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Is My Dog’s Wound Infected?

February 20, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Illnesses and Diseases, Dog Injuries, Dog Symptoms

Dealing with a dog wound or cut? Learn a dog's symptoms of infection. (Benjamin Earwicker Photo)

This article will provide answers to questions like, “What are the symptoms of an infection in a pet’s wound?” “My dog’s wound smells bad and has discharge. Is it infected?” and “Why is my dog’s wound red and swollen? Does this mean the wound is infected?”

At some point, your dog will be wounded from an accident around the home or yard, or even due to a dog fight or other unfortunate mishap. Whatever the case, you’ll need to know how to know the signs of infection in a dog’s wound.

Disinfecting and cleaning a dog’s wound is vital to promote healing, but even in the best dog owner’s care, a dog’s wound can get infected.

But do you know the signs and symptoms of infection in a dog’s wound? Do you know when it’s time to take your dog to the veterinary clinic for an exam

Signs and Symptoms of an Infected Wound in a Dog

There are several symptoms that you may see if your dog’s wound, cut or incision gets infected. Signs of infection include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness (which often spreads instead of receding as it should if proper healing is occurring.)
  • Discharge (which is often thick, yellow or green in color)
  • Odor or Foul Smell
  • Pain and Tenderness


Is My Dog’s Wound Healing? Do I Need to Take My Dog to the Veterinary Clinic?

It’s important to note that some redness, swelling, discharge and pain is normal following an injury, but these symptoms will usually reach their worst point within 24 hours of the dog’s injury.

After 24 hours, the dog’s wound site should slowly begin to improve and heal. Your dog may have an infected wound if the redness, swelling, discharge and pain associated with the pet’s injury seem to get worse.

In addition, a dog’s wound should never have an odor. If the incision, cut or wound smells bad, this is a definite sign of infection in the wound. In fact, the dog may have developed an abscess – a pocket of infection beneath the skin’s surface.

Dog abscesses, infected wounds, severe wounds, bite wounds and wounds that won’t heal are all grounds for a trip to the veterinarian’s clinic for an exam, disinfecting and a prescription of antibiotics.


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