Common Injuries for Hunting Dogs

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The practice of domestication and the use of dogs for hunting began more than 8,000 years ago. There are carvings in the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia that showcases how dogs were used for hunting.

Hunting dogs constantly face the risk of being injured in the field. The proof of using dogs for hunting purposes suggests that there might have been options to treat wounded dogs even then. While most injuries might be superficial, the risk of infections remains high and a small injury can become a major health issue for your hunting dog.

Some of the causes of injuries for hunting dogs include falling into old wells, being scratched or stepping on rusty barbed wire, and experiencing attacks from other animals.

Remember that we are not veterinarians but experienced hunters so if you are worried you should go and see a professional and just take our texts as friendly advice.

Common Injuries for Hunting Dogs

Cuts/Incised Wounds

Cuts or incised wounds are quite common in hunting dogs, as these dogs are usually running in bushy and forested areas. Cuts or incised wounds are caused by sharp objects. They usually leave a clean-cut wound because of the force of the sharp object that caused the cut. They are caused by slashes resulting from pieces of glass, metallic objects left on the ground, and other sharp objects. The ends of cut wounds are usually straight making them easy to stitch or staple in a straight line.


Most lacerations wounds lead to tearing of the upper layer of the skin. Unlike cuts incised wounds, lacerations are usually, irregular or jagged and often deeper than cuts while cuts are usually longer and not deep. Your hunting dog is likely to get a laceration wound while trying to maneuver their way across a barbed wired fence. Dry tree branches can also cause lacerations. Lacerations wounds have a high risk of getting infected especially if they occurred on a large surface area.

Puncture wounds

Puncture wounds are almost similar to cuts and lacerations but are caused by sharp pointed objects like nails, the teeth of other animals, tacks, or thorns. They are much deeper than cuts and lacerations and might not bleed excessively when compared to cuts. If you are not keen, you might not notice a puncture wound on your dog. Like other open wounds, puncture wounds can also get infected if not cared for properly. The image below shows the difference between a laceration and a puncture wound.


Your hunting dog is constantly in danger of getting bitten by a snake as snakes are commonly found in bushy and forested areas. Factors such as the location of the snakebite, the amount of venom injected, the weight of your dog, and the amount of time that passes between when the incident occurred and when the dog received appropriate treatment determine the survival of your dog after the snakebite. Your hunting dog has a higher likelihood of surviving if it has bitten on the limbs as opposed to a neck bite. Similarly, the administration of the right anti-venom within the shortest period reduces the risks of complications or death.

Broken bones

Fractures are not as common as other injuries when you are working with your hunting dog but they can still happen. A hunting dog can get a fracture by accidentally running into foot traps designed for other animals like bears, wild pigs. Always check for signs of extreme weakness, difficulty in breathing, and changes in your dog’s walking and posture when assessing for injuries.