In most cases, your pet’s cuts, scrapes, and scratches are going to be relatively simple to care for and treat. The severity of the cut or scratch is the main indicator of the need to treat the injury. Is the cut very deep? Is the cut very long? Does your dog or puppy have multiple cuts and scratches?
If the cut is at least a half-inch deep or more and a half-inch long or more, the cut should be treated by the dog’s veterinarian. This type of cut is mildly severe, but it does require special care beyond what you can do for it. Most likely, this type of cut is going to require at least one stitch if not more.
Once you decide to take your dog or puppy to the veterinarian, do not attempt to treat the cut. The staff at the veterinarian’s office is well trained and equipped to deal with the cut properly.
However, if the cut is bleeding profusely, apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding before you leave for the veterinarian’s office. A dog’s skin rarely bleeds profusely unless the cut is serious. Therefore, this is an indicator that the dog requires professional treatment.
Minor cuts and scratches rarely require bandages or dressings. Typically, they require nothing more than a quick look over and a thorough cleaning. In fact, any cut that does not penetrate the dog’s skin below the surface is minor in severity.
If you decide to clean the dog’s cut on your own, apply a mild antiseptic solution to clean the cut. Ideally, you should attempt to trim the dog’s fur away from the injured area so that you can see it more clearly. However, this isn’t absolutely necessary with a minor cut or abrasion.
Watch the afflicted area for signs of redness or swelling over the next day or so to ensure that it is healing properly. Any signs that the cut is not healing properly indicate the need for a trip with your dog to the veterinarian’s office.
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