Wounds and bites should be cleaned only after bleeding has stopped. Bleeding from small injuries, such as scrapes and cuts, can be stopped by applying pressure to the lesion. Large wounds should always be examined by your veterinarian. How to stop bleeding: Use a clean rag and press it across the wound for several minutes with constant pressure. If this doesn't stop the bleeding, use a bag of ice cubes or another cooling device. When using ice cubes or other cooling materials, use caution: they must not be pressed directly onto wounds as this can cause frostbite. Before applying the cooling substance, use a bit of gauze (the type that is usually in every first aid box will do), and wrap it around the wound for protection. For heavy bleeding: If heavy bleeding occurs, apply a pressure bandage and consult your veterinarian immediately. Remember to thoroughly tighten the bandage. How to apply a bandage to the tail: Applying a bandage to the tail can be difficult. If you can’t stop the bleeding this way, tie off the tail in order and trap the remaining blood inside. The tie should only be tied tightly for a short time. Loosen the tie that is blocking the blood after ten minutes, and re-apply if bleeding starts again. Cleaning wounds: Be careful when cleaning a wound. Hair around the lesion can be trimmed back by using scissors with blunt ends (i.e. scissors for beards). This will allow you to wash off blood more easily. Use lukewarm water sprinkled with a bit of salt or a disinfecting solution to wash the wound. Wounds should be cleaned twice daily. Repeat the clearning procedure until a scab has formed on the lesion. If you are worried that the wound may become dirty, it is better to keep the animal inside until the wound is completely healed. As a rule of thumb: cuts larger than 1/3 inch (appx. 1 cm) should be sutured by a vet. Remember, bite wounds can be become seriously infected. In order to be safe, have your vet examine any kind of wound your dog has.
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