As a pet owner, you do all you can to keep your dog safe. However, there somethings that happen outside of your control. If you dog has a violent encounter with another dog, you have to act quickly in order to make sure you dog can be restored to full health. In the ensuing days, you should be watchful to make sure that your dog is healing right.
Call The Vet
If you dog has been bitten by another dog, even if the wound doesn't look very serious, you should call the animal hospital right away. Dog bites can be more serious than they first appear; torn skin may not be the only problem. If the offending dog was not vaccinated, your dog could now be at risk for contracting rabies or other diseases. Also, the bacteria present in a dog's mouth can lead to deadly infections in both humans and other animals. Finally, the wound may not only be skin deep. For example, if you have a small dog, and he was bitten by a larger animal like a German Shepherd, there could be joint, muscle, and bone injuries as well
Your vet will recommend bringing you dog in right away so the wounds can be cleaned and examined. If needed, the vet will also give emergency vaccines. If muscles were torn, surgery may also be needed to restore your dog to normal health.
Stay On Top Of The Recovery
When you bring your dog home from the pet hospital, you'll need to be extra vigilant. Healing large wounds takes time, and if there was internal damage, the healing process will take even longer. Your dog will get tired of resting, and if he is starting to feel better, he'll want to move. You'll have to do you best to restrict your dog's movement because jumping and running can tear stitches. If muscles were torn during the attack, he may further injure these before they have properly healed as well. If your dog moves too much, more surgery might be needed, which will only extend the recovery time even more.
You can discourage play and movement by keeping your dog crated. He may get lonely, so it will help to sit with him or take him out to have some restful bonding time with family members. You dog will also need to wear a cone around his neck to prevent him from licking or biting at his wounds, which will begin to itch as they heal.
The vet will likely prescribe antibiotics in order to keep infection at bay, but you should still be on the watch for it. Infection can lead to blood poisoning which is almost always fatal in a dog. You should call your vet immediately if you notice:
- lethargy. This doesn't mean simple exhaustion. Lethargy means that your dog will lack the strength to lift his head, move his body, or respond to you when you speak to him.
- unwillingness to eat or drink water. Your dog may not have a huge appetite the first day or so after the attack, but he should still be drinking water. If he shows little interest in eating or drinking, it's a sign that something is wrong.
- trouble staying balanced. As your dog heals, your vet will recommend exercises to help bring him back into full form. However, after the first few days, your dog should be pretty steady on his feet, even if he has to limp a little. Trouble staying balanced is a sign that there is either dizziness or nerve damage, and require further attention from the vet.
Fortunately, emergency vet services can save the life of your dog if he has been on the wrong end of a fight. With the combined effort of your vet and your constant care, you dog should be healthy and happy in no time.