dog bites dog
August 12, 2011 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Puppy crisis... our dog just got bitten on the nose by another dog, do we need to take her to the emergency clinic tonight?

Riley stuck her nose through the fence of another dog's yard and had a hunk of her nose bitten off. (Gory pic) (Cute pre-bite pic)

She doesn't seem in a ton of pain and it's not gushing blood, but she's licking it off intermittently so it's hard to tell how much it is bleeding.

Do we need to take her to the emergency vet tonight? If she needs stitches will it make any difference if we take her tomorrow morning to the regular vet? She is 7 months old and up to date on her shots.


(P.S. Y'all were awesome with my cat crisis a while back so hopefully you can help us short notice on this too!)
posted by jschu to Pets & Animals (15 answers total)
(In the pic it's hard to see how deep the main cut/ bite is. It goes in about 1-2 mm.)
posted by jschu at 6:38 PM on August 12, 2011

I guess a dog's bite can lead to infection. When I brought my dog in to an emergency clinic they said it was the right thing to do.

I say go.
posted by beccaj at 6:40 PM on August 12, 2011

My rule of thumb (or paw) is: if the injured were a person, would I take them to a doc?

Gash as a result of animal bite? Yes.
posted by zippy at 6:49 PM on August 12, 2011

Is your vet open tomorrow? If it's not bleeding much, there's not much the e-vet can do except give you pain meds. I haven't dealt with that particular injury (though one of mine rubbed all the black off his nose eating through a door, but it didn't bleed. To my surprise, the black grew back.), I think it might swell some or a lot and that will be uncomfortable, but unless you think you need pain control I don't know if you'll gain much from the trip.

Of course, if you're worried, go.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:50 PM on August 12, 2011

It'll scar, but the vet might not be able to fix it any better and that's a really hard place to keep her from licking at it anyway.

If she's not in a lot of pain, see if you can keep some neosporin on the wound until tomorrow.
posted by porpoise at 6:54 PM on August 12, 2011

Pain meds are important! I would go to the emergency vet if it were my dog. I would also want to make sure of the vaccination status of the other dog.
posted by biscotti at 6:54 PM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

I don't know if that's going to need stitches, but the vet can give you antibiotics. Infection would be my main concern - dog bites aren't as bad as cat bites that way, but they can still be nasty.
posted by ErikaB at 6:54 PM on August 12, 2011

Assuming she's not showing signs of pain:

If it were my dog: if I could afford the cost and my regular vet weren't open tomorrow (being a Sunday) I'd go to the e-clinic, but expect to wait a while depending on what other (more pressing) cases they had in queue.

If I could land an appt at my regular vet tomorrow (and/or if cost were an issue), I'd do a cold-compress with a very clean wet (just water!) washcloth (or last resort, paper towels) and throw some Neosporin (or Animax if you have that handy - always good to have on hand when you have animals) and keep her in a tiled spot of the home overnight to prevent bloody spots on fabric. She'll almost certainly lick the Neosporin/Animax off, which is fine. Just reapply as you can and distract her. It will help regardless.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:05 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Doesn't look critical, but seconding those who say to get it looked at tomorrow.

Note that that looks a bit too deep to treat with a topical antibiotic, or I'd say just go with some Bacitracin ointment. But puncture wounds, especially in the blood-rich nose area, can lead to some serious infections.
posted by pla at 7:12 PM on August 12, 2011

Don't go to an emergency vet, but swing by tomorrow just to get some antibiotics. Dog bites can be nasty.
posted by InsanePenguin at 7:27 PM on August 12, 2011

Ok, thanks for the assessment & advice, everyone. She's not in any apparent pain (how!?) and is eating, drinking, and acting like her normal crazy puppy self.

The vet is open tomorrow (Saturday for us) so we'll take her in the morning and see if she needs antibiotics.

posted by jschu at 7:38 PM on August 12, 2011

She's not in any apparent pain (how!?) and is eating, drinking, and acting like her normal crazy puppy self.

Animals don't tend to react to non-debilitating pain the same way humans do. They just accept it as "something wrong, proceed with caution", and get on with their lives (can't just starve to death because you have an ouchie, after all).

Dogs will usually at least let you know they hurt, if not harping on it; cats have the annoying tendency of hiding their pain-that-would-leave-most-of-us-gasping-for-breath until they suddenly drop dead without warning.
posted by pla at 7:46 PM on August 12, 2011

The same exact thing happened to my dog. He has only has a really faint scar you can only see if you know what to look for. I waited a few days to see if it would take care of itself and when it started to swell a little bit I took him to the vet, and got some antibiotics. My vet even said I could probably do without antibiotics (I have the chillest vet ever, if anyone need a vet recommendation in Portland PM me) , but I would rather be safe than sorry. Dogs' noses are pretty resilient. When you think about it, their noses probably get mangled pretty regularly in the wild and whatnot.

To summarize: you should probably take him to the vet but it isn't very urgent. Don't worry about shelling out the extra money for the emergency vet.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2011

That injury would fall in the 'try to see a vet tomorrow' category for me. Bleeding appears to be controlled, the dog doesn't seem to be in debilitating pain... if she's eating and drinking as usual I think you're OK to wait out the night. If it makes you feel better, set your alarm for four am and go check on her.
posted by workerant at 9:22 PM on August 12, 2011

The vet is open tomorrow (Saturday for us) so we'll take her in the morning and see if she needs antibiotics.

Heh. Of course. Sorry, my work week has been a little different from normal. The irony here is that I went and worked 8 hours at a Vet Clinic today, like I do every Saturday.

Hope your baby is doing well!
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:23 PM on August 13, 2011

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