try to raise the affected area above the level of the heart. This will help reduce the flow of blood to the bleeding area. Do not apply ointments, creams, disinfectants, or any other chemicals to the wound , as they can interfere with healing.
Can Dogs Get Allergic Reactions To Antibiotics
Just like human beings, dogs may also be allergic to certain drugs. This allergic reaction will be mild to severe and may occur right after administering the antibacterial for dog wounds.
As a result, your dog may experience reactions such as rashes, hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the muzzle or face, seizures, vomiting, salivation, and diarrhea.
If you notice that your dog is having face swelling or discomfort in breathing, take them to the nearest veterinary. The doctor may administer steroids to bring down the side effects.
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Natural Alternatives To Antibiotics For Dogs
Penicillin is often described as a miracle drug.
Prior to its discovery people died from trivial injuries and diseases by todays standards.
Minor wounds became infected. Common diseases such as strep throat and pneumonia overwhelmed the body.
Theres no question that penicillin and todays modern antibiotics can save lives.
But their use has come at a cost.
Causes Of Open Wounds In Dogs
Open wounds in dogs can occur from a number of different causes. Abrasions or scrapes can occur when the superficial skin layers are scraped. This will cause minor inflammation, some surface bleeding and may cause bruising. Abrasions can occur from your dog biting at their skin, jumping over or digging under fences, fighting or being dragged across a rough surface.
Lacerations are when your dogs skin has been cut or torn open. Some lacerations will have clean, smooth edges or they may have jagged edges. Some lacerations will affect multiple layers of tissue depending on what caused the actual laceration.
Puncture wounds or bite wounds occur when an object or tooth pierces the skin and leaves a small hole on the surface. The hole will most likely affect multiple layers of tissue and is most susceptible to bacterial infections. Puncture wounds can easily become abscessed, creating a bigger medical emergency for your dog.
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What To Do If Your Pets Abscess Is In A Tough Spot
Abscesses in certain areas, usually those that are more internal and may be putting pressure on nerves and organs, should be removed through surgery, and may even be installed with a temporary drain that is sutured into the skin to carry any more pus away from the abscess.
The situation becomes even more serious if the infection has reached the bloodstream, in which case your poor pup will need intravenous antibiotics, fluids, and several nightâs stay at the vet. If you notice an abscess, itâs important to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible so that the uncomfortable pressure that the inflammation causes can be relieved, sepsis can be prevented, and your pup can get back on the road to healing.
What Care Will My Dog Require After Treatment
Dogs that have had a resistant bacterial infection may be more susceptible to infection again in the future if they have a predisposing condition. In these cases, taking precautions to prevent general infections is recommended. Infection prevention means avoiding another course of antibiotics that could potentially create a resistant infection.
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Staph Skin Infection In Dogs
Staph skin infections in dogs are caused by bacteria known as Staphylococcus. It is spread through direct contact with infected animals or their environment. These conditions include skin lesions, paws, and even faeces and saliva. They are caused by a group of bacteria called staphylococci. This is a common type of bug residing on and in people.
If you have ever seen a dog with a staph infection, you may notice that they tend to be very itchy and it hurts. Many times, the infection will show up as a red sore on the paw or the body. This will start with a little blip, but it will quickly progress to a more serious injury or infection. This is something that is commonly found in staph infection in dogs, the paw and the skin.
How Will My Dogs Wound Be Treated
Abscesses may be lanced and cleaned under heavy sedation or anesthesia. A latex drain will be placed to prevent the wound from closing too quickly to allow proper drainage and prevent further build-up of infection.
Wherever possible, a wound will be closed and sutured in order to speed healing. However, if there is gross contamination or deep infection present, the wound will be left open for topical treatment and to ensure drainage. Your veterinarian may need to anesthetize your dog to remove foreign material and dead tissue from the wound. If the wound cannot be surgically closed, your veterinarian may apply a protective bandage if possible. Your dog will also receive oral or injectable antibiotics.
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Cleaning The Dog Wound
Because bacteria are everywhere, reduce the risk of infection by washing, rinsing, or treating the affected area.
WDJ contributor Mary Straus cleans her dogs wounds with a blend of witch hazel extract and aloe vera, and lavender oil. I make my own all-purpose soothing cleanser, she says, using 1/4 aloe vera juice or gel and 3/4 witch hazel. I mix it in a 2-ounce dropper bottle, along with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil, and shake it up before using. Ive been doing this for 20 years and have found that it soothes any itch, and helps keep a dogs mouth off any wound or abrasion. None of the wounds Ive used it on became infected. I apply it with cotton balls and let it air dry.
Witch hazel is rich in tannins naturally occurring compounds found in plants, seeds, bark, and leaves which are known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Look for products with no added fragrance and that either contain no alcohol or are low in alcohol, such as Mountain Rose Herbs Witch Hazel Extract, which contains 14% alcohol.
Herbs known for their skin-healing properties can be purchased from natural markets and herbal tea companies. These include comfrey leaf and root, German chamomile blossoms, St. Johns wort blossoms, calendula blossoms, broad- or narrow-leaved plantain leaves, and lavender leaves and blossoms.
S For Cleaning And Treating Your Dogs Wound
1. If the dog is small, place them on a table or counter in front of you. For big dogs, get down on the ground with them.
Have a second person gently restrain the pet and use a muzzle, if necessary.
2. Clip the hair around the area. Skip to Step 3 if the wound is not covered by hair.
Spread the water-based lubricant over the wound and surrounding area. This decreases contamination and makes it easier to remove shaved hair from the wound.
Use electric clippers to shave the hair from around the wound. Scissors or a disposable razor can be used if you are extremely careful to avoid cutting the skin.
