9 Steps to Clean a Dog Wound

9 Steps to Clean a Dog Wound

9 Steps to Clean a Dog Wound

Assess the Wound

Not every wound can be solved by yourself. In some cases, it is better to send the dog to the hospital.

  • Be sure to pay attention to the dog’s eyes’ wounds because any eye injury may cause permanent damage to the dog’s eyesight. If you find that the dog’s eyes are injured, we suggest that you take the dog to the hospital for an examination immediately.
  • If the wound is not a superficial scratch but a penetrating wound, then you need to take the dog to the hospital for sutures in time. Wounds that penetrate muscles and tendons require evaluation by a professional veterinarian.
  • If your dog was scratched by a cat or bitten by a dog, we suggest taking your dog to the hospital. Because animals may be full of bacteria, even if the bite is not serious, they may be at risk of infection.
  • If the wound shows signs of infection, please take the dog to the hospital for treatment as soon as possible.

If the dog is unconscious due to an injury, you can press the dog’s gums with your fingers. If the gums quickly return to their original colors, it means that the dog’s blood loss is not serious; if the situation is the opposite, it is likely that bleeding too much and may even have severe internal organ hemorrhage.

What’s you should have in First Aid Kit

Common medicines/supplies for pet first aid kits:

1. Sterile normal saline (0.9% sodium chloride)

2. Chlorhexidine

It is used for wound washing and disinfection. It can clean the wound gently and effectively without irritation. Whether the wounds are big are small.

3. Dressing supplies: bandages, gauze, wound dressing (Melolin)

Before pets receive treatment from a surgical veterinarian, dressing supplies can help control bleeding and keep the wound clean. In an emergency, if there is no bandage, you can use baby diapers, sanitary napkins, or clean cloth instead, and sometimes even a pair of socks can be used as bandage material

5. Medical tape

Medical micropore tape (Micropore Tape) can help ensure the bandage and is easy to tear. In an emergency, Duct Tape can also be used to help fix the position of the bandage.

6. Blanket or towel

A blanket or towel can keep your pet warm, calm down your dog, and avoid startle. On the way to the veterinary hospital, you can wrap your pet in a blanket or towel. If your pet cannot walk, you can also use it as a stretcher for your pet to lie on.

7. Medical gloves

If you are dealing with pets’ wounds, you can wear a pair of medical rubber gloves to avoid further infection. Please discard them after use and do not reuse them.

9. Scissors

Used to cut bandages, gauze, splints, or pet hair.

10. Tweezers

Tweezers can help remove foreign objects, such as thorns on a claw. Tweezers can more effectively pull out the entire foreign things.

Calm and Secure Your Pet

Appease the dog. Once you find that your dog is injured, you should immediately control your dog.

If it is too emotional, let it calm down first. Comfort your dog and communicate with it in a quiet tone.

Even if you are worried, keep calm. Your dog can read your body language and tone of voice. It will pay attention to you and follow your behavior.

If necessary, muzzle your dog. When handling injured animals, you must have a sense of self-protection. Even if your dog is usually cute and well-behaved, he may attack you because he is afraid of hurt and wants to protect himself. If you are worried about your safety, if your dog starts to howl, wants to bite you, or has been irritated and injured, you should cover its mouth.

  • If you don’t have a muzzle, you can tie its mouth with a belt or a lightweight rope.
  • If it becomes mad because of this, stop it quickly and try to hand it over to the veterinarian safely.
  • Wrap your dog in a blanket or towel to protect yourself before taking it to the vet.

Apply Pressure to Stop any Bleeding

Treat bleeding in time. It is essential to keep the wound clean, but if there is heavy bleeding, you should try to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. If blood is sprayed directly from the wound, the artery is likely injured, and the situation may be very dangerous. You should pay much attention to arterial bleeding.

  • Use clean, absorbent things such as towels, shirts, gauze, or even sanitary napkins to press on the wound.
  • Press the wound for three to five minutes, and then see if the bleeding has stopped.

The tourniquet can only be used when necessary and with expert guidance. Do not easily use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, As Improper use of tourniquets can cause tissue necrosis. If the blood supply is blocked, the dog may face amputation.

Clip hair around the Wound

Use an electric knife to shave the hair off the wound. If the dog’s hair is long, it needs to be cut off, but you should keep everything safe first. If you don’t have a barber clipper, you can carefully cut your hair short with scissors. Keep the scissors a bit away from the skin to avoid injury to the dog again. After cutting the hair, you can see the wound, and it can also prevent the hair from contaminating dirt or irritating the bare wound.



Clean the Wound

Flush the wound with warm saltwater. Add two tablespoons of sea salt to a cup of warm water and stir until completely dissolved. Put a straw or syringe (no needle) into it, and then gently spray it onto the wound until it is rinsed out. The cleaned wound area should be clean and shiny.

  • If you don’t have a straw or syringe, you can pour pure water directly on the wound.
  • If your dog’s paw is injured, you can soak the paw in a bowl, baking tray, or small bucket for three to five minutes. Dry the feet with a towel.

How to Disinfect the Wound?

Disinfect the wound. Will Povidone iodine or Chlorhexidine diacetate Pour into warm water to dilute. Use the diluted solution for final cleaning or soaking. You can also use it instead of salt water to clean the wound for the first time.

Dry the wound. It is best to use sterile gauze, as long as it is clean and absorbent. Don’t rub or wipe the wound. It would help if you patted the wound gently to prevent the pain from getting worse or causing the dog to be injured again.

Preventivevet has a more clear post; you can find it here: Why Hydrogen Peroxide Is NOT For Cleaning Pet Wounds

Apply a Thin Layer of Antibiotic Ointment

Before using antibiotic ointments, make sure that your dog does not touch the wound before using them. You can wrap and protect the wound with gauze or bring it to your dog cone collar.

  • When using the drug, be careful not to splash it in the dog’s eyes.
  • Do not use ointments containing steroids, such as hydrocortisone or betamethasone, which may affect wound healing. Use only antibiotic ointments.
  • Do not use antifungal creams such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole unless approved by the vet.
  • If you have any questions, please consult a pharmacist or veterinarian before taking medicine.

Prevent Your Dog from Licking the Wound

Continuous licking of the wound by a dog or cat will slow down the wound’s healing, and in severe cases, it will cause infection of the wound because the inside of the dog’s mouth is quite dirty.

First, we can choose a cone collar. Bring the dog to prevent it from lowering its head and approaching its wound. Whether it is a cat or a dog, it needs to be put on after the operation, which prevents the dog from licking its wound and thus makes the wound. Heals faster.

Sometimes the dog’s wound appears on the paw. If we don’t want the dog to lick the paw, we can also use some bandages to wrap the dog’s paw. This kind of bandage is called a very breathable paw bandage. And there is a seal that is easy to open and close.

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