My Dog Has a Cut in Their Mouth - Oral Lacerations in Dogs (2023)

My Dog Has a Cut in Their Mouth - Oral Lacerations in Dogs (1)

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It is not always easy to see when our dog has oral health problems. Not only are cuts, lacerations, ulcers and sores on the inside of their mouth, but dogs are particularly good a hiding signs of pain. If your dog has a cut in their mouth, you may only observe it when you look inside. Too many guardians don't look into their dog's mouth regularly. It is important we do so as an oral health problem might worsen or it may even be a sign of a larger systemic problem.

At AnimalWised, we look at what happens when your dog has a cut in their mouth. We look at some of the common causes of a dog having lacerations in the mouth, as well as how to avoid complications and better ensure healing.


  1. Oral wounds in dogs
  2. Causes of cuts in a dog's mouth
  3. How to treat cuts in a dog's mouth
  4. Natural remedies for cuts in a dog's mouth

Oral wounds in dogs

Oral wounds are injuries that occur in the oral mucosa and the tongue in the dog's mouth. The mucosa is the sensitive tissue which makes up the dog's gums, a structure also known as gingiva. It also covers the other parts of the inside of their mouth such as their palate. The mucosa is more sensitive to damage, but this usually isn't a problem since it should remain protected inside the mouth.

However, there are ways in which the oral cavity can be cut or lacerated. When this occurs, we may not always see bleeding from the dog's mouth. While blood vessels are connected to the mucosa since they are not sufficiently deep. If there is a lot of blood, it means the cut is very bad.

There are gradations of cuts in a dog's mouth. If they have a small cut, it will not usually bleed for long and will usually heal on its own very quickly. This is because the oral mucosa usually heals faster than other areas such as the skin. If a cut becomes infected, it can ulcerate or develop into a sore. Sores and mouth ulcers can also develop even if no physical trauma has been incurred.

(Video) Dog first aid: how to help a dog with a cut tongue

When your dog has a cut or sore in their mouth, good oral health will be essential to prevent infection of these lesions. This is because bacteria which proliferate in the dog's mouth can infect the lesion, something which can even result in blood poisoning.

Learn more about canine oral hygiene with our article on how to clean a dog's teeth.

Causes of cuts in a dog's mouth

An oral wound or a sore that forms from it can have various underlying causes. The following are the main causes of cuts in a dog's mouth:

  • Chewing on hard objects
  • Ingestion of indigestible objects
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Diabetes
  • Foxtails and similar sharp vegetation
  • Stress

Physical trauma is a common reason a dog will cut their mouths. Since dogs investigate their environment with their mouths, they pick up objects and test them with their mouths. They may do this and bite down hard on something which is sharp or spiky, damaging the sensitive mucosa in their mouth. However, they will usually exercise some caution, so they will usually stop biting if something injures them. Dogs may also eat something which appears safe, but has something inside which lacerates their mouth.

A dog's gums and other mucosa are a good indicator of a dog's overall health. When they are bright pink and have no lesions, it's a good sign and implies they are healthy. If they become darker or start to bleed, it means they either have a localized oral health problem or a systemic problem which has weakened their immunity. This is why dogs with diseases such as leishmaniasis or diabetes can develop cuts more easily.

Foxtails are arrow-shaped grass spikelets which are used for seed dispersal of certain grasses. They are very sharp and are common in spring. If a dog is outside playing, they may accidentally get a foxtail in their mouth which can cause them serious pain as it will dig into their mouth.

Stress can also weaken a dog's immune system. This can make them more susceptible to cuts, but only if the stress is very acute.

(Video) Oral Injuries in Dogs | Wag!

Take a look at our related article to see other reasons why a dog is bleeding from the mouth.

How to treat cuts in a dog's mouth

When we see a minor cut in our dog's mouth, it might not be necessary to go to a veterinarian. If the cut is small and stops bleeding after a short time, it should heal swiftly. However, if we see the dog's mucus membranes are discolored, the cut doesn't stop bleeding, it is deep, it has ulcerated or there are many at one time, it is best to seek professional help.

After the professional assesses the cut, they can diagnose the underlying cause. They may test for problems such as leishmaniasis or diabetes in dogs. They will perform a physical examination and look at the patient's history. If an infection is detected, they may need a blood test to determine the type of bacteria and the subsequent appropriate antibiotic treatment.

In cases when a wound has become inflamed, the dog may require an anti-inflammatory medication. This may be in the form of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) oral medication or a topical product.

When we are caring for a dog with cuts in their mouth, we should tend to them at home. We will do this with the following:

  • Wash the area with water and a little neutral soap.
  • Dry carefully with the help of a cotton gauze.
  • Apply a disinfectant product.
  • Cover the wound or sore with the topical anti-inflammatory product.

