How to Treat Common Injuries in Your Dog

Dog having it's paw bandaged

Common Injuries in Dogs

Do you know what to do if your dog suffers an injury? These tips can help you care for your pet after an accident.

Paw Injuries

Paw injuries are particularly common in dogs. Hot pavement, broken glass, and chemicals can cause painful cuts or burns on paw pads. Your dog may limp or favor one leg after a pad injury. If you notice pieces of broken glass or other objects in your pet's paws, try to gently remove them. Don't force the objects if they won't move easily.

Apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth if your pet's paws are bleeding. (Be sure to remove glass or foreign objects first.) If you suspect that your pet has burned paws, use an icepack or cool running water to ease discomfort.

After you've offered basic first aid, take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends visiting the vet immediately if severe bleeding occurs anywhere on the body or bleeding doesn't stop after five minutes.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Bruises, tendonitis, bursitis, and strained or sprained muscles are considered soft tissue injuries. Your dog can develop one of these injuries during strenuous physical activity or simply by bumping into a hard object. Soft tissue injuries can happen to any dog but are particularly common in dogs that participate in agility training. Thirty-three percent of canine agility participants experienced injuries while involved in a study published in Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology. The injuries most often affected their backs or shoulders.

Bruises will generally go away on their own in a few days, but the pain from sprains and strains may last longer. Ice packs and heating pads can help keep your pet comfortable. Check with your veterinarian first before giving your pet painkillers, as some human drugs can be toxic in pets.

Rest helps muscles and ligaments heal, although convincing your dog to rest can be difficult. A crate can be helpful if your energetic dog won't stay still. If your pet still limps or is obviously uncomfortable a few days after the injury, call the vet.

Bites

Bites can be infected if they're not treated promptly. If your pet has been in a fight with another animal, conduct a full body examination to check for bite wounds and other injuries. Clean wounds with soapy water, then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

Take your dog to the vet if wounds continue to bleed or you're concerned about less noticeable injuries. Bites can damage your pet's muscles, bones, or organs, even when they don't look particularly serious. It's also important to call the vet if your dog was bitten by a cat. Cats have long teeth that inject bacteria in the bite wound, increasing the risk of infection.

Auto Injuries

Despite all of the measures you take to protect your pet, your dog may dash in front of a car or truck one day. Even seemingly minor accidents can cause serious internal injuries. Your dog may seem fine initially but could soon develop serious health issues without prompt veterinary treatment. Bandage wounds and stabilize possible broken bones with splints made of towels, magazines, or other stiff materials before driving your pet to the veterinary office.

Cranial Crucial Ligament Tear

Cranial crucial ligament (CCL) tears made the list of top five dog injuries compiled by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. The ligaments help keep your dog's knees stable. If your dog has a CCL tear, he or she may be reluctant to put any weight on the affected leg, or you may hear a clicking sound when your dog walks. Partial tears can cause pain when exercising, although your pet may seem fine when resting.

Surgery is the best option if your dog develops CCL. Without surgery, lameness may become permanent.

Nail Injuries

Your pet's nails may bleed if you cut them too short, or your dog catches the nail on something when running or jumping. Hold a styptic pencil against the nail to stop the bleeding. If you don't have a pencil, put flour on the nail instead. Take your dog to the vet if the bleeding doesn't stop after a few minutes or the entire nail is missing.

Are you concerned about an injury or change to your dog's health? Contact our office to schedule a convenient appointment.

Sources:

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance: Top 5 Dog Injuries

https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/resources/top-dog-injuries/

PubMed: Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology: A Preliminary Retrospective Survey of Injuries Occurring in Dogs Participating in Canine Agility, 6/23/09

Healthy Pets: A Major Recipe for Injury - Vets See No Shortage Every Year at This Time, 6/2/17

American Veterinary Medical Association: 13 Animal Emergencies That Require Immediate Veterinary Consultation and/or Care

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-1:30 pm

Sunday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Absolutely incredible service and the best veterinary experience we have ever had. Every time we visit Progressive Vet Care, we are blown away by the attentiveness, professionalism and care shown by Dr Tim and the team. Dr Tim is highly capable and we feel very confident that our dog is in his care. Dr Tim always has time and goes above and beyond in answering our questions and providing a great service. I highly recommend Progressive Vet Care. I seriously cannot think of a single improvement to this practice as everything is already so well done."
    Shavini
  • "Fantastic friendly and professional service at this practice -so glad we have found this vet!"
    Adriana
  • "Tim and the team run an amazing vet practice at Progressive Vet Care. Gus the pug nearly died when he ate a keyring last year but Tim saves his life, quite literally. We are blessed to have such a great vet around the corner and their renovated practice is beautiful."
    Pip
  • "I highly recommend Progressive Vet Care. I used to take my dog to a different vet clinic for 10 years but when my dog got very sick, I just didn’t feel right and looked for a different clinic. Thank god I found Progressive Vet Care. Dr Tim was spot on with diagnosis and he & his team did everything they could for Leo. It was a very sad experience for our family to say good bye to Leo but I was so grateful to Dr Tim for his professionalism, loving care and compassion towards both Leo and our family. I wish I knew Dr Tim 10 years ago and took Leo to this fantastic clinic from the first place."
    Shinko
  • "Our first experience with Progressive Vet Care and extremely happy. Our dog needed emergency surgery which is always stressful to hear. Dr Tim was very supportive and gave us options to consider. He saw us on short notice on a Friday night and managed to fit our dog in Saturday morning for the surgery. Highly recommend !"
    Kerrie
  • "I brought my puppy here for his first visit and the staff were so helpful and attentive. A welcoming and happy environment, glad I chose this place!
    (And thanks for the help over the phone when I had concerns about my puppy, the girls at reception are so lovely!)"
    Stefani
  • "We were so grateful to Dr Tim (Bowden) and the team at Progressive Vet Care for their care and treatment of our very special Jack Russell x in the last few weeks of her life. I discovered the practice through looking for a vet that was open on a Sunday. They also have an emergency number to talk through concerns after hours. Dr. Tim was so thorough and patient in explaining all the options. We had the best, most compassionate care I could have wished for."
    Roz
  • "If i could give 10 stars i would. Dr Tim is a miracle worker he has fixed up my little Lolly and is always super attentive and thorough. Could not recommend this place any more.
    Love it!"
    Andy
  • "Exceptional service and trust. I recommend this vet clinic to any friends who welcome a new pet into their home. They work closely with rescue groups, the vets are very knowledgeable and the team who coordinate the reception are wonderfully friendly and easy to deal with. Won't be taking my doggo anywhere else!"
    Tassie
  • ""I adopted my cat from progressive vet care, he is the most beautiful loving boy, not only did they take amazing care of him as a new born kitten, they provided wonderful health care to him and have continued with such great care of him with each of our visit, such a wonderful team""
    Katrina
  • "The experience we had with Progressive Vet Care was outstanding. Both Dr Tim and the other staff members were efficient and helpful. Also very compassionate towards our dog Millie when she was desexed and afterward care. Soon we will need to take her for her vaccinations. There is definitely no other place I will take my Millie. Well done guys and many thanks."
    Maryanne
  • "We were very happy with Progressive Vet Care. Dr Tim was very thorough and even called up four days later to check on the progress of our whippet after his treatment and advise. I am going to bring all my animals to this vet clinic in future."
    Jessica