Bit Wounds in Pets
If your dog or cat is bitten by another animal, don’t panic. Instead, work quickly to treat the wound so it doesn’t become infected. Fur easily disguises bite wounds, which can develop into abscesses within just 48 hours if ignored. Learn how to tell whether your pet has been bitten and how to treat the injury properly.
Hurry in for emergency care if you believe your pet has a bite wound—simply call Germantown Vet at 240-252-7467 to let us know you’re coming.
Signs Your Pet Has a Bite Wound
When an object pierces your pet’s skin and leaves a small hole, this is considered a puncture wound. If teeth inflect the damage, it’s a bite wound. Bacteria can enter the open wound and cause an infection to develop rather quickly. Here are the signs to look for if you think your pet has been bitten:
- The first place to check is around the neck and ears, which are the most likely places an aggressive animal would attack your pet.
- Cat bites tend to be small and become infected quickly.
- Dog bites leave larger punctures that sink deeper into the skin and muscle. If the animal was picked up and shaken by a large dog, the wounds may appear as gashes.
- You’ll see small holes, redness, and swelling at the wound site. If the attack was long enough ago, you might also notice bruising on the surrounding skin.
- Hold a tissue or paper towel to the suspected wound area to check for bleeding.
- Due to the pain associated with the injury, your pet may act aggressively as you attempt to check the wounded area. Be as gentle as you can and ask for another person’s help to restrain the animal.
How to Treat Bite Wounds in Pets
It’s important to get your dog or cat to the vet as soon as you discover a bite wound. However, before you arrive at the vet, take measures to stop the bleeding:
- Apply pressure to the wound with a clean, absorbent gauze pad, wash cloth or towel. Keep the pressure applied for 5 to 10 minutes or as needed to stop the bleeding.
- Wrap the wounded area with a bandage. If you see any swelling around the bandage, loosen it or remove it.
Once you arrive at the vet, bite treatment continues:
- If shock has set in, the vet will take steps to stabilize your pet. Sedatives may also be used to calm your pet and provide pain relief during treatment.
- To prevent infection, it may be necessary to shave the area around the wound to get a good look at it.
- Let the vet remove any dead tissue or foreign material in and around the wound and rinse the area with antiseptic solution.
- Let the vet decide if it’s best to leave the wound open to drain naturally or to close it up with stitches, staples or surgical glue.
- The vet may take a sample of the fluid inside the wound to determine the best antibiotics to prescribe to prevent infection.
- Your vet may prescribe oral antibiotics and pain medication to help your pet recover faster.
- Once you get back home, keep your dog from scratching or licking the wound. A cone may work well depending on where the injury is.
Schedule an Appointment at Germantown Vet
When it comes to your pet’s health and wellbeing, there’s nothing more important than treating his wounds carefully. Bring your pet into Germantown Vet immediately for a complete emergency examination. You can also contact us to schedule an appointment.