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Doc James
Doc James, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1728
Experience:  10 years small animal veterinarian, acupuncturist
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My dog has torn quarter size flap of skin on his front leg

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My dog has torn quarter size flap of skin on his front leg right at the knee joint. It has been over 24 hours so it may be too late to have it stitched. How can I treat it (isn't bleeding)?

You've got a couple of options here, but you're most likely going to need to see a vet at some point. The question is when.

You can certainly leave this to heal by second intention, which basically means letting it scab over. You'd want to trim the flap, but I'd always recommend a local anesthetic for that, and expect it to bleed. My concerns are also that it is right at the knee. This is problematic for two reasons.

The first is that you don't want infection, because it is possible that this will spread into the joint, and that turns really bad really quickly. The second is that the knee is constantly flexing, and it may take a really long time for that to heal with second intention.

You can try it, and some people use topical products like neosporin. I am not a fan, because anything topical draws the dog's attention to the area, and they lick. This will not aid in healing.

While you are right that you cannot suture a wound closed that is over 24 hours old, you can start the dog on antibiotics, and then take a larger area and suture it after 3 days on the antibiotic. This will allow you to close it, and may give you better healing.

But, you have the two options. You can start to try to manage it at home and see how it goes, or see your vet, get started on the antibiotic, trim the flap, and consider closing it in 3 days. Either way will work.

Let me know if you have more questions.

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