Treating a Small Cut on Your Dog

April 11, 2013

This is general first aid for cuts on dogs less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Cuts: When you have a medical situation of any kind it is important to find out what exactly you are dealing with. If the cut is 1/2 inch in diameter or less then you will probably be able to treat it at home without any kind of problems.


First, you will need to clip hair from around the wound. Be careful not to poke scissors anywhere on the dog or near the wound.

Second, the wound will need to be flushed with saline water.

You can make a batch of solution to rinse with by mixing up 2 cups of warm water and 1 tsp salt. Mix together well. Pour gently over the wound to wash out any debris, or hair or dirt.

If you use tweezers to remove any debris, rinse again with the saline solution afterward.

Cover the wound with topical antibiotic cream. Not just any antibiotic cream will be good to use on your dog. The best ones are Neosporin or Mycitracin. You should never apply these near the eyes, ears, or face of the pet dog. These areas can be made worse by the use of antibiotic creams, even the above mentioned ones.

Neosporin causes upset stomach and loose stools if licked off. Try to keep the dog from licking the wound as much as possible.

If a day or two passes and the wound is not getting better at all or looks infected, it is time to see your vet.

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11 Questions

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August 23, 2019

This afternoon my Foxie jumped up to get a Frisbee that landed in a tree or shrub. He caught his underbelly coming down and has a cut about 2 cm long. I have cleaned it and put on Betadine.

Please advise.


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August 23, 20191 found this helpful

Please watch this carefully and do not let your sweet baby lick the Betadine. Do you have a "cone of shame" you can use to prevent licking/scratching?


If it continues to bleed, if it doesn't start to knit together after today, and if the dog is crying or acting like he is in pain, please get him to the vet (or emergency vet since it is almost the weekend).

Most cuts heal quickly and I will send up a prayer that Foxie heals fast. Please keep an eye on this.

PS, our vet never suggests Betadine, but if yours does, then follow his/her instructions. If you can call and get feedback of what to use overnight, I would do that!

Post back with an update.

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December 29, 2009

I am hoping for some advice, without having to go to the vet. My dog has a cut on the end of the ear that just won't heal. It will not stay scabbed long enough. It's around an inch long, but not deep. I have tried just about everything. Help?

By Sandy


December 29, 20090 found this helpful

Maybe you can try getting those cones that goes around the dogs neck get after surgery, so that your dog doesn't remove the scab. If the cut is infected then you may not have a choice about going to the vet though.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

Treat him like one of the kids: wash the site, put neosprin on the site, then to keep covered apply liquid skin or liquid bandaid. He's going to be mad because it will sting but he won't be able to get it off.

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December 30, 20091 found this helpful

My 15 year old dog had a puncture wound from another dog's bite and I did actually take her to the vet. He recommended I treat her with hydrogen peroxide. He told me to mix 1/3 parts hydrogen peroxide with 2/3 parts warm water and 2-3 times a day swab the site with a clean rag until it was clean looking with no "gunk" around the edges. I did that for about a week and it healed right up. PLEASE DON'T USE PEROXIDE on your pet without mixing it with water. Very important to cut it with water as per my vet's instructions.


What one other poster said about the cut being infected may be true though. You may have to take your pet to the vet. Also no offense to anyone or anything but it's better to keep the cut clean and open to the air rather than cover it with a cream or ointment. When I was treating my dog, my vet had already clipped the hair around the wound just a little so the hair wasn't covering up the wound and preventing healing. I had Moo for about 17 years. Here's a photo taken of her when she was probably about 15-16. She was a blue heeler.

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December 31, 20090 found this helpful

Is your dog scratching the wound? If so, get an e-collar to prevent that. Clip the hair around the wound to promote healing - do not cover it with anything. Clean gently with mild soap and water, avoid knocking the healing scabs off - do this every other day or so - but check the wound daily for changes. If if won't heal, perhaps your dog has another problem (such as diabetes which prevents wound healing).


There may be other reasons it won't heal, but I'm not a vet. If it doesn't look any better in a week or so, go to the vet. P.S.: Peroxide damages/kills tissue, so I would think twice about using it without a vet's recommendation.

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful

I understand wounds on the ears bleed more, sometimes excessively, and are more difficult to heal. Why don't you want to take him to the vet? If he was injured by another dog, there could be other injuries.

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November 22, 2015

I was cutting around my dog's face and accidentally cut her. What do I do? I can't afford to take her to a vet.


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November 22, 20151 found this helpful

Veterinarians devote many years, high education costs and go into debt, for training in college and medical school. They then must pay for their clinics, staff, etc., and they also have to live and pay their expenses like the rest of us. So, there are very few "low-cost" vets. If you can't afford veterinarian care for your pet, then you can't afford a pet.


If you were ill or had an accident, you would expect immediate medical care and would probably pay for some or most of it yourself. I suggest you find a way to provide medical treatment now for your pet. The longer you wait the more difficult and expensive the problem will be. Your friend is suffering and needs help now.

