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A laceration is a wound produced by the tearing of body tissue. The skin is often involved. Unlike an incision with smooth edges, a laceration is often jagged and irregular.

There can be variable degrees of damage to the underlying body tissue and structures depending on the depth and force of the trauma that caused the laceration. Minor trauma may damage the skin only. Major trauma may damage deeper muscles and tendons, or extend into the abdominal or chest cavities.

The wound created by the laceration is frequently contaminated with debris and bacteria.

All lacerations have the potential for hemorrhage (bleeding) or infection.

Watch for lacerations associated with the following signs because your pet may require emergency treatment:

uncontrolled bleeding
  difficulty breathing
  inability to stand
  abnormal mental state

If a wound is deep, more than1 inch long or will not stop bleeding after 3 minutes of direct pressure applied get your dog to a vet right away. Applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or sponge can control minor lacerations. If the bleeding doesn't stop within 3 minutes of doing this get to the vet right away. Even if it does stop you should still have a vet check the area and clean it, suture may also be required. A vet is always the best place for advice and information!


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