Skin wounds on a dog vary in nature and severity. The treatment of the wound depends upon the type of the wound and the severity. There are several different types of canine skin wounds, and the classifications are similar to that of human skin wounds.
There are two basic types of canine skin wounds: open and closed. The names refer to the status of the dog's skin after the wound has occurred. An open wound cuts through one or more layers of the dog's skin. A closed wound does not penetrate the skin, but causes subcutaneous, or below skin, injury.
Open canine skin wounds include injuries such as incisions, abrasions, lacerations, punctuations, penetrations and gunshot wounds. Incisions occur when the skin is cut with a sharp object like a knife, razor or piece of glass. An incision is a clean cut with no jagged edges. Abrasions are wounds where the skin has been rubbed or torn off. This usually goes no deeper than the first layer of the skin, or the epidermis. Lacerations have jagged edges and are caused by a tearing of the skin.
Punctuations happen when an object punctures the skin, a needle used for medical purposes or a nail that was accidentally stepped on, for example. Penetration wounds are tricky and are often mistaken for puncture wounds. A penetration wound occurs when an object enters and is removed from the skin, such as a stabbing with a knife. Gunshot wounds should need no further explanation and are the hardest type of dog wound to deal with, medically and emotionally.
Closed dog skin wounds include injuries like contusions, hematomas, crush wounds, traumatic wounds and chronic wounds. A contusion is simply a fancy word for a bruise. A bruise is damage to tissues or blood vessels under the skin caused by blunt force trauma – a whack or a smack. A hematoma is damage to a blood vessel that causes a welling or pooling of blood beneath the skin. It is sometimes called by the misnomer "blood tumor." Crush injuries are caused by an amount of pressure applied to the skin for a long period of time, such as strangulation.
Traumatic wounds include incidents like being hit by a car, in which multiple skin and bodily injuries occur. Chronic wounds are seen with underlying diseases, like diabetic ulcers.
Dog skin wounds undergo three basic stages of healing, just as humans do. The inflammatory phase, where the wound swells; the proliferation phase, where the dog skin wound closes and begins to regenerate and the regeneration phase, where the scar tissue is assimilated into the dog's body are the three main stages of healing. Be mindful of your dog's injuries. Chronic canine skin wounds may indicate a more serious problem. Speak to a licensed veterinary professional to rule out a more dangerous health problem. You should also speak to a licensed veterinary medical professional if the wound is severe in nature or other injuries are present. Delayed healing, foul odor, green or yellow discharge, excessive blood or pus or swelling and pain for several days are also cause for concern.