How to Take Care of Your Dog's Small Puncture Wound

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Small puncture wounds from items your dog steps on or bumps into can be cared for at home by removing any foreign material, cleaning the wound and medicating it. Bite wounds, wounds that penetrate all layers of the skin, or wounds in a sensitive area are major wounds and require veterinary attention. You must watch your dog closely after using home care to make certain his puncture wound does not become infected.


Common Canine Puncture Wounds

Common Canine Puncture Wounds
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Puncture wounds are common for dogs that like to wander around and play outside. Your dog may have a puncture wound from a splinter that he steps on. Puncture wounds occur often from glass, metal or nails in your dog's pads. A curious pooch can run into a porcupine and have a new hairstyle with quills. Puncture wounds also occur when your dog receives a bite from another dog or a cat. A minor puncture would only penetrates a few layers of skin and is not a deep wound. Splinter care includes removing the splinter with tweezers and washing the area with soap and water. Minor puncture wounds from metal, nails or glass need minor puncture wound treatment.



If your dog encounters a porcupine and has quills embedded in his skin, take him to your veterinarian immediately. The standard procedure to remove the quills is to give your dog anesthesia and then remove the quills.

Minor Puncture Wound Treatment

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers

  • Water-based lubricant

  • Electric clippers or scissors

  • Clean towels

  • Antiseptic solution

  • Antimicrobial ointment

Step 1

Sit on the floor if you have a large dog or put a small dog on a counter top. Have a second person help hold your dog if need be.


If your dog is in pain or fearful, he could bite you. Calm your pet before cleaning his wound and use a muzzle if necessary.

Step 2

Remove the foreign object that punctured your dog with tweezers if it remains in his skin.


Step 3

Apply water-based lubricant to the puncture wound and a few inches around it. Shave the area of the puncture and around it with electric clippers or scissors so you can see the wound. Take care not to cut your dog's skin with scissors. The lubricant keeps cut hair from entering the puncture wound to decrease contamination.


Step 4

Wipe the cut hair and water-based lubricant off your pet with a clean towel.

Step 5

Wash the area with warm water and soap to remove any debris from the wound, and pat the area dry with a clean towel.


Step 6

Apply an antiseptic solution to the wound and around it where the hair is cut.

Step 7

Place a layer of antimicrobial ointment on the puncture wound.

Step 8

Clean debris from the wound two to three times a day and reapply the antiseptic solution and the antimicrobial ointment until the wound is healed.



Call your vet if the wound worsens or doesn't heal within a week.

Signs of Infection

Any type of puncture wound on your dog can become infected and lead to an abscess. Objects that cause a puncture wound carry the debris or dirt on them into your pet's skin. Puncture wounds can seal over and trap bacteria inside that leads to infection. The infected site will be warm to the touch, and your dog may have a fever, stop eating and appear unwell. If you notice any of these signs after treating a puncture wound at home, take your pooch to your vet for an examination and antibiotics.

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.



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