Your dog or cat has a brief scuffle with another dog at the house, dog park, on a walk or somewhere else. You find some small cuts, but your buddy seems active and happy. Life goes on as normal, until it doesn’t.

Suddenly, your buddy becomes significantly ill. Wounds that seem minor can fester and develop into serious infections. There can be internal trauma. A dog’s or cat’s body can compensate for some degree of compromise, and then reaches a point in which there is significant illness.

Why does this matter? Because early intervention can prevent minor injuries from becoming a major health threat. Unfortunately, disease can progress and even cause death. Pets that are older, younger and with underlying illness are more at risk.

Early medical intervention is the best strategy. It gives your companion the best chance to stay healthy and strong. It also will cost less in the long run.

Wounds should be shaved and cleaned. Deeper trauma may need to be surgically explored. Antibiotics generally are recommended. Pain medication may or may not be needed. X-rays and other diagnostics may be suggested. Supportive care may be needed. Additional care needs will depend on the level of injury.

Your veterinarian is the best person to make recommendations for the optimal health of your companions. You can help your buddy by bringing him or her to your medical professional as soon as possible.

 

Dr. Julie Damron is the medical director at Stockton Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. She is also the founder of Loving Tails, an organization that provides vaccines and other care for pets of the homeless. Contact her at features@recordnet.com.