First Aid for Dogs

Polaris, my nine-month-old puppy rubbed her nose raw last night trying to bury a toy in the carpet. I was reading at the time, and I didn’t notice what she was doing until she came over to me with a bloody nose.

The bleeding quickly stopped, and I didn’t think it was serious enough to merit a trip to the vet, but I couldn’t think of anything to put on it. Whatever I put on her nose, she’ll lick off, and I don’t want to upset her tummy. (I have antibacterial cream for dogs, but it won’t stay on for a moment, I’m sure.)

Any ideas?

Just leave it be and watch it for swelling.

Let it be. It will scab over and heal. It just might bleed a little bit every now and then.

whistlepig, who’s had a dog do the same thing.

Given that the bleeding stopped on it’s own, there’s no need for any kind of cream to cover the wound. Your puppy will be 100% OK with the scrape left untreated (assuming Polaris doesn’t reopen it).

Same for minor human wounds, BTW. Once the initial opening is cleaned with hot water, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or what have you, there is no need to apply any anti-bacterial cream to the wound.

I would prescribe tinture of time. :smiley:

Assuming I could get her to sit still to wash the wound with peroxide or alcohol, will traces of those things make her sick if she licks them? I know peroxide makes dogs vomit . . . would tiny traces be enough to do that?

Secondly, is there anything that doesn’t sting when applied?

You’re way overthinking this Lissa. Just leave it alone.

No problems with trace amounts of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide inducing vomiting. The consideration of “ouches” is a separate matter.

Alcohol would sting a good bit, so that might be better avoided.

Hydrogen peroxide won’t sting for very long, if at all. At the risk of foolishly comparing dogs to humans, I’ll pass on the following: I, personally, no longer feel a sting from application of hydrogen peroxide to a minor scrape or cut. Now, I used to when I was a little kid … but somehow, that faded. Relating that to my current dog (Bichon Frise) – he has never so much as flinched at the application of hydrogen peroxide to a minor wound (only done it three times, though). If he finds it uncomfortable, it must be below whatever his “reaction threshold” is.

Lastly, hot-to-warm soapy water is fine for most all garden-variety scrapes (assuming no rolling the wound in dirt or feces, or something like that). That won’t sting your dog, and won’t really leave appreciable traces for your dog to get sick from.

I’m going to preface this by saying that IANAV and that you should contact one for a professional opinion but I will share my first aid technique when my dog got a scratch on her nose from a possum.

A gently washed it with cool water and just a teeny tiny bit of soap. I made sure to not leave any soap residue on her nose so she wouldn’t lick it off.

Then I dabbed with a sterile gauze some diluted hydrogen peroxide on the wound. I always dilute peroxide on my pets so that it doesn’t burn their sensitive skin. I do two parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide. After that, unless it’s a wound that needs stitches or medical attention I just leave it alone and check it for infection a few times a day.
For my pooches, I just let them lick the wound as long as they don’t chew or dig at it, it should heal up just fine.

Again, if you’re not sure or are concerned with the severity or need solid advice as to what to do, please call a veterinarian.

Hope doggie’s nose feels better soon!

Most likely, you’re right. I admit freely to being an over-protective Mommy.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

Well, she did it again tonight, and I decided to clean her bleeding nose properly this time. I took a washcloth soaked with warm water and them put a dab of peroxide on it. I patted it against her nose and turned to get another bit of peroxide on another side of the rag.

She screamed. I hastily dabbed it with the plain water side a few times, and she quieted. She ran from me when I released her, making me feel like I’d been torturing the poor thing.

Moral of the story: if your dog is the sensitive type, don’t try peroxide.

It seems to me that the dog does not understand that you were using the peroxide to clean the wound. All she knows is that you, whom she loves, caused her pain and she doesn’t understand why.

Well, the stinging didn’t start instantly. I put it on her nose, and turned around to get another dab of it, and she started squalling. I wasn’t touching her when it started.

She tossed her head to try to see what was hurting her and looked pitifully bewildered. I got to be the “rescuer” in a sense, because I immediately patted it with the plain-water portion of the rag, which seemed to make it go away.

She still ran like a bat out of hell when she was put down. Needless to say, we won’t be using that method again.

I’m almost to the point of wishing I could make her wear some sort of nose guard. Jeeze, you think the dog would get a clue: “Hey, this hurts! Maybe I shouldn’t do it any more.”