This treatment must be repeated daily until the wound or sore has completely healed. We need to bear in mind this can take some time, especially if their immune system is weakened by an underlying pathology.

My Dog Has a Cut in Their Mouth - Oral Lacerations in Dogs (3)
(Video) "Bite Wounds" in Dogs and Cats! How Serious They Are?

Natural remedies for cuts in a dog's mouth

Many people propose the use of various home remedies which are believed to accelerate healing. This include the use of products such as honey, aloe vera or homeopathic products. However, these are usually unnecessary and in some cases can be counterproductive.

For example, honey is believed to have some antimicrobial properties, but not considerably so. In addition, its use in a dog's mouth is more likely to promote bacterial plaque and ingestion is not generally good for dogs. In large amounts, aloe vera is toxic to dogs and shouldn't be used in their mouth. Evidence to prove its effectiveness for treating other skin problems is also insufficient.

In the majority causes of minor cuts and lacerations of a dog's mouth, they will heal them selves. If we see symptoms of infection, ulceration or signs of systemic disease, we should seek veterinary advice.

It is also important to distinguish between a cut in a dog's mouth and a dental disease. In the latter, gum bleeding is not due to trauma, but to other oral health problems. Learn more with our article on common dental diseases in dogs.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to My Dog Has a Cut in Their Mouth, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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What do you do for a cut in a dog's mouth? ›

Initially, the oral cavity can be rinsed with an oral antiseptic solution and the wound should be explored to determine the extent and depth of the laceration. Any traumatized or devitalized tissue must be debrided. Warm saline can then be used to flush the wound, rinsing away any debris.

Will a dogs mouth heal on its own? ›

There are gradations of cuts in a dog's mouth. If they have a small cut, it will not usually bleed for long and will usually heal on its own very quickly. This is because the oral mucosa usually heals faster than other areas such as the skin.

How long does it take for a dog's mouth to heal? ›

This typically takes two weeks.

Can you put Neosporin on dogs mouth? ›

Neosporin should never be used in the ears, eyes, or mouth. Neosporin may be good to have on hand in a pinch, but it is not designed for pets and should not be used often.

How long does the mouth take to heal? ›

What to Expect: Small cuts and scrapes inside the mouth heal up in 3 or 4 days. Infections of mouth injuries are rare.

How fast does the mouth heal itself? ›

Researchers then monitored the healing process of each injury and found that, as hypothesized, the injuries in the mouth healed much quicker – within a few days – while the injuries on the underarms took upwards of two weeks to heal.

Do oral injuries heal fast? ›

It's true – wounds in the mouth really do heal much faster than cuts to the skin. A study has discovered that the lining of the mouth is permanently primed for healing. The finding could lead to new ways to improve wound-healing elsewhere in the body.

Does dog saliva heal wounds faster? ›

There is nothing in a dog's saliva that can make wounds heal faster. They don't heal their wounds by licking; they simply keep them clean to prevent infection. It is important to remember that dogs in the wild can easily succumb to infected wounds – and they often do.

What can I give a dog for a sore mouth? ›

Many pet owners have found success using soft food diets for their pets with tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Soft food is easier to chew and digest than hard kibble, making it easier on your dog or cat's mouth and digestive system.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide in a dog's mouth? ›

Make sure you have a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Higher concentrations are toxic and can cause serious damage. Administer the proper amount: the suggested dosage is 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of the dog's body weight by mouth, with a maximum dose of 3 tablespoons for dogs who weigh more than 45 pounds.

Can I use hydrogen peroxide on my dog? ›

Use hydrogen peroxide to treat a dog's wound only once, if at all. Hydrogen peroxide can be used initially on a wound to decontaminate it, but it should not be used repeatedly – and, truth be told, there are better ways to clean a wound.

What is a natural antiseptic for dogs? ›

Vinegar, in particular apple cider vinegar, has long been used for first aid. Vinegar has been used to treat minor dog wounds because not only does it have the ability to disinfect the area, and wash away unwanted fur and debris, it also has a soothing effect on the dog's coat.

Which medicine is best for wound healing for dogs? ›

Once a wound has begun to heal, it is no longer as painful. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as meloxicam (Metacam®), deracoxib (Deramaxx®), or carprofen (Rimadyl®) are often prescribed.

What helps wounds heal faster in dogs? ›

Once the wound is clean, you will want to apply an antibiotic ointment or cream. This will help to prevent infection and will also help the wound heal faster. Be sure to follow the directions on the package. You will also want to apply a bandage to the wound.

What antibiotics can dogs take for mouth infection? ›

Amoxicillin-clavulanate, clindamycin, and nitroimidazoles, such as metronidazole and tinidazole, seem to be particularly effective based on pharmacokinetic and clinical studies.

