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Your assessment results for:

Wound or burn

Urgency level: Possible emergency

Contact an emergency veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact your nearest emergency animal hospital and prevent your dog from licking or scratching at the wound

  • Contact your nearest emergency animal hospital before travelling to ensure they are able to see your pet.
  • They may also need to give you specific instructions.
  • Most regular animal hospitals will also be able to treat your dog, if they are open and can see you right away.
  • Do not feed your dog unless the vet advises otherwise. Some diagnostics and medications yield better results if your dog has an empty stomach.
  • Perform basic first aid on your dog as needed and if safe to do so:
    • For wounds that are bleeding: apply firm pressure to the wound with a clean towel or cloth to stop the bleeding
    • For burns or grazes (superficial scrapes): wrap a clean towel or cloth around the affected area
    • For lacerations, cuts or puncture wounds: wrap a clean towel or cloth around the affected area and apply a little pressure to stop the bleeding.

 

Why it’s an emergency

Wounds may be more serious than they appear, and are prone to blood loss and infection

  • Wounds that are not superficial (and superficial ones that are smelly or have discharge) always require veterinary attention, as there is a risk of infection. In these cases, a veterinarian will likely need to clean the wound, apply topical antibiotics, and/or bandage the wound.
  • When dealing with wounds (especially heat or chemical burns), it is important to note that the wound may be more serious than it appears.
  • There could be damage to underlying tissues, nerves and other structures that aren’t immediately noticeable to the naked eye.
  • These are time-sensitive issues with prognosis improved with early intervention.

 

First aid tips

Try to stop or slow the bleeding on the way to the vet

  • Don’t panic and try to keep your dog calm to avoid any further injuries.
  • Be careful when handling your dog, they are likely in pain and may bite.
  • Don’t let your dog lick or scratch at the wound. Put a cone on them if you have one and if it doesn’t contact the affected area.
  • Do not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or any other human topical solutions to clean the wound until you’ve checked with a vet.

 

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Disclaimer

Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.

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