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Dr. Sherry Weaver

Small and superficial cuts may heal well by simply rinsing with clean water and applying an antibiotic ointment three times daily. Flush enough to remove all dirt and debris from the area. It is ok to gently clean the edges of a cut with warm water daily to soften any crusts, but do not scrub the healing cut or apply hydrogen peroxide. Even when diluted, hydrogen peroxide can harm newly-produced healing tissues.

Most cuts that are not deep and gaping will look improved within three days. Any cut that is moist, draining, has reddened, swollen edges after three days should be examined by a veterinarian.

Lacerations are wounds that cut the skin through to the deeper underlying layers. They may be deep enough to involve underlying veins, arteries, nerves, ligaments, muscles, tendons, or even bone. They are usually caused by accidental injury, abuse, or fights. There may be a great deal of bleeding if an artery was torn. Underlying structures such as ligaments or muscle may be visible. First aid depends on the extent of damage, the degree of bleeding, and the cause of the laceration. If profuse bleeding is occurring, do not attempt to clean the wound as you will encourage more bleeding. Bring the animal to the veterinarian.

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