If your dog has been in a fight with another animal, then you should take them to an animal hospital. Even if your dog looks OK, they could still have hidden injuries. Whether your dog fought with another dog or with a wild animal, they could be at risk for complications. Continue reading to learn more about why dogs fight, common fight injuries, and potential risks if you delay treatment too long.
Why Do Dogs Fight?
Dogs fight for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are to establish dominance. They may be protective of their territory or another pack member (like you). Some dogs, like people, just don't like each other and will fight. Other dogs may fight over food or their favorite toy. Even friendly dogs may start out playing but end up getting overstimulated and rough.
What Are Common Dog Fight Injuries?
Bites and scratches are some of the most common dog fight injuries. The canine teeth can easily puncture flesh. If the dogs are severely mismatched in size, injuries can be serious to the smaller dog. Small dogs attacked and grabbed by a larger dog are more likely to experience broken bones and severe wounds.
How Does One Give First Aid for Dog Fight Injuries?
While you should have all wounds assessed by a veterinarian, there are things you can do for first aid. Keep your dog calm and still. Moving around can make bleeding worse. You can wash the wound with soap and water and cover it with a clean cloth to slow down the bleeding. You may want to wash the bite area even if the skin isn't completely punctured.
What Complications Come From Dog Fight Injuries?
Some potential dog fight complications are infection and blood loss. It is for these reasons that prompt veterinary attention is important. Regardless of what some people think, dog mouths are full of bacteria that can easily enter and infect a wound.
Fractured and broken bones can heal wrong or not at all. Bites that damage or come close to nerves could cause problems down the road, even if the wound doesn't seem that deep. Your dog may also be at risk for communicable diseases like rabies.
Fights put your dog at risk for serious injuries as well as other health issues. To be on the cautious side, take your dog to the veterinarian after any type of fight. Your dog may be OK, but they could have injuries that you can't see or be at risk for diseases. If you have other concerns, contact your local animal hospital or veterinarian for further information.