Types of Dog Wounds – And What To Do About Them

Types of Dog Wounds Your May Encounter - And What To Do About Them

Being well-informed about different types of wounds in dogs empowers pet parents to provide appropriate care. Read on to learn how each type of dog wound is caused, the chances of infection, and what to do about them.

Dogs are cherished companions, always there to bring joy and love to our lives. However, their adventurous nature and boundless energy can sometimes lead to injuries. It’s important for pet parents to be familiar with the various types of dog wounds our furry friends might encounter. From surgical wounds to burns, let’s explore different types of wounds our poor pooches may experience.

1. Abrasion Wound

Abrasion wounds, also known as scrapes or road rash, occur when the skin’s top layer is scraped off due to friction against a rough surface. These wounds are often superficial and typically heal well. These kinds of wounds usually have a high chance of infection – depending on the damage they have caused. Keeping the area clean and free from infection is vital to ensure proper healing.

2. Burn Wound

Burn wounds in dogs can be caused by hot surfaces, liquids, chemicals, or even flames. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Infections, redness, and blisters are a common occurrence with burn wounds. Proper wound cleaning, pain management, and preventing infection are vital steps in the healing process.

3. Contusion Wound

A contusion wound, commonly known as a bruise, results from blunt force trauma that damages blood vessels beneath the skin. While these wounds may not break the skin, they can cause pain and swelling along with discoloured skin. Usually, contusion wounds do not cause infections, but monitoring your dog’s behaviour and seeking medical attention if necessary can help in dealing with potential complications such as internal bleeding.

4. Laceration Wound

Laceration wounds involve a tear or cut in the skin characterized by jagged or uneven edges, often often caused by sharp branches tearing or barbed wires. These wounds can range from minor cuts to more severe injuries that may require stitches. These wounds are often caused by dirty objects so there is a high chance of infections. It’s important to consult a veterinarian for proper wound care and to determine if sutures or staples are needed.

5. Puncture Wound

Puncture wounds are deep, narrow injuries caused by sharp objects like nails, teeth, or splinters. These wounds may seem minor on the surface, but they can lead to serious infections due to the difficulty in cleaning and closing the wound. The objects causing the puncture are often responsible for making it possible for bacteria to enter the body, so there is a high chance of infection. Immediate veterinary attention is necessary to prevent complications.

6. Surgical Wound

Surgical wounds are intentional incisions made during medical procedures, such as spaying, neutering, or tumour removal. Proper post-operative care, including wound cleaning, bandaging, and monitoring for signs of infection, is essential to ensure a smooth healing process in such cases.

Tips for Dealing with Dog Wounds

In any situation involving a wound, a prompt and appropriate response is crucial to prevent complications. Here are some general steps to follow:

  1. Assess the Situation: Evaluate the wound’s severity. If it’s deep, bleeding excessively, or causes significant pain, seek veterinary help immediately.
  2. Clean the Wound: For minor wounds, gently clean the area with warm water. Pat dry with a clean cloth and apply a pet-safe non-stinging antiseptic as recommended by your veterinarian.
  3. Control Bleeding: Apply gentle pressure using a clean cloth or gauze to control bleeding. If bleeding is severe or doesn’t stop, seek veterinary assistance.
  4. Prevent Licking: Dogs may lick their wounds, hindering the healing process and increasing the risk of infection. Use an Elizabethan collar (cone) if necessary.
  5. Carefully Monitor for Infection: Watch for signs of infection such as increased redness, swelling, pus, or a foul odor. If these symptoms arise, consult a vet.

Finally, whenever in doubt about your dog’s wound type, cause or care, consult your veterinarian for proper guidance. This is especially important for puncture wounds or those that seem severe.


Dr. Omer Rashid earned his veterinary degree in 2002 from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, and quickly followed that with a Master’s degree in Parasitology. He worked for several years in veterinary practice with small animals, as well as horses and livestock. He studied advanced pharmacology at Charles Darwin University in Australia, and discovered his love for writing while working as a science writer for a research company with clients such as Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge universities. Along the way, Dr. Rashid developed an interest in integrative veterinary health, and he joined Redstone Media Group as Associate Editor of IVC Journal and veterinary content developer in 2022.