What To Do When Your Dog Has Been Attacked
You might not ever expect your dog to be attacked by another dog, but unfortunately, it's a possibility you need to prepare for. When you witness a dog fight or attack, your response can help diffuse the situation and help your dog get the medical attention they need to recover. Here's how you should respond during and after the attack:
Do what you can to separate the dogs.
Even if your dog is not the aggressor, they will still have the instinct to fight back and protect themselves when attacked by another dog. Your first goal is to try and diffuse the fight so that your dog does not get any more injuries than they already have.
However, DO NOT get physically between fighting dogs. Even if your dog will never bite you, in a fight like this, survival instincts take over, and your dog could end up harming you. Use another object, like a cane, branch, or umbrella, to knock the dogs apart. Still remain cautious as you get the dogs separated because aggression can take some time to fully melt away.
If there is no way you can separate the dogs yourself, call the police to contact animal control. They will come with the equipment needed.
Unfortunately, most dogs will not come off uninjured in a fight. Teeth can leave puncture wounds, and in some cases, a bite from powerful jaws can tear muscles and damage organs under the skin, even if the cuts on the outside appear superficial. Move your dog as little as possible, and look for signs of trauma by assessing the eyes, ears, main body, and legs. If your dog has open wounds, cover them lightly with a clean towel to prevent contamination. If bleeding copious, apply pressure to wounds.
Call a 24-hour emergency vet and ask for additional instructions. Even if your dog doesn't seem seriously injured, they will need a professional assessment to rule out internal injury.
Follow after-treatment care.
Do not postpone a vet visit after a dog attack. Not only will your dog need antibiotics help stave off infection, but some small cuts can be much deeper than you think, and you want to muscle to repair properly so your dog can walk and run normally after healing. Your dog may also need a rabies booster. Without any vet treatment, blood poisoning becomes a real concern.
After vet care, give all medications and follow instructions as best as possible. You might feel sorry for your dog if they are muzzled or have to wear a cone to prevent licking and nibbling at the wound site, but taking it off early risks reopening the wound, which only prolongs healing. For more information and assistance, contact a local 24-hour animal hospital.