Dog Injuries: Everything You Need to Know

Categorized as Misc

Whether your dog is training for a competition or simply in a playful mood, accidents are an unfortunate possibility. In fact, research from the American Veterinary Medical Association states that 41.7% of dogs competing and training in agility competitions have experienced an injury.

The article further highlighted that the breed of dog can also influence the frequency and the type of injury, with Border Collies being the most susceptible to injuries.

No one wants their furry friend to get hurt, but it’s always important to know what to do in case your dog does get injured. Here’s everything that you need to know about dog injuries.

Common Dog Injuries

Dogs are often energetic and brave. While this makes them the perfect partners for adventures, the Spruce Pets warns that dogs can get injured because of this particular trait. As such, they recommend that you watch out for these common dog injuries:

Major Trauma

This can cause both internal and external injuries, making it the most common medical emergency for dogs. Trauma is typically caused when dogs fall from a height or get hit by a car.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries can be a consequence of minor or major trauma. But unfortunately, spinal injuries can also occur because of genetics or breed predisposition.

Dog Fight Wounds

A dog fight can be very detrimental to a dog’s health and can cause deep wounds and even infections. Small breeds can even suffer neurological damage or internal injuries if the confrontation is particularly violent, so they’re best avoided or broken up quickly.

Oral Injuries

Oral injuries can stem from a wide array of causes, such as dog fights or even simply their food. As a dog owner, you should take a closer look at the sticks, bones, and items that they chew because they can cause injuries in their mouth.

Limb Injuries

A lot of dogs actually suffer cruciate ligament injuries, as the ligament stabilizes the knee. While limping is a tell-tale sign of cruciate ligament and other limb injuries, minor fractures may not be as obvious unless your dog gets an X-ray.

Can Dogs Heal From Injuries?

The short answer is yes, dogs can heal from their injuries. But of course, the healing process will differ depending on the severity of the injury.

For example, a dog with a broken leg will likely have to undergo surgery and be placed in a cast.

On the other hand, dogs that suffer from minor cuts or bruises can be treated at home with the help of some dog-friendly antiseptics and bandages.

How Do You Tell if a Dog Is Badly Injured?

A dog’s injury can become evident through physical symptoms, behavioral changes, and/or mobility issues.

For example, a dog that has sustained a spinal injury may exhibit changes in behavior such as becoming more aggressive or withdrawn. They may also have difficulty moving their back legs or may be completely paralyzed.

If a dog has sustained a limb injury, they may limp or be unable to put weight on the affected limb. In some cases, a dog’s injury may not be immediately apparent.

Here are some signs that may indicate that your dog has sustained an injury:

Physical Symptoms

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Unusual urination or defecation habits

Behavioral Changes

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased vocalization
  • Irritability
  • Pacing

Mobility Issues

  • Difficulty rising
  • Hesitation to jump or climb stairs
  • Inability to walk on a leash
  • Limping
  • Reluctance to move

How to Treat Dog Injuries

If your dog has a cut, abrasion, or minor wound, then you can provide first aid care at home.

First, you will need to stop the bleeding by applying light pressure on the wound using a cloth, before cleaning the wound with water.

You’ll also need to remove any foreign objects, like glass or thorns, using a tweezer to clean the area. Finally, disinfect the wound using diluted betadine or chlorhexidine and cover it up with a bandage.

The Costs of Injury Treatment

While there are injuries that you can treat at home, there are cases when your dog needs immediate medical attention. So if your dog gets serious injuries, it’s best to take them to a veterinarian who has the proper equipment and knowledge regarding these conditions.

Because veterinarians provide specialized care for your dog, an article published in the National Library of Medicine highlights that dog owners spend an average of $161 per visit.

The increased costs of labor, medical equipment, and supplies, among other things, can contribute to a larger medical bill, depending on the severity of the injury.

Since high energy and active dogs are more susceptible to accidents, it’s no surprise that a guide to what pet insurance covers by Sound Dollar cites injuries as one of the motivators for dog owners to get pet insurance in the first place.

Pet insurance typically covers treatments for poisonings, car accidents, sprains, and even animal bites, thus giving your furry friend the best chance of recovery without affecting your own financial security.

How to Prevent Dog Injuries

Accidents can certainly happen, but there are plenty of ways to prevent injuries. Our article on the ‘15 Best Exercise Ideas for German Shepherds’ recommends muscle training exercises so that you can keep tendon and joint injuries at bay.

You can even provide your dog with toys so that they’ll be encouraged to get moving with low-impact play and exercise. It’s also crucial to stop your pet from jumping from heights or minimize their interactions with unfriendly dogs, as these instances can bring potential dangers.

It’s heartbreaking for any pet owner to see their beloved pet in pain. To help pets live a healthier, longer life, it’s always best to protect them from dangerous situations and to prepare for their immediate care in case of any accidents.


Dogs are susceptible to a variety of injuries, which can range from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious conditions that require immediate veterinary attention.

In this article, we’ve outlined some of the most common types of dog injuries as well as how you can provide first aid care at home.

We’ve also highlighted the costs associated with dog injury treatment and ways to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

By understanding and preparing for potential risks, you can help your furry friend live a happy and healthy life.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.