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 bleeding or infection.
What to Watch For
Diagnostic tests are needed to determine the severity of the laceration and the impact on your pet. Tests may include:
Emergency wound care involves the following principles:
Depending on the severity of the laceration, varying degrees of sedation or anesthesia may be needed. Many lacerations in small mammals are repaired with local anesthetic. After numbing the area, the following treatments are performed:
Home Care and Prevention
If your pet has a laceration, home care may include the following: