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Dog bite wound.

Species: Dog
Breed: German Shepherd
Age: 1-2 years
Hello, My dog got bit by a Pit bull on Saturday 9/1. I was not able to take him to the vet immediately because I have just got done paying my nursing school bill, and that expense put me in a rut. However, My dog got bit on his chest, and the wound is about the size of an eraser. When he first got bit, the wound was not bleeding profusely, I had to apply pressure for about 10 mins for most of it to stop, which makes me believe that his wound is more superficial. The wound looks like a puncture wound, because its a little hole and i can see down inside it a little bit. I wound as of today looks pretty good, no excessive redness, no puss being release and he lets me apply the medicine as needed. What I have been doing to his wound is cleaning it twice a day with Caress bar soap and a little antibacterial hand soap and massaging on, and around his wound gently for about 3 minutes. After i am done with this, i usually take him to the yard and flush his wound for an additional 3 mins letting the water gently hit the wound and wash away any germs.I am also giving brutus some antibiotics that my dad had, left over that he never used ( these seem to be helping alot) After i do all of this i then apply antibacterial cream and put a shirt on him (no bandage) just so there is atleast a little barrier between the wound and the environment. However, there are two things that are concerning me. 1) The wound has been draining since the day it happened and the color is a little red, and also containing transparent fluid. I am just not sure is it normal for it still be draining? because after a few hours, you will see a spot from the drainage on his chest about the size of an orange. my second concern is, when i was palpating for additional injuries, i felt on his rib that it felt squishy; like there was fluid under there. however, this "squishy" feeling is on ONLY the right side of his ribcage and not on the left. At first i thought maybe he was bleeding internally, but then i figured wouldnt i feel this squishy feeling on BOTH sides? My dog is acting totally normal, he eating, hes drinking and he even tries to play with me. im just so concerned about the squishy feeling and since i just paid in full for my schooling i just dont have the money to spend at the vet.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Brutus is having these problems.

The first thing I need to say is something that you are not going to like, but Brutus really does need to see a veterinarian. This is the type of issue that if it is not dealt with properly at this point there could be very serious consequences.

You're doing some good things at home, however. One of the best things that you are doing for this wound is the gentle flushing with water.

I would never advise using left over antibiotics for a pet for a number of reasons. They may not be the appropriate type of antibiotic for a wound, or the dosage could not be right. If we are treating with a sub par antibiotic or dosage then we could end up causing a resistant infection.

My next concern is whether this wound is deeper than we think. I have seen a number of dog bite wounds that look superficial on the surface but can extend very far underneath. If it is still oozing fluid a couple of days after the wound happened then there is a good chance that this is a deeper wound than we thought. It's also possible that there is a draining tract that is causing the squishiness on his ribs. Or, it's possible that there is a slight hole into the chest cavity that is allowing air to leak out. But, if this is the case then usually it doesn't feel "squishy" but rather more "crackly".

It's great news that he is eating and drinking well. I am pleased about that.

The most important thing here in my mind is to get this wound accurately assessed and get him on the proper antibiotics at the right dose, for the right amount of time. (Unfortunately, even if you gave me the name and dosage I cannot legally advise on medications over the internet.)

Now, the vet may not be able to do a full assessment without some sedation. Hopefully they will be able to have a look and prescribe antibiotics.

I have seen wounds like this that have been treated with the best of intentions by a diligent owner, like you that have really gone poorly. If this wound is extensive and is not treated properly from the start it could mean that Brutus would need very extensive surgery. Having him assessed now, before that happens would be a lot less expensive.

Hopefully I have not come across as too harsh. I fully understand the costs associated with veterinary care like this, but I have seen far too many bad outcomes with attempted home treatment for deep wounds. It would be a different story if it was a more superficial wound, but given that it is still leaking and there are other issues on his chest I am concerned.

I hope he heals up ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you. And i would be able to get him to the vet Thursday or Friday because thats when I will have more money. Its just the same day it happened, that morning before the bite occurred, my tuition was due. I just feel so stressed out and worried Thursday is too far away. If he did have a punctured chest cavity, what do they usually do for these procedures...surgery or does it usually close up on its own? i even shaved the area and ive been making sure that its really clean. I called my vet yesterday to ask if they did a payment plan but they said they don't. thank you again for your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

My guess is that if the chest cavity was punctured it is probably minor...and for very minor punctures the treatment is just to keep treating the wound and eventually the tiny hole closes over. My guess is that if this was more severe he would be showing some kind of breathing issues.

You're very welcome. I'm not sure if this will help, but sometimes people can get financial help from one of these resources.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.