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November 22, 20151 found this helpful

Were you grooming your dog because you can't afford a groomer? But I'm assuming you haven't got formal grooming training. I know you are feeling very guilty right now, and I don't want to make it worse. But do not try any grooming around a dog's ears/face if you have no grooming training. Well, you know that now.


You have a much bigger problem here: You cannot afford grooming or vet care for your dog.

Dogs require grooming. Some breeds will get painful hair mats or skin diseases if not groomed regularly. This must be done by someone who has training. You will have to pay them.
As you just discovered, dogs also sometimes require veterinary care when you least expect it. You will have to pay for that, too. They also require well-dog visits, such as heartworm preventative and yearly vaccinations.

I'm sorry about your financial situation. I know it's hard. But all your dog knows is he is not getting the care he needs, and he doesn't know why.

You are responsible for another life. It is important that you find some way to get his groomings and vet visits taken care of.

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February 23, 2011

I own a Japanese Akita; it's 6 months old. It has a cut due to the tightness of the harness. I was wondering if I could get any help on treating the dog's cut.


By Shane


February 23, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Shane. I'm assuming this is not a severe cut that needs stitches and that you have readjusted the harness. That said, treat it as if you had the same cut, flush it out with hydrogen peroxide, let dry for a minute or so, and rub on an anti-bacterial cream. Do this at least three times a day and watch for any signs of infection. If it does get infected, call your vet. Hope the fur guy heals quickly! :-)

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February 24, 20110 found this helpful

Ditto on KansasCindy's post on the severity of the cut and whether or not you have an extensive infection going on there. If there's more than a 1/4 inch of redness/pus/ooze/odor around the wound area. I'd be off to the vet for oral antibiotics.

If it's minor, agree with using the peroxide and a triple antibiotic, generic drugstore brand works fine.

In the meantime, though, think I'd keep the harness off altogether until the area is healed. Switch to a sturdy collar and a shorter leash if you're concerned about controlling the dog on a walk without the harness.

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February 24, 20110 found this helpful

Try to be sure you rub in the ointment well so the dog can't lick it off (if he/she can reach it), which could cause even more problems. And don't use the harness as is. Readjust it or use something else. You know what it's like if our shoes don't fit right and cause a blister. We don't keep wearing them as is. Good luck!

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February 24, 20110 found this helpful

Have you considered a Bridle type Halter for puppy this controls the head (just like a horse) with no harm to the animal. Don't wait for infection to appear consult your Veterinarian. Good luck.

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July 13, 2019

My Pit Bull puppy was snapped at by another dog and got a small cut on her cheek. It was swollen last night, but not now.

What is best OTC med to use? I read that Neosporin was not good to use on the face. Is there another please?

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July 22, 2016

My dog had a sonogram and they shaved her stomach to do the sonogram. When I got home I saw that she had a small cut where they shaved her. What can I put on it?

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November 5, 2014

I brought a training halter for my Labrador, to stop her pulling on the lead, it worked very well. After three days she has rubbed under her front legs and has licked it so much that it is red raw and weeping. Is there something I can put on it to make it heal?

By Rhonda


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November 5, 20140 found this helpful

The dog harness training was for too long; like breaking in a new pair of shoes; blisters forming on heels and hurts. When dog's legs clear up; break him into the harness slowly and a little at a time.

This is what I would do: Clean up the area with peroxide or betadine; not both and then use a triple antibiotic ointment and checking/cleaning the wounds at morning, noon and evening to be sure it isn't worsening. Use a cone collar on the dog to keep it's mouth away from the areas and remove only while you are closely watching your pet. If redness disappears, leave the area open; no bandages, so it helps heal quicker; otherwise, take your pet to the vet in a day or two.

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May 13, 2013

I have a 1 year old Staff and she's got a cut on her ear and on her leg. What should I do? The cut on her leg isn't bleeding, but the cut to her ear is still bleeding and I don't know what to do. Should I take her to the vet? She also has a small cut on top of her head that isn't bleeding.

By Kimberley


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May 15, 20130 found this helpful

Yes. Take her to the vet. Now. Let us know how she is doing.

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April 25, 2013

Lab lying in straw.I have a female chocolate Lab that had a harness on. Because we live in the city and she liked to escape out the gate with her brother. My family and I thought that maybe if we put the harness on her she would be easier to catch. About a week ago I noticed she had a deep cut under her front leg from the harness. My parents said that the other 2 dogs that live with us would help keep the wound clean and help it heal and that the vet can't really do anything due to the location of the wound. Is this true?



September 29, 20150 found this helpful

my dog has a ct on it head and i not now want to do

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November 20, 2013

My dog has a bare patch on the top of her ear that she keep scratching and has made this bleed. Can I use polysporin on this? It is not big, maybe a 1/4 inch square.

By Ken C

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