Dogs have a general nature to be curious, active, and sometimes rambunctious. Our dogs will unintentionally get into things that could harm them just to follow a smell or investigate a small creature. This could unintentionally lead them into injury.
When our dogs accidentally get hurt and end up with a puncture wound, we need to know what to do in order to quickly help them out. Depending on the type of puncture wound, it may be something you can treat yourself or you may need to get the veterinarian involved. Being prepared for either of these options will be the best thing you can do for your dog if a puncture wound does occur.
Before attempting to treat your dog’s puncture wounds, you need to first remember that your dog is in pain. When your dog is in pain, there is going to be the chance that he or she will try to bite or attack anyone who comes near them during their injury.
Even though this is something that may have never happened before, your dog is only reacting instinctually to protect themselves in this type of situation. When hurt, your dog will do anything they can to not obtain any more injuries, so if your dog attempts to bite or nip at you, this is how they are asking you to stay away. With this in mind, make sure that you have someone around to help you hold onto the dog so you can look at their puncture wounds.
Upon looking at your dog’s new wounds, you will need to decide if it is something minor enough for you to treat at home or if the puncture wound is something the veterinarian needs to tend. Anything that is larger than a splinter, a cut that is longer than an inch, or a deep wound that is bleeding should be treated by the veterinarian as soon as possible.
If your dog has a splinter or a cut that is less than an inch long, you can treat this on your own. For a splinter, make sure that you have successfully pulled it out before attempting to clean the area. Once the puncture wound is clear, you can begin to treat it.
First, you will clean the area by using a wet warm washcloth. Be gentle when doing this, as your dog will be in pain. Once the area is clean, apply a layer of triple antibiotic ointment. This will help to heal and protect the wound.
In order to prevent your dog from licking the wound, you can do one of two things. The first is to put a cone on your dog. This will stop them from being able to reach the wound to lick it. It is important that the ointment stays on the wound in order for proper healing to occur. The second option is to wrap the wound. Make sure you pay attention while doing this because it can be harmful to your dog if the bandage is too tight.
In order to wrap a wound properly, use a sterile dressing square, then wrap the area in two or three layers of cotton gauze. Be careful that it is not too tight. The last layer should be a stretchy wrap that will protect the cotton gauze from getting dirty. This layer needs to be stretched out a little bit before applying it because if it is too tight, then it will restrict blood flow to the wound, slowing the healing process and possibly causing permanent damage to your dog.
If your dog has a puncture wound that is larger than one inch or if your dog received a bite from another animal, even if you do not know what caused the puncture wound, you need to bring your dog into the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Only a veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose and treat the puncture wound. You will be doing your dog and yourself a service by visiting your vet at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency.
We are accessible from Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County. During our hours of operation, we are able to accommodate and treat your dog’s emergency puncture wounds. Our trained staff and doctors will quickly, but accurately assess the puncture wound and treat it accordingly. We will ensure that you and your dog are comfortable throughout the entire process and will always be in communication with you about the treatment process. You can rest assured that your dog will be taken care of at our facility.