What human ointment is safe for dogs? ›

Neosporin® is a common topical antibiotic used on minor cuts and scrapes. This ointment is pretty safe in dogs and should be in every first aid kit. Verify that the ointment only contains antibiotic and not steroids, which can actually delay healing.

What antibiotic ointment is safe for dogs? ›

An excellent essential choice for antibiotic cream for dogs is a cream that contains either neomycin or bacitracin. These ingredients are typically safe for dogs and are easily found over the counter in various stores.

What promotes healing in the mouth? ›

Saliva promotes healing and also contains proteins that aid tissue repair. Research also shows that the tissues inside your mouth make new cells faster than other parts of the body. You can help your cut heal faster by keeping it clean and being very careful around the area to avoid further trauma or damage.

Do mouth wounds heal faster or slower? ›

Wounds in the oral cavity heal faster and with less scarring than wounds in other parts of the body. One of the factors implicated in this phenomenon is the presence of saliva, which promotes the healing of oral wounds in several ways.

How do you know if cut in mouth is infected? ›

You develop any of these signs of infection:
  1. Redness that expands to the surrounding area.
  2. Tender and painful.
  3. Fever develops.
  4. A pimple-like swelling with pus.
  5. Swelling increases and bruising of skin or hematoma may occur.
6 days ago

Does saliva heal mouth wounds? ›

Abstract. Oral wounds heal faster and with less scar formation than skin wounds. One of the key factors involved is saliva, which promotes wound healing in several ways. Saliva creates a humid environment, thus improving the survival and functioning of inflammatory cells that are crucial for wound healing.

Does mouth tissue grow back? ›

While your gums won't grow back on their own, surgical treatment can be used to replace the missing tissue, and restore both your appearance and your oral health. Gum grafting involves taking soft tissue from another part of the mouth and grafting it onto your gums.

How long do cut gums take to heal? ›

Healing time

While your gums are tender and may bleed easier than other areas of the body, they're also more likely to heal quickly. You can expect a minor cut on the gums to heal within 3 to 4 days. The anticipated healing time may be longer if the cut is more severe and needs stitches or if it becomes infected.

How do I clean the bacteria out of my dogs mouth? ›

Brushing your furry friend's teeth can be tricky, but it's the gold standard of care. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) recommends daily brushing to destroy harmful bacteria in their mouths and prevent buildup from returning.

What can I put on my dogs infected gums? ›

Give A Daily Probiotic Supplement

Probiotic supplements help create a healthy bacterial environment in your dog's mouth. Probiotics will boost the microbiome in your dog's mouth. Building good bacteria helps control bad bacteria that can cause gum disease and contribute to plaque and tartar on the teeth.

How is oral trauma treated? ›

Soft-tissue injuries.
  1. Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
  2. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. ...
  3. To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
31 Oct 2021

Why do wounds in mouth take long to heal? ›

In skin, women's wounds heal faster than men's in part because inflammation causes them to close faster. "The more inflammation a person has inside the mouth, the slower wounds appear to heal," Engeland said.

How do you treat mouth trauma? ›

Home treatment

Contact your doctor immediately or go to your local urgent care if the bleeding does not stop. Apply an ice cube or ice pop to the injury for 20 minutes to reduce swelling. Take pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce pain and swelling. Eat soft foods so they do not disturb the injury.

Do dogs have natural antibiotics in their saliva? ›

As unlikely as it sounds, scientific evidence suggests that dog saliva, and even human saliva, has some antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Dog saliva is even slightly bactericidal against Escherichia coli (E. coli), and against Streptococcus canis, which can be passed from companion animals to humans.

Should you let dogs lick their wounds? ›

Not only can licking wounds lead to infections, it can also cause irritation and damage to the surrounding tissues and the wound area. This, in turn, can lead to delayed healing and potentially even increase the size of the wound. In some cases, dogs lick at their wounds so much they reopen wounds that are healing.

What happens if dog licks wound? ›

Unfortunately, dog saliva can infect wounds. There are a number of bacteria present in animals' mouths that can cause infections in people, some of which can be severe. One example is a bacteria called Pasteurella that grows well in areas without air, such as deep wounds.

Do dogs feel mouth pain? ›

Causes of Tooth/Oral Pain in Dogs

There is a plethora of conditions that will cause oral pain in dogs. Gingivitis, periodontitis, broken teeth, oral lacerations, jaw fractures and cancer of the oral cavity are all painful conditions that our furry friends could experience.

