Dogs occasionally get into fights. Though a dog that is human aggressive may need to be put down, most people are fairly forgiving if their dog gets into a tussle or two with another dog. But that doesn't mean that these injuries aren't significant or that they can be ignored. Dog bites are some of the worst injuries to treat because they so commonly get infected. Here's what you need to know.
1. All Dog Bites Are Serious
It's easy to assume that a small puncture mark isn't serious. But all dog bites are generally considered to be infected because of the amount of bacteria in a dog's mouth. Even smaller puncture wounds can still be infected, because the bacteria ends up being inserted under the dog's skin. Thus, even if a small dog like a Chihuahua has left marks on a large dog like a Great Dane, it still has to be treated.
2. Flushing the Wound Isn't Advisable
It's advised to use an antibacterial ointment on a dog's wounds rather than trying to flush it out with water. Flushing out with water could actually introduce contaminants as most people's water is not properly filtered. Furthermore, flushing out with hydrogen peroxide and other stinging solutions will usually just cause the animal distress without really being effective. An over-the-counter antibiotic solution that is approved for use in dogs is generally preferred.
3. Infection Can Occur Quickly
All pet owners should be aware of the symptoms of infection. A dog may seem lethargic and may lose their appetite. They can become dehydrated and start to hide. At the wound site, the wound may appear to be swollen, red, or jaundiced. Once signs of infection are seen, an individual must take their pet to the vet as soon as possible.
4. It's Not Over Once the Wound Has Healed
Puncture wounds are unique in that they can sometimes "close up" at the skin's surface rather than healing from the bottom up. When this happens, infection can still occur -- it will just be less likely to be visible. Dog owners should keep their pet on a course of antibiotics throughout healing and should keep an eye on the site until they are positive it has completely healed.
Smaller dog bite wounds -- ones that are not bleeding profusely -- can often wait until the next morning if the veterinarian is closed. However, it's usually advisable for all dog bites, however small, to be seen by a professional. Though a veterinarian usually isn't going to stitch bites, they can clean the wounds properly and prescribe antibiotics. For more information, visit over at this website.