How to Care for Cuts on a Dog's Nose

By Mary Lougee

A cut on your dog's nose can bleed profusely and cause concern for the pet and the owner. Superficial cuts can be treated at home by stopping the bleeding, cleaning and disinfecting the cut and adding antibiotic cream. Deep cuts require veterinary attention.

First Things First

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Calm your dog; an elevated heart rate causes more bleeding. All areas of the head including the nose, mouth and face are vascular and contain many blood vessels to produce a large amount of blood from even a small laceration.

Restraining your dog will help you to take care of a bleeding cut on his nose. Tether your dog with a leash to a solid object, such as a table or chair leg. Tie the leash to shorten it so your dog's body is against the object and ask him to "sit."

Stop the Bleeding

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Hold your dog's head with his nose pointing upward. Place a sterile, nonstick gauze pad on the cut and apply gentle but firm pressure. If the blood soaks through the gauze, do not remove it, but place another gauze pad on top of it. Pulling the first gauze pad off can pull the blood clot off your dog's nose and allow it to continue to bleed. Keep adding gauze pads and pressure to your canine companion's nose until the bleeding stops.

Clean and Disinfect the Cut

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Remove the gauze pads from your pooch's nose after the bleeding has stopped for a few minutes. Wet a clean gauze pad with povidone iodine and wipe gently along the outside edges of the cut area. If your dog has long hair on his nose, snip hair back from the laceration with blunt scissors so it doesn't cause infection. Apply a thin ribbon of antibiotic ointment onto the cut to protect it, and gently spread it over the cut with a cotton swab. Release your dog and offer him treats or play fetch to keep him occupied so he doesn't lick the antibiotic ointment off his nose.

Reapply the antibiotic ointment two to three times a day.

Veterinary Visit

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Canine nose cuts that do not stop bleeding within five minutes of pressure application likely will be too deep for home treatment and require veterinary attention. A deep laceration requires hair clipping, closing the wound with stitches and likely an oral antibiotic to prevent infection.

Take your pal to see your veterinarian if the cut becomes red and hot around it. This is a sign that it is infected and will require further care and oral antibiotics.