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  • Writer's pictureSteve San Miguel Zamorano

Wound Management 101

May 5, 2021

Wound management is a major part of the life of every practicing veterinarian. Pets injure themselves or are injured by other animals or people every day.

There are many types of wounds. A pet can have one of the below-checked types of wound.


A superficial erosion or scrape of the outer layers of the skin. Treatment is often the least involved of all wounds usually only requiring daily cleaning and protection from infection until healing can occur. These wounds can become more serious, however, if not treated properly.


A result of a cutting or tearing of the skin. The wound usually requires removal of the frayed edges to allow healthy tissue to grow to healthy tissue. Infected or damaged tissue edges do not heal well unless debrided to give clean, fresh, healthy tissue edges to grow together. Some lacerations are sutured while others are allowed to heal as open wounds, healing from the inside out. Individual circumstances determine how each wound is handled Suturing allows faster healing, protects the inner tissues while healing is taking place, seals out infection, and usually result in minimal scarring.


The result of penetration of the skin by foreign objects such as nails, sticks, arrows, fish hooks, and other material. The puncture may penetrate to great depths within the body tissue carrying bacteria and dirt into the tissue. Once the offending penetrating object is removed, the skin grows over quickly, many times giving the owner a false sense of security. We consider all puncture wounds to be contaminated with bacteria and take extra precautions to control infection before it can get started. These wounds most often must be opened to their deepest depth and then allowed to heal as an open wound healing from the inside out.



  • Watch for incision swelling, redness, and drainage, missing sutures.

  • Do not allow the wound to become soiled.

  • Apply nothing to the incision without our knowledge.

  • Wash wound gently with medicated soap to remove scabs.

  • Keep scabs off so the wound will heal from the inside out.

  • Flush wound with a small amount of antiseptic solution 2-3-4 times/day.

  • Flush wound beside drainage tube 2-3-4 times daily.

  • Apply ointment to wound 2-3-4-times daily.


Give the antibiotic as instructed by your veterinarian. Use entire contents!

Give pain and anti-inflammatory medications as directed.


Call your veterinarian's office to request topical medication or use restraint devices if your pet licks the wound excessively. Sutures usually come out in ten days during your recheck appointment.

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