Quick Tip When Applying First Aid to Your Dog’s Wounds

Using the Clip and Clean method when treating minor wounds.

This method is only applicable to minor wounds, and not deep cuts. If your dog has injuries, and is limping for example, you should take him/her to the doctor.

The best way to treat minor scratches, tears and punctures is with the “clip and clean” method of basic wound care. This involves clipping the hair from around the wound and then washing it with an antiseptic solution.

You’ll need:

  • A quiet electric hair clipper (if you’re away from home or a power supply, use the scissors and razor blade from your kit; using them, however, will take much longer to clear away the hair).
  • K-Y or similar jelly.
  • Your first aid kit’s antiseptic cleaner. If you don’t already have a dog first aid kit or supplies, any chlorhexidine or povidone-iodine cleaner will work.
  • A 10 cc oral syringe for flushing and cleaning the wound.
  • A small bowl for diluting the antiseptic cleaner before filling the syringe.
  • Paper towels or a washcloth
  • Gauze pads (smaller size for cleaning the wound; larger size, if necessary, for covering it).

  1. Before you start clipping the hair, cover the wound with K-Y. Glop it on thickly. Completely cover the wound so that any clipped hair does not fall into it.
  2. Clip (or cut and shave) all the hair for one inch (2.5 centimetres) all around the wound. If your dog has long hair, shorten any hair that you think might cover or get stuck in the wound.
  3. Once the hair is clipped, use a gauze pad or two to wipe the jelly and the loose hair out of the wound.
  4. Make a diluted antiseptic cleaning solution by mixing a small amount of the wound cleaner with water. Add only enough to give the water a pale colour.
  5. Using the syringe, gently squirt the solution onto the wound, then blot (don’t wipe) it up with the washcloth or paper towels.
  6. Continue cleaning with the syringe and solution until the wound seems clean and you don’t see any surface debris.
  7. Soak some gauze pads in the antiseptic solution and gently pat the wound.
  8. Dry your dog’s wet fur around the wound so that he doesn’t lick the antiseptic solution from the wound.

If the wound is small, you can leave it uncovered; it will heal nicely on its own. Cover larger wounds with gauze pads and tape them to the shaved or clipped skin.

If your dog can’t reach the wound, place some antiseptic ointment on it. He’ll likely eat the ointment from any wound his tongue can reach.

To ensure fast and complete healing, follow up with a gentle cleaning once or twice a day. Use gauze pads soaked in some fresh, diluted antiseptic solution.

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