Dogs often get into scuffles with each other, sometimes leaving themselves battered and bruised. If your dog ends up with post-fight wounds, you want to treat the wounds before serious infection sets in.
Soap and Water for Washing and Flushing
If your dog's wounds are severe, you should take him to the vet immediately, if possible. Even if the wounds are not severe, it's a good idea to see the vet within two to 12 hours after your dog's injuries.
When attempting to treat your dog's wounds, he may be overxcited and fearful, so take caution. If there is minor bleeding, allow the wound to drain for around 10 minutes; in this time, the blood will flush any bacteria. If there is more than minor bleeding, cover the wound with a clean cloth, sanitary napkin or sterile dressing.
After placing your hand over the cloth and pressing firmly, keep pressure on the cloth to stop the bleeding. Do not remove the cloth if blood soaks through; put another cloth or two over and continue applying pressure. Once bleeding has stopped, you should trim the hair around the wound(s) and wash the wound with an anti-bacterial soap and rinse the wound completely. You should clean the wound 2 to 3 times daily to prevent infection.
You then should flush the wound for 2 to 3 minutes with clean water to remove bacteria and debris, with the water flowing inside and over the wound. You may want to flush the wound again with saline solution.
Disinfection and Antiobiotic Ointment
Disinfection is the most important part in wound treatment. Your best option is to pour betadine iodine directly onto the wound. As an antiseptic that kills bacteria and disinfects wounds, betadine works best. If you do not have betadine, you can use hydrogen peroxide (or chlorhexidine or povidone iodine), but only on the first couple of cleanings, as hydrogen peroxide can damage tissue and prevent healing. After the first two cleanings, you should use 50 percent hydrogen peroxide and 50 percent water, of, if possible, use betadine.
Make sure to wipe up any excess betadine or peroxide with a clean paper towel or gauze pad, but avoid contacting the hairless area around the wound, as you want that to remain sterile to prevent infection. You then should apply some antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) to help prevent infection. You should repeat wash/flush/disinfect process every 8 to 12 hours.
If your dog has any swelling, do not give him any over-the-counter medicine (like aspirin, which can cause internal and external bleeding) unless a vet recommends it. You should apply an ice pack to the wound areas for 20 minutes at a time, several times daily.
To allow air flow to the wound site, you should not cover the wound, except if it involves the foot, or if a large flap of skin is hanging, In this instance, your dog probably will need stitches. Make sure to clean and bandage the wound before taking your dog to the vet.