Dogs, like people, may not get along with every other dog they meet. Dogs might bite for various reasons: they could be nervous, protecting something or defending you, or they could be reactive to other dogs based on past experiences. Sometimes, warning snaps are given by dogs, and occasionally it’s a more serious attack; nonetheless, any dog has the capability of biting, and bites can be severe.
If your dog engages in a fight, things can move at a rapid pace. Therefore, it is critical to prioritize your safety and not utilize your hands to pull dogs apart because you might get bitten.
This might work if your dog is on a leash, and you can pull them away from the other dog. This might be more difficult if they aren’t on a leash, and care must be taken not to frighten your dog by grabbing them as they could turn to bite you during the commotion, even if they don’t intend to. You may try distracting the dogs or separating them using branches or an umbrella. Intense battles, on the other hand, are typically brief. Thus, it may not be required to divide them physically.
The excitement will be coursing through all parties during and after a fight, but it is critical to maintain your composure. If your dog is not leashed, get them linked as soon as possible, and urge the other dog’s owner to do the same if their dog is free. If the canine that attacked yours might be labeled out of control or dangerous, you may need to contact the authorities.
It is critical to examine your dog after a fight to ensure that they have not been injured. Minor abrasions from a snap, as well as bruising caused by a grasp, are possible. In other situations, dog bites might cause lacerations or puncture wounds. Talk with the other owner about what occurred and provide contact information if additional action is required.
Try to keep your dog calm and remember if they are wounded and frightened, they may become violent too.
Steps to Take After the Dog Fight
Examine their breathing: They may be breathing quickly or panting after the attack, which is to be expected, but if their breathing is noisy, labored (if they are taking huge breaths in and forcing the air out through their tummy muscles), or they are breathing rapidly and shallow, this might indicate a more significant injury that needs immediate veterinary care.
Is Your Dog Bleeding?
Some minor injuries might ooze, but more severe bites can result in blood spraying or flowing out depending on the location of the bite. If there is a lot of blood gushing from a wound on your dog, put pressure on it with a jacket or blanket if you can. Remember that this may be unpleasant for your dog, so be cautious if you see any indications that they are hurting – even the most pleasant dog can bite you if they’re suffering.
Are there any additional wounds or swelling on your dog?
Examine your dog all over to see if there are any injuries. It’s easy to mistake blood for spilled liquid on a long-haired dog, so feel for damp patches of fur if it’s difficult to detect wounds in the front half of their body. You may find it easier to locate injuries in a long-haired dog because particular areas, such as the eyes, neck, and chest, are particularly vulnerable.
Is your dog able to move after the fight?
Or are they curled up and unconscious? If your dog has not been seriously hurt, they should be able to walk around. Collapse from shock or blood loss can occur. However, more severe injuries might cause paralysis or death.
If your dog is lying down, collapsed, or not responding to you, they require immediate veterinary care.
Do You Need to Call Your Veterinarian after the dog fight?
Talk to your vet with any concerns about what to do after your dog has been injured. If they have substantial open wounds that are collapsed or bleeding profusely, you’ll almost certainly need to visit the vet right away. Veterinarians will always examine a pet in an emergency, and bite injuries receive full attention regardless of how busy they are.
It’s usually unnecessary to rush your dog to the veterinarian if it’s only a minor injury, such as a little cut to the skin or an abrasion. On the other hand, a veterinarian must see more extensive injuries within 24 hours of the fight.
Puncture wounds, small round holes made by another dog’s teeth, can appear tiny and less problematic, but they are typically deep and result in internal damage. If you discover a puncture wound while inspecting your dog, it’s also a reason to seek medical help right away. It’s also critical to find all of the puncture wounds; if a dog has grabbed your dog around the neck, there may be at least four puncture wounds from all four canine teeth of the other dog.
Can You Treat Your Dog Yourself For Injuries after a dog fight?
