Our Veterinarian near Radford Talks about Lacerations and Wound Care
Fighting with other animals or simply being too curious are the top two reasons why pets suffer minor scratches or cuts. Home care for small wounds involves clipping fur around the wound, cleaning the wound with nonalcoholic antiseptic and monitoring the wound for a few days. Depending on where the wound is, you might be able to apply a bandage if your pet does not insist on pulling it off. For longer-haired pets, cover small wounds with Vaseline before you start clipping fur so the fur doesn't fall into the wound. If you notice signs of infection such as swelling, redness, warmth, and oozing, please call your veterinarian near Radford to schedule an appointment.
When Small Wounds and Lacerations Do Not Heal Properly
Although you have cleaned and dressed a minor wound, non-traumatic pet wounds may not heal normally for several reasons. These include undiagnosed diseases such as diabetes, anemia, metabolic disorder or an autoimmune disease that prevents the immune system from healing wounds. Slow-to-heal wounds also increase the risk of infection when wounds fail to develop scabs that help stop bacteria from infiltrating open, moist wounds. Slow healing wounds may also affect surrounding skin and enlarge rapidly, especially if the wound has become infected. Wounds that have not healed within a few days should be examined by a veterinarian at our animal hospital, even if the wound doesn't seem infected.
Veterinary Care for Traumatic Lacerations and Punctures
Puncture wounds caused by another animal's teeth or claws should always be treated by your veterinarian near Radford. Animal teeth and claws are rife with bacteria that can be pushed deep into your pet's skin. The risk for your pet developing a severe infection due to a puncture wound is high. Health complications following a puncture wound not treated by your veterinarian near Radford include high fever, blood infection (sepsis) and systemic organ damage.
Painful, traumatic wounds may also require muzzling by your veterinarian to properly treat the wound. This is one important reason why you should never try to treat major lacerations at home. Pain will cause any animal to lash out at someone who is increasing their pain by touching or manipulating the wound. Also, larger, infected wounds may need negative pressure vacuum-assisted treatment provided by our Radford animal hospital. NPVA therapy extracts pus, increases granulation tissue development and promotes healing of complex wounds.
Should Pets Be Allowed to Lick Wounds?
Wild animals lick wounds and use their teeth to keep wounds clean and to encourage healing. Although pets will instinctively want to their wounds as well, veterinary care works better to ensure safer, quicker healing of abrasions, cuts, and lacerations. Depending on the wound's condition, your veterinarian may recommend you put a barrier collar on your pet to prevent the animal from licking and picking at the wound.