My Dog Was Bit By Another Animal. What Do I Need To Do? - STATVet Animal Urgent Care | Tulsa Emergency Veterinarian | Tulsa, OK
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My Dog Was Bit By Another Animal. What Do I Need To Do?

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My Dog Was Bit By Another Animal. What Do I Need To Do?

Can Dogs Get Along With Anyone?


Dogs are wonderful companions, bringing joy and loyalty to our lives. However, there are instances when they encounter other animals that might lead to unexpected confrontations and even bites. It’s crucial for every dog owner to be well-prepared for such situations. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps to take if your beloved furry friend gets bitten by another animal. From immediate care to understanding potential risks, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to ensure your dog’s well-being.


What Do I Need To Do When Another Animal Bites My Dog?


If your dog has been bitten by another animal, here’s what you need to do:

Assess the Situation

Upon discovering that your dog has been bitten, it’s important to remain calm and assess the situation. Check the extent of the injury, looking for signs of bleeding, swelling, or deep wounds. Keep in mind that even seemingly minor bites can lead to infections, so don’t underestimate the situation.

Ensure Your Safety

Before attending to your injured dog, ensure the environment is safe for you and your pet. Keep your distance to avoid further confrontations if the other animal is still present. Your safety comes first.

Gently Restrain Your Dog

Even the friendliest dogs can be anxious or aggressive when in pain. Approach your dog slowly and gently restrain them if necessary, to prevent them from aggravating the wound or biting you in their distress.

Clean the Wound

Once your dog is under control, clean the wound gently with mild soap and water. This will help reduce the risk of infection. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could irritate the wound.

Apply Pressure to Control Bleeding

If the wound is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth to help control the bleeding.

Contact Your Veterinarian

Get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. Describe the situation and follow their guidance on whether your dog needs immediate medical attention or can wait for a scheduled visit. Even if the bite seems minor, it is imperative to get it checked our right away. Relying on at home first aid only often causes delayed infection treatment which can result in surgery or worse.

Update Vaccinations

Even if your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, it’s wise to consult your vet about whether a rabies shot is necessary. Rabies is serious issue that can arise from wounds.

Monitor for Infection

Keep a close eye on the wound for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, discharge, or your dog showing signs of discomfort. If you notice any of these, contact your veterinarian.

Report the Incident

Consider reporting the incident to the local animal control or health department if the bite occurred in a public area. This is especially important if the other animal is a stray or appears to be sick.


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Can Being Bitten Cause Unforeseen Effects On a Dog?


Some bites may appear minor on the surface, but they can lead to various complications and health issues that may not be immediately evident. Here are some potential unforeseen effects that a dog can experience after being bitten by another animal:


Bites can introduce bacteria and pathogens into a dog’s body, leading to infections. Even small wounds can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, which can then spread throughout the body. Infections can cause fever, pain, and discomfort for your dog.


Bites can sometimes result in the formation of abscesses, which are pockets of pus that develop under the skin. These can be painful and may require medical attention to drain and treat properly.

Internal Injuries

Bites that appear minor externally could potentially cause internal injuries. These injuries may not be immediately obvious, leading to internal bleeding or organ damage.

Emotional Trauma

Dogs can experience emotional trauma from being attacked or bitten by another animal. This can result in behavioral changes such as increased anxiety, fear, and aggression.

Transmission of Diseases

Bites can serve as a means of transmitting diseases from one animal to another. Depending on the biting animal, diseases like rabies, FIV, or other infections can be transmitted through a bite.

Wound Complications

Some wounds might seem to heal well initially but can develop complications later on. These complications could include delayed healing, reopening of the wound, or the development of scar tissue that restricts movement.

Pain and Discomfort

Even if the wound itself is not serious, the pain and discomfort from the bite can affect your dog’s overall well-being. Dogs may experience difficulty eating, walking, or even lying down comfortably.

Behavioral Changes

After a traumatic event like a bite, dogs may exhibit changes in behavior. They might become more cautious around other animals, show signs of fear or aggression, or display other behavioral shifts.

Secondary Infections

If a wound isn’t properly cleaned and cared for, it can become susceptible to secondary infections. This can further exacerbate the initial injury and lead to more serious health issues.

It’s important to note that the effects of a bite can vary based on factors such as the size and strength of the biting animal, the location of the bite, the overall health of the dog, and how promptly the wound is treated.


dog bite care




How do I know if the other animal had rabies?

Contact your local animal control or health department if you’re unsure about the other animal’s health status. They can provide guidance on potential rabies exposure and necessary actions.

What signs indicate an infection in a dog’s wound?

Watch for increased redness, swelling, discharge, foul odor, and if your dog seems unusually lethargic or in pain. These signs may indicate an infection.

Is aggression normal after a dog is bitten?

Yes, dogs can exhibit aggression due to pain and fear. Approach your dog cautiously and avoid any sudden movements. If aggressive behavior persists, consult a professional dog trainer.

Can dog bites be prevented?

While you can’t control the behavior of other animals, you can take preventive measures like keeping your dog on a leash, avoiding unfamiliar animals, and ensuring your dog’s vaccinations are up to date.

Should I be concerned about my own safety when treating my dog’s wound?

Yes, your safety is paramount. If your dog is agitated or aggressive, it’s best to seek professional veterinary care. Your safety and your dog’s well-being go hand in hand.




Understanding the potential unforeseen effects of a dog being bitten by another animal is crucial for every responsible dog owner. While some bites may seem minor, they can lead to a range of complications that may not be immediately apparent. From infections and abscesses to emotional trauma and internal injuries, the impact of a bite can extend beyond the initial wound. Often times waiting to get veterinarian care may not be wise. You can always find your local animal urgent care to receive after hours and weekend care for your animal. Here at Statvet we offer bite treatment for dogs and cats who have been bitten and need mild to moderate care upon injury. If your animal is in life threatening condition, it is important that you bring them to an animal hospital for life saving care.

Taking prompt and appropriate action when your dog is bitten is essential. Cleaning and treating the wound, seeking professional veterinary care, and closely monitoring for signs of infection or other complications are all important steps to ensure your dog’s well-being. Additionally, being aware of the possibility of disease transmission and behavioral changes allows you to address these issues proactively.

Ultimately, being prepared to handle the aftermath of a dog bite can significantly affect your pet’s recovery and overall health. You’re demonstrating your commitment to being a responsible and caring dog owner by staying informed, calm, and providing the necessary care and attention.