MINOR AND MAJOR LACERATIONS
Minor cuts are quite common in both the dog and the cat. A simple trip to the park may result in a cut pad from a piece of glass or a minor tear on the lower limb or body from being snagged on a branch in the forest. Wounds in cats are often caused from a misjudged encounter with someone’s security razor wire or spike.
Regardless of how large or small the wound appears to be it is a good idea to get your vet to check it out. Wounds are often deceiving, especially bite wounds and there may be damage to tissues below the skin. Your vet will assess the wound, clean and dress or even stitch the wound which it enable it to heal much faster. Antibiotics may be necessary and in cases of severe bite wounds your pet may need systemic support too.
Even superficial injuries usually benefit from a trip to the vet, but you can help.
What to do…
BLEEDING: Some areas bleed profusely such as the paw and the ear and look much worse than they are. If your dog has a bleeding wound the best thing to do is to apply pressure using a clean dressing. Most wounds benefit from being covered as it prevents further contamination of the tissue.
1. Ask someone to hold your dog gently but firmly
2. Do not try to clean a bleeding wound
3. Apply pressure to the wound using a gauze swab or clean cloth
4. If possible, apply a firm bandage to the area.
5. A clean sock secured over a paw can be useful
6. Call your vet and let them know you are on your way.
7. Cats do not tolerate dressings easily, if your cat comes home with a bleeding wound try to apply pressure with a gauze swab or a clean cloth and get to your vet!
These can be nasty wounds to deal with and often there is more to them than meets the eye. When your pet is bitten by another animal there is often only a small puncture wound visible.
In cats, these puncture wounds heal quickly but by doing so close off the skin allowing bacteria to grow underneath. These bacteria are usually pus producing and the result is often a huge abscess that ruptures several days after the original bite. The pressure of the abscess can cause tissue death and the result is a gaping wound that can take a while to heal. (see pic above)
Dog bites are also serious as a dog will often shake its ‘victim’ causing bruising and damage to underlying tissue. If a dog is severely bitten it may go into shock.
There is no real first aid that can be given to your pet after a bite apart from calming and reassuring it if you are present at the time.
A trip to the vet is the best thing you can do.