The last thing any pet owner wants is to see their dog in pain, but sometimes, accidents happen. Because dogs use their mouths for so much, from eating to playing to communicating with other dogs and people, there is always a chance that a laceration can occur in that area, like a cut tongue or lip. Fortunately, these aren't entirely uncommon and are often not too serious, although a cut on a dog's mouth should always be cared for to prevent further injury or infection.
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General Care Tips
The type of care that you provide for your dog will depend on the exact issue at hand. Regardless of the severity or type of laceration your dog has incurred, keeping the area clean is a must in all scenarios as bacteria found inside a dog's mouth can be harmful if it becomes introduced below the surface of the skin, according to VCA Hospitals. An infected cut in a dog's mouth can result in medical issues like abscesses, septic arthritis, and even an infection of the bones, so it's important that proper care be taken.
Treating Cuts in Dogs Mouths
To begin caring for your dog's laceration, the first think you'll need to do is clean the area. If your dog cut her tongue or other mouth area from chewing on a stick, for example, be sure to gently examine her mouth and remove any remaining wood pieces or splinters from the area. A saline rinse should be used to flush away any remaining dirt or debris from the area. Then, the mouth should be rinsed clean using an antiseptic solution to prevent the possible spread of disease.
Whether your need to see a medical professional to treat your dog's laceration from here will depend on the severity of your dog's injury. Either way, some basic care can be given from home, which will ensure the best chance of a full recovery. Feeding your dog soft food that is easy to chew will allow the mouth wound to heal more quickly, and making fresh water available at all times will reduce the buildup of food or other debris in your dog's mouth. As with any injury or aftercare routine, be sure to keep a close eye on your dog's wound and recovery process, and contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any signs of bleeding or infection on or around the area.
When to See a Vet
In most cases, a laceration will require sutures, according to the Texas Veterinary Dental Center. This is especially true if your dog's bleeding is not stopping after several minutes, or there is a large, visible tear anywhere on or around her mouth or cheek. If a dog lip is split open due to a bite or cut, for example, the area will need to be cleaned of any debris and dirt, and if there is unhealthy tissue around the affected area, that may need to be removed as well. In order for your veterinarian to effectively examine and treat your dog, sedation will likely be needed, especially if the wound is large or painful, although this isn't always the case.
Sometimes, a broken tooth can result in a cut inside the mouth, like on the tongue or inside of the cheek, you may need to seek the professional care of a veterinary dentist. In this case, not only will the laceration and area around it need to be treated, but the tooth will likely need to be addressed to keep the injury from progressing.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.