Your dog’s nose is a vital organ that he uses to explore the world. Sniffing other dogs and humans is a way to learn more about them. Dogs also use their noses to communicate like the gentle nudge they give you when they want you to play. Since their nose serves many purposes, it is likely your dog will end up hurting his nose at some point. Scruffles with other dogs can also lead to cuts on the nose.
A cut on your dog’s nose can be difficult to care for, but keep on reading to learn to effectively treat these cuts at home.
How To Care For Cuts On A Dog’s Nose
Cuts on a dog’s nose can range from mild to severe. Some injuries will require immediate attention, but you can treat most cuts and scrapes at home easily. There are certain steps to follow when caring for cuts on your dog’s nose.
Get The First-Aid Kit
It is best to have a first-aid kit at hand for your pet. If you have one for the humans in your house, you can use some supplies from there as well. However, you will need disinfecting solutions and antibiotic ointments that are safe for dogs. Even if you don’t have a first-aid kit, you can simply purchase gauze, adhesive tape, disinfecting solution, and an antibiotic ointment to treat cuts at home.
First-Aid Kit For Your Pet
Every now and then, your pet could end up getting hurt in one way or the other. Sometimes you might not be able to reach your veterinarian or seek immediate help for many reasons. This is why it is important to keep a first-aid kit for your pet. Keeping a first-aid kit at hand will help you take care of minor cuts and scratches at home easily. At times, you might even need the first-aid kit to care for your pet at home till you can seek proper veterinary care.
You can collect a few items to keep in a plastic toolbox. There are some basic tools you should have, such as:
A thermometer to check your pet’s temperature.
A stethoscope to check your pet’s breathing and heart rate.
Tweezers to remove ticks and fleas.
Syringes to give your dog oral medication.
Roll gauze to wrap any wounds.
Disinfecting solution to clean up wounds.
Antibiotic ointment to apply to large wounds.
Scissors to trim bandages.
A muzzle for certain situations.
An Elizabethan collar to prevent your pet from licking wounds or a surgical site.
After you have all the items you need, you can begin cleaning and treating the cuts on your dog’s nose. Use the following steps to treat these cuts effectively:
Help Your Dog Calm Down
The first step to treating cuts on your dog’s nose is to help her calm down. Dogs that are in pain will feel overwhelmed and start whining or growling at you. If your dog has been harmed by another animal, you should take them away to prevent further stress. Use calming commands and reassure your dog by saying “It’s alright” without cornering them. If you have trained your dog since puppyhood, there might be a command that helps her calm down.
However, in such situations, it can be difficult to help your dog calm down so you might need to use a muzzle. It’s important to be as gentle as possible. A dog that is in pain might try to bite you so you should have someone else help you put a muzzle on your dog. Even dogs that are generally gentle and timid can become fearful and violent when in pain. If you don’t have a muzzle at home, you can DIY one on the spot using your pet’s leash.
Pain can make your dog upset and overwhelmed so you need to calm her down before you can take a look at her nose. Once you have the muzzle on, you can take a look at your dog’s nose.
Assess The Damage
Assess the damage to your dog’s nose thoroughly. It could be a minor cut or something serious. The cut may range in severity based on how your pet got it. If your dog was bit by another dog, the cut might be a surface cut that can be cleaned and treated easily. However, if your dog got cut by glass or something sharp, the cut could be deeper and will need stitches. If you think the cut is deep, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.
When To Go To The Veterinarian
According to PetMD, you should consult your veterinarian if the cut on your dog’s nose is:
- A cut that penetrates your pet’s skin like a bite wound or laceration caused by glass.
- If the injury is large and extends around the nose.
- If there is pus in the wound and the skin around it appears inflamed.
Stop The Bleeding
After your dog has calmed down and you have the muzzle on, you should focus on the bleeding. Like humans, a dog’s nose is richly supplied with blood vessels. A cut on the nose can bleed a lot which can be worrisome for you and stressful for your pet. Using a clean towel or washcloth, gently press down on the wound to slow down the bleeding. If the wound is bleeding regardless, you can use styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Styptic powder, like styptic pencils, is an antiseptic clotting agent that can constrict the blood vessels to stop bleeding. In some cases, applying pressure might not be enough to stop the bleeding and you should treat this situation as an emergency.
It is also important to know exactly how your dog got the cut. According to VCA Hospitals, dog bite wounds can cause excessive bleeding since dogs’ teeth and jaws are quite powerful. If the wound is deep, it can cause damage to the soft and sensitive tissues in those areas. If you cannot stop the bleeding, you should take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. Dogs that suffer from anemia or are on medications that cause blood-thinning should be taken to the veterinarian immediately as well.
If your dog has a cut on his nose after being bitten by another dog, you should have your veterinarian take a look at it. Dog’s mouths contain bacteria that can infect wounds inflicted on other dogs. By puncturing the skin, the bite can introduce bacteria below the skin surface which can multiply rapidly if left untreated. The bacteria can cause a localized infection or spread to other tissues.