Gently wipe the water-based lubricant and hair away with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
3. Wash the area with warm water until all visible debris is gone, then pat dry with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
4. Apply a non-stinging antiseptic solution to the area. Chlorhexidine is cheap, extremely effective, and readily available. A 2% solution limits tissue irritation, but 4% solutions are also commonly used. Povidone-iodine solution is another good option.
5. Apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound. Triple antibiotic ointments containing bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B are widely available. AVOID any product that contains a corticosteroid like hydrocortisone.
7. Clean the wound with the antiseptic solution two or three times a day, and apply the antibiotic ointment until the skin is healed.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
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How To Treat Your Dogs Bacterial Skin Infection
Bacterial skin infections in dogs often result from an underlying immune disorder. The most common predisposing causes include allergies . Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushings Disease of the adrenal gland, and diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, and even cancer may predispose many dogs to bacterial skin infections. Symptoms of skin infections include scaling, crustiness, hair loss, and the development of papules, pustules, and pus/discharge on the skin. Your veterinarian can diagnosis pyoderma by visual exam however, definitive diagnosis may require examination of hair and discharge, and skin cultures of the lesions. Follow the steps below to treat your dogs bacterial skin infection:
Most dogs with bacterial skin infections should have the affected areas flushed and cleaned as often as possible. In cases where the hair is matted, it may be necessary to have the hair clipped in order to allow air to access to the areas and give the infection ample opportunity to heal. Topical antibacterial soaps and shampoos can help such as KetoChlor Shampoo or Malapet Shampoo. It is often necessary to shampoo pets once to twice a week, while also using any prescribed antibiotic therapy for maximal chances of recovery.
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Continue With Wound Upkeep
Minor dog wounds can take a few days to heal. During this time, its important to keep a close eye on the wound and apply fresh bandages two to three times a day, or as directed by your vet. Every time you check on your dogs wound, watch out for the following signs:
- Changes in the wounds color
These symptoms may indicate an emerging infection or inadequate healing, warranting a prompt appointment with your vet.
Once the wound reaches the maturation phase of healing, it should close over with new skin, at which point you can stop refreshing the bandages. However, its still a good idea to check on the wound for the next few weeks to ensure a full recovery.
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What About Pain Medications
The vet will prescribe medicine to relieve pain and discomfort. Usually, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like meloxicam, deracoxib, or carprofen are used but only with the expert advice of a vet. Do not buy these medicines without the vet checking the needs of your dog.
Dog wounds can appear to be simple on the surface but may have serious infection beneath. Visit the vet for a quick evaluation and proper medications. Clean the wound at home but expert advice is needed for your dog to heal and recover.
How Should I Care For My Dogs Open Wound
Your veterinarian will provide you with specific instructions. Some general care guidelines include:
Gently clean the wound and surrounding area to remove any crusty or sticky debris. This will keep the wound edges clean, reduce the potential for re-infection, and allow new healthy tissue to develop.
Administer all of the medications as prescribed. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or suitable antibiotic cream to apply to the wound. Do not discontinue antibiotics for any reason unless you have been specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
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. Other options, depending on the location of the wound, include covering the wound with a bandage, a stockinette, a dog coat, or a t-shirt.
Prevent the skin from healing over the wound too quickly. This is particularly important with abscesses that have been lanced and drained surgically. If the wound closes prematurely, the risk of recurrence increases.
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Dog Antibiotics Without Vet Prescription That You Could Use For Wound Treatment
Now that you are aware of all the antibiotics given to dogs, but usually, you could not buy them without a prescription from the vets. If your dogs get wounded and your situation does not allow you to visit the vets, heres some alternative that you could use as first-aid to treat your dogs open wound. These topical and ointment solutions for treat open wounds for dogs are effective and easily accessible on Amazon.
The anti-itch blue butter gel is a must-have for pet parents. It is a non-toxic solution used for treating dog wounds. The product is clinically proven and is being used in many veterinary hospitals and clinics.
It is an effective treatment for laceration, open wounds, skin rashes, infections, burns, and cleansing wounds.
The Zoetis Animal Health Terramycin Antibiotic ointment is useful for sheep, cat, cattle, dogs, and horses. It is effective against gram-positive and/ gram-negative bacteria.
Pet parents vouch for this product as it helps in treating infections like open wounds and eye infections.
Farnam wound care dressing powder acts as a drying agent on infected lesions and slow-healing wounds.
A wound may bleed profusely but with dressing powder, it will stop and the wound will dry at a speedy pace.
Another positive feature of this product is that it removes any unpleasant odor from the wound.
The antiseptic powder is useful for drying bleeding wounds.
How To Treat An Infected Wound On A Dog
The kind of treatment you give a dog with an infected wound has to do with the nature of the wound, the part of the body the wound is located, etc. Certain areas like the eyes, ears, teeth, reproductive organs, usually require immediate attention. Not giving an infected wound the attention it requires may lead to life threatening conditions. Lets take a look at some of the ways we can treat infected wounds based on which part of the body you find them
Treating Ear Infections
Ear infections are very common in dogs. They range from just superficial or outer layer wounds to more severe and internal infections in the ear canal. Parasites like Fleas, Lice, Mites, and Ticks could cause ear infections.
Dogs can also inflict these wounds on themselves during scratching and other activities. Some other possible causes include weather conditions, foreign objects, and allergies. There are more severe cases like tumors, canine vestibular syndrome, mechanical trauma, Aural Hematomas, etc.
Before treatment begins, thoroughly clean and dry the ear canals. An otoscopic examination is required in determining the best form of treatment for the infection. Inflammation is caused by bacterial/fungal organisms, it is important to give the dog some antibiotic/antifungal medication.
Treating Parasite Invasion
Parasitic activities lead to bacterial buildup within the affected area, the sores/wounds inflicted become inflamed, and this could lead to other health issues.
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