No one thinks that their dog will be the one to get into a fight, but sometimes, your pet can be unpredictable. If another dog bites your dog, it can be scary and stressful for you and the animal both, often requiring a visit to the veterinarian. But until you get to the vet, there are a few things you should know about making them comfortable and safe. Having this knowledge will give your pet the best chance at a healthy, quick recovery.

The Aftermath of a Bite
In the critical minutes after your dog has suffered a wound, the best way you can help them is by keeping a calm, level head. Remove them from the scene and allow them to walk if they can. This will give you a chance to observe their behavior and movements. It will also let you determine pain levels and blood flow. These observations could be vitally useful to your veterinarian.

You should also keep your eyes peeled for information. If the dog that did the biting is still nearby, you can observe its behavior and movements, and you’ll be able to alert that dog’s owner or animal control, as needed.

Immediate Treatment
There’s some first aid treatment that you can give your dog to help tide them over before heading to the veterinarian.

Check for any swelling, redness, or other unusual signs. Try to keep the wounded area elevated and remove any debris near it, using gentle soap and water to clean it lightly. Dogs’ teeth carry bacteria, and when they bite, this can create a risk of abscess or infection in the wound. You can wrap the bite in a clean towel to help reduce bleeding and to comfort your pet.

Should I Take My Dog to the Veterinarian?
You may think that you can treat the wound at home and avoid the vet, but the truth is that any bite that draws blood should be examined by a professional. They’ll need to know as much information as you have concerning both dogs, including vaccination status, behavior at the time of the bite, and whether you know the owner of the dog that bit yours.

A vet will often shave fur around the area so they can see it more clearly, reducing the chance of bacterial infection. They may also remove any damaged or dead tissue and may stitch or glue the wound shut, if necessary.

They may prescribe medicine to help make your dog comfortable and to help the wound heal quickly and cleanly. These can include antibiotics to help fight infection as well as sedatives or painkillers.

If your dog has been bitten and needs medical attention, you can rely on Wards Corner Animal Hospital of Loveland, OH. Dr. Timothy Henehan has been delivering dedicated, sensitive care for over 30 years to pets of all descriptions in the Cincinnati area. Call (513) 683-2883 to make an appointment.