Even well-socialized dogs can attack if they feel threatened or nervous in a situation. There can be many underlying reasons why a dog would attack another dog such as a current perceived threat, they suddenly get frightened, or signs that they are uncomfortable are ignored.
What are the signs that a dog may attack?
What to do if your dog is bitten by another dog
Stay Calm: If you get nervous or agitated, your dog may feel more worried and stressed out
Don't interfere or try to separate them yourself: This could further the damage being done to your dog, and lead to injuries to yourself as well
Communicate with the owner of the other dog: Work together to try and separate your dogs from each other by distracting the attacker so that it releases your dog
Swap information with the owner of the other dog: This can help with any subsequent insurance claims
Take your pet to a veterinarian: Once your dog is out of harm's way it should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible to receive medical attention
What to do if you are bitten by a dog
Thoroughly wash the wound with water and soap
If you are bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a dry towel or cloth
Apply antibacterial ointment to the wound
Apply a dry sterile bandage
Seek medical attention as soon as possible Make sure to tell your doctor or practitioner that you have been bitten by an animal. if possible find out the Rabies vaccine status of the animal that bit.
What kind of treatment will my dog receive?
Your Veterinarian will determine what type of treatment your pet will receive based on their overall health, the location of the wound, and how severe their injuries are. They do this by clipping around the affected area so that the damage is more visible, cleaning out the wounds to avoid infection, and removing any dead or severely damaged tissue. Larger lacerated wounds will be sutured together and drains placed underneath them to release any fluids that may build up in the affected area. Wounds with more extensive damage that involve penetration to the chest or abdomen will need more serious care through surgery to see if any damage was done to vital organs.
Take Home Care
Your veterinarian will give you instructions on the use of any medications that are prescribed to your dog after they are discharged. They may give your pet an Elizabethan collar ( doggie cone) to prevent them from licking any of their wound or affected areas and will want to conduct recheck exams to see if the wounds are healing properly. When at home, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on your dog's wounds to see if they are healing properly, as you will need to keep the area clean and dry. If the wound is open or has a drain, you should clean away any drainage material regularly, and only use products recommended by your veterinarian.
How can I prevent my dog from being Bitten in the future?
Keep your dog close to you on a tight leash whenever you are taking them outside, especially when going to a park filled with other dogs. Be careful when letting your dog play with other dogs since bite wounds can occur instantly, and you have no way of knowing the health background of the attacking dog. Finally, make sure your dog's rabies vaccine is always up to date.
You never know if or when your pet may be attacked by another dog or wild animal, so always monitor where they go, and keep them within your sight when going outside. If your dog has been bitten, follow the procedures listed above, and call an emergency vet or any hospital that is close to you to report the incident and see if they can accommodate you and your dog. If your dog has been bitten, you have more questions about dog bites, or want to know more on how to protect your dog from being bitten, call us at 559-434-5470.
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