Lacerations from various traumas are common in small animal practice. Severity can vary from superficial lacerations involving only the skin and superficial subcutaneous tissue to significant skin loss with damage to underlying soft and hard tissue (Figure 1). The approach to management is the same regardless of cause or severity.

A complete physical examination and, if necessary, additional diagnostic tests should be performed to identify any internal injuries needing immediate attention.1 Pain sensation should be assessed for significant injuries involving the extremities. If there is a delay in managing the laceration, a bandage can protect the wound from further contamination and improve patient comfort. A minimum database appropriate for the physical examination status and patient age should be performed.


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