A dog can have a run-in with a barbed wire fence for any number of reasons, such as hunting in areas with barbed wire fences that require the dog to crawl under the fence. If your dog got loose and ran around your neighborhood, she might receive cuts from a neighbor's barbed wire fence. Severe wounds will require veterinary attention, though you can usually treat shallow cuts and lacerations easily at home. If the wound is deep and you know you will have to take your pooch to the vet, it is still a good idea to take measures to clean the wounds and stop the bleeding.
How to Treat a Dog With Barbed Wire Cuts
Keep the dog as calm and quiet as possible. Talk to her using soothing tones and stroke her head or back to comfort her, though you should avoid petting the affected areas. Cut the hair around the wounds with scissors. Make cuts by keeping the scissors parallel to the skin to avoid pulling at the hair. If the wound is deep, wet the scissors first to avoid loose hair falling into the wounds. The hair will stick to the wet scissors rather than fall into the wound.
Use a clean gauze pad or cloth to gently remove any obvious debris from the wounds. Clean the wounds with saline solution or plain water and clean gauze pads or cloths.
Use clean gauze pads or cloths to apply pressure to stop the bleeding if the wounds are deep. Replace the gauze/cloth as needed. Keep pressure on the wounds for at least five minutes.
Take your dog to your veterinarian if the bleeding has not subsided after five minutes. Apply a clean non-stick, stretchy bandage to the wound and have a friend or family member drive you to the vet so you can continue to apply pressure to the wound. Continue to talk to your dog in soothing tones while placing her in your vehicle and taking her to the vet.
Follow your veterinarian's instructions post-treatment to ensure your dog's wounds heal properly. Depending on how deep the wounds are, stitches might be necessary. Monitor your dog's recovery. Wounds that appear abscessed or otherwise have a strong odor indicate infection. Call your veterinarian for further instruction.