How to Treat Your Pet’s Cut

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Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell, and today I’m going to show you what to do if your dog or cat gets a laceration. If your pet sustains a laceration, it can disconcerting, especially, if there’s a lot of bleeding. Some lacerations might need veterinary attention, certainly if you can’t control the bleeding, or certainly if the laceration is large enough to warrant stitches.

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A couple of things that you’ll want do before you go to your vet’s office or on your way to the vet’s office, one is to clean the wound. So hydrogen peroxide is a great initial cleaner. It’s not great for continued cleaning because it’ll actually damage the healing skin cells, but initially just to clean it, it’s fantastic. Stay away from rubbing alcohol, that’s obviously going to hurt. If you don’t have anything, just clean water can be useful.

So clean that area, apply pressure to the wound. We’ll just pretend Dina has a wound on her foot. Use a clean towel, t-shirt, dish rag, whatever you have, and really put a lot of pressure on it. If your bleeding is really severe and it’s actually spurting, that can indicate that you’ve got an arterial bleed, and that can sometimes be more serious. You may need to place a tourniquet or something tight around it and go straight to the veterinarian’s office. You can use a belt, a shoe lace, anything like that just to stop that flow of blood. Once you’ve got pressure on the wound, if you get the bleeding to stop and it’s a small laceration and you don’t feel it necessarily needs immediate veterinary attention, you can use bandaging material, gauze, padding, and tape, and that kind of thing can help protect the area to keep it clean.

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Triple Antibiotic is a great ointment. You can use it on your pets. It’s safe. It’s a great way to clean and protect the wound. For minor scrapes, minor cuts, they usually can be treated at home, but anything larger than something really small, or if it goes through the layers, or if it’s bleeding a lot, you should really see your veterinarian. Cuts and scrapes can get infected and your veterinarian may want to stitch it and they may want to get your pet started on antibiotics as well.

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