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By Valorie Valencia

What to do if your dog is bitten by another dog

It can happen to anyone and everyone, at any time. An aggressive, loose, dog can appear lightning fast and attack your dog before you blink. Unfortunately, no matter the precautions you take to prevent a dog fight, they can still happen. It’s important to know what to do when your dog is bitten so you can react accordingly.

Stay calm

It is very important to remain calm immediately following the fight. Dogs trust their owners, and if they witness their “pack leader” freaking out, then they will react the same. This could cause lasting emotional trauma to the dog, and may even result in them snapping at their pet parent as well.

Wound evaluation

These wounds are painful, so be very careful. Look for signs of:

– swelling

– bleeding

– drainage

– weakness

– breathing difficulty

Apply firm pressure with a clean washcloth over any place with excessive bleeding, secure it in place with a bandage. If the ears, or nose, have been injured, there may be a lot of blood. When the bandage is secured, watch if the wound swells. If it does, then the bandage will need to be loosened.

Go to the veterinarian

Bites are puncture wounds, which can sometimes make them appear small and deceptively harmless. But, just like an iceberg, they can be very large under the surface, destroying nerve and muscle tissue. All wounds are also contaminated because of the bacteria in the mouth, and there is no way for the owner to know if the other dog has had their shots. Wounds can be easily hidden by dog fur, there may be more punctures than meets the eye. It is imperative to see a vet as soon as possible, they will locate all wounds, determine the severity of them, clean and shave the area around them, and prescribe the proper medication and treatment.

Home care

After the vet has successfully diagnosed the dog, they can then return home for treatment. Each case will be a little different, depending on the location and severity of the damage inflicted, but, typically, it will involve pain medication and oral antibiotics. The wound(s) will often be left open to heal from the inside out, and daily cleaning with a saline flush will be required. Exercise will have to be reduced for a while to assist the healing process. Continue to care for the dog as directed by the vet.

Taking preventative action by keeping your dog leashed and providing proper training will greatly reduce the risk of a fight, but it will not extinguish it. Sadly, not all pet parents fulfill their responsibilities, they may allow their dog to roam, or may fail to correctly socialize them. Irresponsible breeding has also lead to over population, leading to many strays without a home to wander. Despite doing everything possible to ensure the safety of your dog, nothing can ever be certain. With calm, immediate attention and proper treatment, most dogs will heal without complications, and your dog will be their same, happy, self in no time.

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