Cleaning The Wound
If you’ve managed to stop the bleeding, you can move on to cleaning your pet’s wound. if your dog has suffered road rash or a glass cut, there might be debris in the wound that you need to clean out. You can use soap and lukewarm water to clean away any debris in the wound. If your dog has a deep wound that is difficult to wash, PetMD recommends using a water-based lubricant such as KY Jelly to clean up the wound. You simply need to spread the lubricant over the wound and the surrounding areas. Wipe it off gently with a towel or washcloth to remove debris such as pieces of glass or gravel.
Disinfect The Wound
After you’ve cleaned your pet’s wound, you still need to disinfect it. If your dog has a cut on his due to a dog bite, you will need to thoroughly disinfect the wound. Dogs carry a lot of bacteria in their saliva which can infect wounds.
Remember to keep the muzzle on till this step since the disinfecting solution can cause stinging which will aggravate your pet. There are antiseptic solutions such as Betadine which do not cause stinging so it is better to use those. You should first dilute the disinfectant and then gently clean the wound with a clean towel or washcloth.
Do not use hydrogen peroxide to clean up your pet’s wounds. While hydrogen peroxide may work well for human cuts and wounds, it can actually destroy the sensitive tissues in your pet’s face. The bubbling that it causes can indicate that bacteria are dying, but it also means that it is damaging tissues. According to Preventive Vet, hydrogen peroxide can damage the fibroblast cells that are responsible for healing. If you use hydrogen peroxide on your dog’s cuts, you will clean up the wound effectively but also prolong the healing process.
After you’ve cleaned and disinfected the wound, you can apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to it. If you’ve cleaned the wound with water, it is best to let it dry before you apply the ointment and bandage. You should not use antibacterial ointments in your medicine cupboard. The American Kennel Club (AKC) advises against using human antibacterial ointments on dogs. Your dog will lick his nose and he could accidentally swallow the ointment. While this causes no real harm to your pet, it can cause some digestive issues. The chemicals in the ointment affect your dog’s gut bacteria, leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
It is best to consult your veterinarian about the best pet-safe antibacterial ointment you can use on cuts. As the wound heals, it can develop a scab and cause some itching. Look for an ointment that is safe to use and can combat itching. The Forticept Blue Butter Antimicrobial Gel is a safe and excellent option.
Apply The Bandage
After applying antibiotic ointment to the wound, you can apply a bandage to it. It will be difficult to roll gauze around your pet’s nose without limiting them, so use square gauze instead. Use some adhesive tape to apply the bandage over the wound and keep it in place. A thin layer of antibiotic ointment can help keep the bandage in place and prevent any bacterial growth.
Protect The Wound
Dogs instinctively lick and paw at their wounds. You must ensure your dog does not disturb the bandage or scratch/lick his wound as this can make matters worse. Dog saliva contains many bacterial organisms which can infect the wound when licked. Licking the bandage can also moisten the wound, encouraging bacterial growth. Use an inflatable E-collar or protective clothing to prevent your dog from licking his wound. Keeping the wound clean and dry is essential to promote healing.
Repeat The Process
After you’ve followed all these steps, you should still remove the bandage and take a look at your dog’s wound every day. Ensure the cut is clean and reapply antibiotic ointment if necessary. In case your dog’s wound becomes infected, you won’t know unless you check it. Check, clean, and moisturize the wound when needed to speed up the healing process. If you notice anything unusual like pus or inflamed skin, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Moisturize The Wound
If the cut on your dog’s nose is a minor scratch or surface cut, it won’t take a long time to heal. However, you might find a scab over the cut and it will be dry and itchy. It is important to moisturize the wound to promote healing. When your pet’s wound is open and still healing, you should keep it dry. After it has healed and closed, you will need to moisturize the spot to encourage fresh skin to grow over it. Use a gentle and natural moisturizer like the Kin+Kind Nose & Paw Moisturizer. You can also use a small amount of coconut oil to prevent dryness.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Regardless of how mild the cut is, you should have your veterinarian take a look at it. If your dog has a deep or open wound caused by a dog bite, it is important to have your veterinarian check it. Some wounds might need stitches and you should not try to treat them at home.
Everything could seem fine on the surface but your dog could acquire other illnesses through a dog bite as well. It is best to have your veterinarian check the wound and run some tests to ensure everything is fine. If it’s nothing serious, your veterinarian will advise you to continue at-home treatment.
Antibiotics and Pain Medications
In some cases, your dog might need antibiotics and pain medications to manage the cuts on her nose. Deep or open wounds will require antibiotics and pain medications to properly heal without developing a bacterial infection. Deep wounds and lacterations will require antibiotics. If your dog has a deep wound on his nose from a dog bite that you were not able to clean instantly, a bacterial infection could develop easily. It is best that you consult your veterinarian to determine if your pet will need antibiotics or pain medication.
Caring for cuts on your pet’s nose can be tricky if you don’t know what to expect. Since cuts on the nose bleed a lot, it can be worrisome for many pet parents. You can easily treat mild cuts at home using a first-aid kit. If your pet has deep or open wounds on his nose, you should consult your veterinarian. These cuts should not be treated at home and can become infected. Regardless of how serious the wound is, you should have your veterinarian examine it to ensure everything is fine.