Treating a Chest Wound

Dog Chest

Animal bites, splinters, glass and metal pieces are some of the common causes of chest wounds. Try to remain calm when your pet is hurt. If necessary muzzle your dog.

A puncture wound to the chest usually makes breathing difficult. You will be able to hear a sucking noise. Your pet will often stretch its neck out in an attempt to get more air.

If there is obvious bleeding, cover the area with a wet cloth, gauze pad or a sanitary napkin. If there are no visible signs of an object, apply pressure for about 5 minutes. If the pet bleeds through apply another cloth or pad. Get your pet to the veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.

Dr. Andrew Jones whose blog can be seen at The Internet Pet Vet, suggests covering the puncture with Vaseline or K-Y jelly and wrapping tightly. This seals the puncture and prevents more air from entering the lungs. Take your pet immediately to the veterinarian or emergency.

  • If your pet appears to be in shock, Dr. Jones also suggests placing a bit of honey on your pet’s gums.
  • With puncture wounds of this type, your vet will put a needle into the chest to remove pressure and allow the lungs to work properly.
  • To remove splinters, first wash the area with warm soapy water. Use a tweezers to the pull the splinter out. Wash the area again using warm soapy water or a disinfectant.
  • If your pet receives a gunshot wound. try to staunch the bleeding and get him/her to the vet or emergency immediately.
  • If your pet is shot with an arrow, DO NOT remove the arrow. If you can cut the arrow to about 3 inches without causing more damage, do so. Try to bandage around the entry point to prevent the arrow from moving and take your pet immediately to the vet or emergency.
  • If your pet has had an encounter with a porcupine, your vet will anesthetize him/her and remove the quills.

In all cases, your vet may give your pet a test for tetanus or the antitoxin just to be safe.

In all instances of chest wounds, infection is a strong possibility. That’s why it is so important for your pet to be seen by the vet even though it appears to be a minor wound.

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