If your dog’s wound goes all the way through the skin, or if it’s a puncture wound, you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. If it’s a superficial, shallow scratch or graze, though, you may be able to manage it at home for a while.
If your dog’s eyes are bright and they aren’t bleeding profusely, it may be appropriate to bring them home first so that they can get in a calm, quiet setting. Then, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Meanwhile, keep a close eye on your dog to ensure that their condition does not deteriorate. You may also give some basic first aid treatments.
Examine their fur for moist spots, which could be from the other dog’s saliva or your own dog’s blood, and part it to look for bite wounds. If you have a shorter-furred dog, use clippers to remove the hair; however, be cautious since the noise and vibrations might stress your dog after a distressing occurrence. If you accidentally cut the skin with scissors, avoid cutting through the hair.
You may gently flush the wound with cooled boiled water or sterile saline by pouring it over it or pressing a clean, wet cloth against it. Keep an eye on your dog’s eyes since this might irritate them.
Using human topical wound care treatments such as Neosporin or peroxide on dogs is not recommended since these may cause more damage and can be toxic if used in humans.
Is it okay to use a bandage on your dog?
It’s unlikely that your pup will need a bandage unless the bite wound is bleeding and is on their leg. If this is the case, you may cover the injury with a sterile dressing and a light wrap until visiting a veterinarian.
Do not give any pain relief to your dog unless advised by a veterinarian.
Ibuprofen, for example, is a common human pain reliever that can be harmful to dogs and should therefore be avoided. Your veterinarian can recommend safe pain medication, although it’s unlikely to be an over-the-counter pain remedy since such things aren’t accessible for dogs.
Even if the wound appears tiny or your dog does not appear to be affected by the event, some wounds might be more serious, particularly those that are deep or involve specific sections of the body such as the neck or eye. So it is strongly suggested that your dog receives a complete examination by a veterinarian.
Here are some additional steps you can take after your dog was injured during a dog fight:
- Confirm that the dog is current on rabies vaccination
- Confirm whether there was any contact between your dog and other dogs at the event (contact may have occurred before or after the biting incident)
- Confirm that you were not with your pet during the biting incident, or if so, for how long.
- Confirm the location of the bite incident with as much detail as possible (address/city).
- Confirm with all witnesses their relationship to you and your pet(s), their relationship to other involved parties, and what they witnessed.
- Speak with your veterinarian to obtain copies of medical records, if any. Be sure to keep originals in a safe place.
- Keep photos of your pet’s injuries and of the other dog (if possible). Collect names and phone numbers of people involved with the incident.
- Proof that you were within “normal” reach of your dog when it was bitten may help prove that the other dog’s owner was negligent in handling his dog. Of course, this will be difficult if you were not there when the bite occurred, but it is worth noting that this could have been prevented if they kept their animal under control/on leash.
- If the dog violates an existing court order regarding animals(s), report the violation to police and send a copy to animal control.
- A civil suit can be filed for veterinary and other expenses in small claims court (don’t forget to include any lost wages you suffer).
- If the dog is not current on rabies vaccinations, contact your local animal control officer regarding quarantine. If they are unresponsive, then contact your state’s department of agriculture (association of agriculture) or state veterinarian; they may be able to assist. Do not attempt euthanasia if the dog is quarantined due to lack of vaccination unless a vet has thoroughly assessed it with proper training and equipment.
- Report and re-report incidents: you should report and re-report incidents even if the dog is current on vaccinations, as it might be a sign of aggression.
- Please don’t assume your neighbor or park will keep their dog on a leash or out of your yard: you can take them to court for not complying with leash laws and allowing their dogs into your property.
Dogfights are stressful for everyone concerned, and it is critical to remain calm for your dog while also acting promptly: examining your dog for injuries, swelling, and bleeding, as well as obtaining veterinary care immediately. Only if you’re confident your dog’s injuries aren’t serious should you bring them home – and even then, it is strongly advised to see a veterinarian the same day just in case.