What is a good homemade toothpaste for dogs? ›

Fresh Breath Toothpaste For Dogs
  • ¼ tsp dried or 4-5 fresh minced parsley leaves.
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp olive oil.
  • 1 Tbsp water (or as needed)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp baking soda.
  • ¼ tsp dried or 2-3 fresh minced mint leaves (optional)
15 Dec 2021

Can you use baking soda to clean a dog's teeth? ›

No. Baking soda has a high alkaline content and, if swallowed, it can upset the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract. In addition, baking soda does not taste good which may cause your dog to be uncooperative when you try to brush his teeth.

What hydrogen peroxide should I give my dog? ›

Usually, your vet will recommend hydrogen peroxide (3% solution). According to Dr. Jennifer Coates of PetMD, the following instructions can be followed to safely make your dog vomit in an emergency1. The amount of hydrogen peroxide to give is 1 milliliter (ml) per pound of body weight.

Can you give a dog Amoxicillin 500mg? ›

Dosing instructions

Amoxicillin is dosed based on your dog's body weight and what infection your vet is trying to treat. A typical dosage used by many vets is 5 to 10mg per pound. This means a 50-pound dog would need to take 500mg twice a day. This is usually given for 10 to 14 days.

Will it hurt a dog to lick hydrogen peroxide? ›

Though effective in dogs to release ingestion of harmful toxins, 3% hydrogen peroxide can cause inflammation and ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract. Immediately consult with a veterinarian if you think your pet has ingested a harmful chemical.

How do you disinfect a dog wound? ›

After you've flushed the wound with water or saline, gently clean it with the diluted chlorhexidine or iodine solution. If there is blood around the wound you can use hydrogen peroxide to help remove it from the fur, but do not put the hydrogen peroxide directly into the wound.

How can I get antibiotics for my dog without going to the vet? ›

Many pet stores, including online pet stores, carry antibiotics that are safe to use for dogs.

What is the strongest natural antibiotic for dogs? ›

What products are natural antibiotics for dogs?
  1. Oregano oil. Oregano oil is considered one of the best natural ingredients with antibiotic properties for your dog. ...
  2. Manuka Honey. ...
  3. Apple cider vinegar. ...
  4. Coconut oil. ...
  5. Olive leaf.

What home remedy is good for dog wounds? ›

Home Treatment for Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions

Mix together 1 pint water, 1/2-teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon calendula tincture. Soak an injured paw in the solution. If the wound is on the body, put the solution in a squirt bottle or large syringe and gently apply it to the injured area.

How long does a cut in the mouth takes to heal? ›

What to Expect: Small cuts and scrapes inside the mouth heal up in 3 or 4 days. Infections of mouth injuries are rare.

How do you heal a cut on a dog fast? ›

Also keep a clean cloth, paper towels and ice nearby. If you accidentally cut into the quick, immediately compress the wound for at least two minutes with a clean cloth or paper towel. If the bleeding is minor, try rubbing a bar of clean, scent-free soap over it.

What is the thing you put on a dog's mouth? ›

Muzzles are sometimes used on trained and untrained dogs, large or small, to prevent unwanted biting, scavenging, or wound licking.

What can I put on my dogs sore gums? ›

She said that the hydrogen peroxide is an effective antibacterial and antiseptic ingredient that will address plaque developing on the teeth. The aloe vera is soothing and will provide relief for sore gums affected by gingivitis. The most effective time to apply the solution is before bed, Donahue said.

What is a good antiseptic for dogs? ›

Apply a non-stinging antiseptic solution to the area. Chlorhexidine is cheap, extremely effective, and readily available. A 2% solution limits tissue irritation, but 4% solutions are also commonly used. Povidone-iodine solution is another good option.

What makes cuts in mouth heal faster? ›

Scientists have studied why oral wounds heal faster. The rich blood supply in the face and mouth help speed recovery. Saliva promotes healing and also contains proteins that aid tissue repair. Research also shows that the tissues inside your mouth make new cells faster than other parts of the body.

What food helps in wound healing for dogs? ›

Choose vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C, such as broccoli or strawberries. For adequate zinc, choose fortified grains and protein foods, such as beef, chicken, seafood or beans. Some wounds may require a higher intake of certain vitamins and minerals to support healing.

How do you know if a cut is healing on a dog? ›

As long as you don't see the blackened or dying tissue and you do see new soft pink tissue forming, that means the wound is healing appropriately and soon the maturation stage of the wound will begin, As the wound enters the final stage of healing the wound will be much smaller and the flesh will be less of a pink ...

Do wounds heal faster when dogs lick them? ›

Dogs' saliva prevents some bacteria from growing. However, this is only minorly effective, and the benefits largely stop there. There is nothing in a dog's saliva that can make wounds heal faster. They don't heal their wounds by licking; they simply keep them clean to prevent infection.


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