First aid for bleeding wounds

photo of rabbit, cat and dog

1. Check your pet

Check your pet for other injuries and issues such as trouble breathing. If your pet has collapsed, go straight to your vets.

2. Manage the bleeding

Heavy bleeding or blood spurting

Your pet may have damaged an artery. This is an emergency – apply a firm, direct pressure and go immediately to your nearest vets (call ahead to let them know you’re coming).


Apply a firm pressure to any bleeding areas using a clean, dry dressing or material. If your pet is still bleeding through the dressing after five minutes, apply more pressure and go straight to your nearest vets (call ahead to let them know you’re coming).

Once bleeding has stopped

If your pet’s wound has stopped bleeding, it’s still a good idea to go to your vets so that they can be assessed. Your vet will prescribe any necessary treatment and medication.

3. Something in the wound?

If there is an object in your pet’s wound, such as piece of glass, don’t try to remove it and avoid putting pressure on it (this could push it in further).

Published: February 2019

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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst