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How To Tell If Your Dog’s Wound Is Healing

Picture of large sad dog

Pet owners love to fret and fawn over their pets. Sometimes this means becoming overly concerned about their wellbeing. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. We can’t imagine anybody faults another person for caring for their puppy dog too much. However, it is important to know how you can tell when you should be concerned because of a medical reason and when you are just concerned because your dog is definitely the cutest and sweetest dog in the world, and needs the most special and precious attention that can be provided. Check out the article below to learn how to tell when yours wound is healing correctly and when you should have cause for alarm.

Sometimes a trip to the vet isn’t feasible and you need to know how to care for your dog right at home. 

How to Safely Inspect Your Dogs Wound

How to Take A Look Without Making Things Worse

If your dog has an injury there are two scenarios involved in what is required for you to check on it. In the first scenario the dog's wound is uncovered and you can see it with your eyes. All you have to do is walk over to the dog and take a look.

However, wounds that are so minor that they don’t require any type of bandage or covering are probably not the kind of wound you’re worried about checking on. In that case the wound is probably covered up with a covering or bandage either from a vet, or one that you placed there yourself.

If the dog has a bandage you’ll want to make sure you have thoroughly cleaned and sanitized your hands before checking on it. You don’t want to introduce any pathogens or bacteria that could lead to an infection. In order to avoid any type of infection you’ll only want to remove the bandage and check the wound when you intend on putting a new clean bandage on the wound. When you do this you’ll want to disinfect the wound and apply an antibiotic ointment.

adorable puppy giving side eye
Nobody wants their dog to get wounded but you can tell right at home if the wound is healing correctly.

What A Healthy Wound Should Look Like

How to Tell If Your Dogs Wound Is Healing Correctly

During the times when you have removed the old bandage but have yet to put the new one on your dog, you’ll want to take a moment to inspect the wound. Dog wounds follow four stages during their healing process. These stages include inflammation, debridement, repair, and maturation. Given that you are checking in on an older wound and want to track the progress of its healing we don’t need to worry about inflammation and debridement. These are the stages the wound goes through in the first couple hours after the initial injury.

The stages you’ll be concerned about are the repair stage and the maturation stage. The repair stage starts the first day and lasts a week or two. During this stage the wound should look like you would expect a wound to look like after a few days. New soft moist pink tissue should be forming in the area the wound was sustained in. If there is no new soft pink flesh forming where the wound was sustained, and you notice flesh around the wound is looking dark or feeling leathery, this is a bad sign. That means that this flesh is dying and you’ll want to get them to a vet right away. 

Keep an eye on the wound over the next week or two every time you change the bandage. As long as you don’t see the blackened or dying tissue and you do see new soft pink tissue forming, that means the wound is healing appropriately and soon the maturation stage of the wound will begin, As the wound enters the final stage of healing the wound will be much smaller and the flesh will be less of a pink color and will become more of a white color. Think of the same way human skin looks after a scar has formed. This is caused by the new skin forming a little ahead of the new blood vessels and nerve ending. If your dog’s wound looks like this after a few weeks it means it has been healing correctly.

happy dog at the vet
If you are concerned that the wound isn't healing correctly, get your pet to the vet at your first opportunity. Photo Courtesy of PetMD.

Don’t Forget About Damage Beneath The Skin

Keep An Eye Out For Signs Of Infection

Outside of all the technical healing signs to look for, you should also keep an eye on your dog’s emotional and physical behavior. Sometimes the healing that isn’t taking place is happening inside and underneath the skin. Plenty of pathogens and bacteria can cause your dog to become lethargic, depressed, feverish, or irritable. So always keep an eye on your dog inside and out. Just because the surface of the wound appears to be healing, it is possible more serious damage could be taking place beneath the surface. If your dog has been injured recently and you notice an unusual change in their behavior, talk with your vet right away in order to avoid a more serious consequence. 

big white dog
Keep an eye out for any type of emotional or behavioral changes in your dog after they have sustained a wound as these can be signs of an infection.

Although it's always unfortunate when a pet sustains a wound, there is plenty you can do to help manage the process right at home. Be sure to always carefully sanitize your hands anytime you go to inspect your dog's wound in order to prevent infection. Keep an eye on the wound and as long as you see new healthy pink tissue forming through the beginning weeks or so of the wound, and don’t notice any sudden mood or behavioral changes in your dog, then your puppy pals' wound is healing correctly.

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