What to Do if Your Dog is Bitten By Another Dog and Has Swelling

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

We all have that dread in the back of our minds thinking that when we are out with our dog there’s a chance another dog will attack and bite our beloved pet. It’s a fear most pet owners have, but if the situation happened would you know what to do? There are a few important steps you should take when your dog is bitten by another dog and has swelling from the bite.

1. Seek an Emergency Vet

If your dog was bitten by another dog, it’s important that you seek veterinary assistance immediately if possible. A dog bite may lead to serious infection, even if there’s lack of bleeding around the bite itself. The biggest issue you have to be aware of is that the wound you see on the outside is often times not the only damage sustained in the bite.

There is a high chance of tissue damage or nerve damage from the bite itself, which would be found internally underneath the actual wound you see. Due to the high chance of infections from a dog bite, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you can. The legs, neck, and torso are more susceptible to infection, so the location of the bite matters. The veterinarian can assess the situation and come up with the best course of action.

2. Control Dog’s Bleeding

Look at the wound and see if there is bleeding from wound, then disinfect the wound gently with water and soap. You want to then apply a clean cloth to the wound and tighten it to control the bleeding until your dog gets to the veterinarian.

It’s important with all the injuries that you control your dog’s bleeding as much as you can using any clean cloth you have around. Controlling the bleeding now might save your dog from needing a blood transfusion, which happens when a dog loses a significant amount of blood.

3. Restrict Dog’s Movement

The bite may have caused internal injuries to joints or cartilage, so try to keep your dog as calm and still as possible. You also want to wrap him in a towel if he will let you, which allows you to better restrict his movement and prevent further damage to joints or cartilage.

If your dog will not allow you to wrap him up, then try to carry him or put him in a crate where his movement will be limited for the time being. You don’t want him to just start walking around like nothing happened after the dog bite because internal injuries you can’t see could be a serious issue.

How to Tell if a Dog’s Wound is Infected

Your dog might develop an abscess near the area where he was bitten by another dog, and these can easily become infected . If a wound is infected, there are a few signs and symptoms that you may notice within a week of the bite taking place. Redness and inflammation near the wound is very common if an infection is present.

Very obvious signs of an infection you may notice are bleeding, oozing, or weeping near the wound. The area might also feel very warm to the touch. Your dog might also experience a lack of appetite and general lethargy due to the infection. A fever is also a common sign of an infection that you need to watch out for. There is also the possibility of hair loss near where the wound is located, which is helpful since it can give you a better look at any weeping or oozing going on.


  • Elizabeth Biard | 05/05/2022

    His neck is swollen. But not punctured. Can I use epsom salt or Benadryl. Anything over counter for help

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