First Aid for animals
- Cuts and grazes
* This is advice for immediate on the spot first aid only, it is not intended as a replacement for seeking professional medial assistance from a trained veterinarian *
If you find a cut or graze, here are a few steps to guide you through a few basics of first aid.
1. Check for other cuts or grazes
2. Establish the state of the animal.
Are they in pain? In shock? Are they displaying any other abnormal behaviour?
3. Decide if you can treat at home or go to a veterinary Surgery for treatment.
Note: If there is heavy bleeding, abnormal swelling or shape or if the animal is showing signs of exreme stress or is fitting - cover wound (as best as possible) and seek medical assistance immediately.
Step Two: Assess
This step is more for the non urgent medical cuts and grazes. Any urgent cuts and grazes, you would already be on the way or at the Veterinary Surgery.
1. Assess the number and severity of cuts and grazes.
-Sometimes cuts and grazes can be missed due to location and fur on the animal.
2. Try to establish what caused the cuts or grazes.
- Was it a fall? Did the run into or brush past something? Were they attacked?
Note: if it looks like they were bitten, have a deep puncture wound or a large area of skin missing, seek medical advice as soon as possible as infection can slow healing and have complications.
3. If there is something inside the wound (such as piece of glass), don’t try to remove it and avoid putting any pressure on it. Seek medical treatment.
Step three: Flush the wound
If your pet has a small wound or graze, that is not bleeding heavily, gently run water over it for as long as your pet will tolerate to help to remove as much dirt and bacteria as possible.
Use salt water. You can make saltwater by adding one teaspoon of salt to a pint of cooled (boiled) water.
Home care for a minor cuts or grazes:
Clean the wound two to three times daily with salt water. Don’t use anything else to clean the wound unless you have spoken to your vet - even veterinary antiseptics can slow down healing.
To avoid licking or biting of the injured area, try to cover the wound with loose clothing or a buster collar but at the same time try to let the wound air to heal. - Unless it is a large wound, in which case your veterinarian would have given specific advise for you to follow.
Monitor for infection
Signs of infection include heat, itching, swelling, discharge and redness.
Seek medical treatment if you are concerned the wound is becoming infected or showing no signs of healing within a few days.
Always finish the full course of medication that your veterinarian has prescribed as infection can still continue, even if the wound looks like it has healed.