|Even play time can get out of hand. Remember, play time should |
be bouncy and loose. If any of the dogs playing becomes
stiff/rigid, you should intervene before a fight begins.
If dogs are currently fighting do not try and grab or otherwise touch the fighting dogs as this can escalate things and you may be bitten as well. You can try to distract them with a loud noise such as banging pots or garbage can lids together, spraying with a hose, or try to get in between them by opening a large umbrella or folding chair. Once the fight is over, assess the dog(s) and begin first aid.
If the dog is small, it may be best to wrap them up in a towel or use a muzzle to safely restrain them as to prevent them from biting you; when an animal is in pain, they are more likely to bite in response to being touched. If you do not have a muzzle, one may be fastened with some gauze--a leash could work for a larger dog. If there are any bleeding wounds, direct pressure on the wound is the best to stop the bleeding. Avoid the urge to put anything on or in the wound as most over the counter topical medications such as hydrogen peroxide are not meant to go in open wounds and can cause more harm than good.
|Remember, what is on the surface is not the entire|
injury. Most often, bite wounds are worse than they
appear from the bacteria and crushing force of the bite.
In summary, bite wounds in dogs are one of the more common injuries seen in veterinary practice. They can happen in almost any scenario imagined, have a wide range of severity and often need to be surgically explored to asses/treat the damaged tissue under the skin. Examination by a veterinarian is recommended in almost every case and frequent follow up to monitor healing.
Written by Joseph Wilder, DVM, DABVP