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After every harmless fight, it is advisable to check the dog for injuries – because even the smallest scratch can cause major damage.

After every harmless fight, it is advisable to check the dog for injuries – because even the smallest scratch can cause major damage.

Most of these injuries occur in the area of ​​the head, neck, and limbs, bites in the chest and abdominal area are particularly dangerous.

Consequences of bite injuries

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The skin does not show any open wounds, but the circulatory disturbance in this area can lead to the death of parts of the skin. However, the extent of the injury often only becomes apparent days later.

Small and deeper wounds

Bite wounds can be very insidious and hide under the fur, as these do not always bleed profusely.

The lower jaw fang of the “culprit” often causes only a scratch on the skin. But the upper jaw fang tears a larger wound, which can even be found on the other side of the body. It is therefore important to look for the “opposite bite”. It is best to run your fingers gently through the fur against the grain to discover even the smallest injuries.

Chest wall injuries

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Deep bite injuries in the chest area can be very dangerous. Due to the disconnection of the skin down to the deepest layers, germs can penetrate into the chest cavity. Aside from the risk of infection, there is also a risk of pneumothorax. The negative pressure in the chest cavity is reduced by the air from outside and the lungs can no longer expand sufficiently. Shortness of breath and cardiovascular problems are the result.

Injuries to the abdominal wall

Bites and/or violent bag movements during a fight in the abdominal area can injure the abdominal muscles. In this case, the intestines are just under the skin. If the skin is also torn open, the intestinal loops are exposed.

Basics for bite injuries

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In any case, careful examination is advisable, because the dog must be expected to react defensively.
By pulling and penetrating the skin with a bite, there is a risk of infection with very stubborn germs.
The germs multiply rapidly in the loose subcutis (subcutis), leading to massive inflammation and possible abscess formation. If the germs get into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, one speaks of sepsis or colloquially of blood poisoning.

First aid and treatment

As in all extreme situations, the priority is to keep CALM.
For your protection, please put on gloves and put a muzzle on the dog during the examination.
Small scratches and small wounds should be shaved and disinfected.
Cover large and profusely bleeding wounds with a swab or clean cloth and apply a pressure bandage if necessary.
In the case of chest and abdominal injuries, if possible, a protective bandage with clean swabs should be applied and the veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible. Announce your coming to the veterinary clinic!
If the abdomen is open and the intestinal loops can be seen, a clean, damp and warm cloth must be tied to the body. If the intestine dries out, the risk of dying tissue is very high.

Bite injuries should never be taken lightly!

A check by the veterinarian is recommended. In order to enable uninterrupted care, advance notice by telephone is advisable and the extent of the injury(s) should also be described.

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In extreme cases, immediate surgery (open chest or abdominal cavity) is necessary and life-saving.