Common Injuries in Dogs & What to Do

Your dog is likely to be injured at least once or twice during its lifetime, mainly because they are so adventurous. Accidents happen, so don't worry, just do your best to plan for them ahead of time. Our Edgewater vets will discuss some of the more common injuries in dogs in this blog post.

It's important to take your injured dog to a vet following an injury. Keep your vet's phone number and an emergency vet's phone number handy so you can find advice. You may need to give your dog first aid depending on the severity of his injuries. Here are some of the more common injuries in dogs and how to handle them.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries in dogs are fairly common and can happen for many reasons. Many dogs injure their eyes when they run around in bushes and trees that brush against the eye. A cat cant swipe at a dog or the dog could be attacked and get into a fight with another dog. Another common cause is a dog sticking its head out the window of a moving car.

Eye injuries can include squinting, redness, bulging of the eye, swelling, and excessive tearing or other eye discharge. An eye injury can quickly become severe, so speak to your vet at the first signs. Many eye injuries can be successfully treated with medication if caught early.

Cruciate Ligament Injury

A cruciate ligament injury is another common injury seen in dogs. A dog will hold up its leg when the leg is injured, but most dogs won't bear their leg with their full weight. Knee pain and instability can happen when a dog ruptures the CCL too.

Only a veterinarian can diagnose cruciate ligament injury. Most dogs who have a ligament rupture in one leg will eventually injure the other leg. Fortunately, there are several surgeries for a CCL injury, and the success rate is high.

Spinal Injury

Spinal injuries range from mild to severe. Spinal injuries can range from mild to severe, and can sometimes happen because of genetic predisposition.

When a dog has IVDD (intervertebral disc disease), one or more discs in between the vertebrae bulge or rupture. This makes disc material and inflammation put pressure on the spinal cord. Some owners report a drunk-like gait or an inability to walk.

In some cases, IVDD can be managed with medications and rest. More serious cases require surgery.

Spinal fractures are less common in dogs than IVDD and typically occur with major trauma.

Oral Injury

Oral injuries in dogs are normally caused by something they were eating or chewing on. Teeth, gums, tongue, and other soft tissue can be injured by bones, antlers, and hooves. Bones that have become lodged around the lower jaw and teeth can cause problems.

Chewing on sticks and twigs can also cause mouth injuries in dogs. Vets frequently see dogs with parts of sticks stuck on the roof of their mouths (lodged between the molars).

When dogs fight, they may bite at each other's faces, causing mouth wounds.

Minor wounds like scrapes and cuts can be treated with medications. Larger cuts and tooth fractures usually require oral surgery.

Cuts & Scratches

Cuts and scrapes are common among active dogs. Wounds on the body can happen if a dog runs into a sharp object, such as a nail. Dogs' paws are frequently injured after stepping on glass, sharp rocks, or metal. The material can become stuck in the paw pads or between the toes.

If your dog is bleeding you should take him to the vet right away. If there is any material in the wound, the vet might need to remove it surgically if it is stuck deep enough. If the wound is large, stitches may be needed.

Antibiotics might be needed to prevent infection. Anti-inflammatories are also commonly prescribed for pain and swelling.

If you're concerned about an injury to your dog, contact our Edgewater vets right away. We'll make every effort to see your dog as quickly as possible.