Dogs incur minor skin injuries all the time, especially the more adventurous breeds. This may occur from scraping against a rock or hard surface (abrasions), bumping against a blunt object which damages small blood vessels (bruises), or a cut from a bush, a thorn, or other sharp object (lacerations).
Always check your dog from head to tail after he goes outside, or when you return home from work, to see if it acquired any minor injuries. If you should find any, re-examine him more thoroughly to see if there are deeper wounds.
Minor injuries occur most frequently on the legs and paws, especially after exercising in the woods or areas with overgrown shrubbery.
Note: If a joint or paw is bruised and swollen, do not follow these guidelines -- assume there are deeper injuries and consult a veterinarian immediately.
You will need to change the bandages every day until the wound heals and keep them from getting wet. If you notice an unpleasant smell coming from the bandages when you change them, contact your vet immediately. When dealing with minor injuries, a small film of triple antibiotic ointment can be applied to the affected area two to three times a day. Do not, however, apply a large amount of ointment on the area, as your dog may be tempted to lick it.
Playing and fighting with other dogs can also cause minor injuries. Be extra cautious if your pet is wounded by a strange or stray dog, as it may be infected with a contagious disease such as rabies.
Dogs try to lick their wounds because their saliva contains a mild antiseptic ingredient. This is normal, but should still be limited as excessive licking can become compulsive and cause severe problems.
Any drug that kills organisms in an animal's tissue or prevents the growth of more.