Dog fights are a gnarly sight, but all the negative emotions and medical risks are compounded once blood is flowing.
Attacks that break the skin are more consequential – both in liability terms as well as the work that will need to be done on the behavioral side for both the aggressor and the victim.
Last but not least, bleeding bite wounds pose an increased risk for infection.
To avoid infections or other complications, it’s advised to seek veterinary attention. Vet bills to treat these incidents can cost an arm and a leg.
Let’s cover all the bases so you’re prepared when the teeth fly and break skin – from breaking the fight up and treating the wounds all the way to the question as old as time.
There’s a little caveat if both dogs involved are your own, you’ll find that info down below.
Also, I threw in my own experience (or rather my Rottweiler’s experience) as the bite victim; though a very mild case.
My Dog Bit Another Dog and Drew Blood
In case your dog bit another dog and drew blood, separate the dogs quickly, exchange insurance or contact information and get all wounds on both dogs treated. The wounded dog’s owner may ask to be reimbursed for the vet bills.
Stopping the fight, exchanging information, and getting the wounds treated should have top priority.
If you have any concerns about how to stop a dog fight or the legalities (i.e. your rights, self-defense, whether you should report it), check out my linked article.
Do not hesitate to get a bleeding wound treated.
Even small puncture wounds may need to be cleaned, stitched, or require antibiotics as they close over quickly.
After all that jazz is over, you need to figure out why the attack actually happened to start training and implement precautions to avoid future incidents.
Now comes the other scary part, what will happen to a dog who has drawn blood from another dog?
My tip upfront: If your dog attacked another dog and drew blood, consult a lawyer if you sense that the other owner will blow the incident up to get you into trouble with the authorities.
Hiring a lawyer to argue about vet bills is often not worth it as there’s little economical upside; lawyers are expensive.
Vet bills range from $50, $500, $5,000, all the way to $50,000.
While vet bills between $500-$5,000 may seem reasonable to you, others may think differently.
Again, every individual case is different. If you think something’s fishy regarding extraordinarily high vet bills, feel free to consult a lawyer regardless.
However, defending your dog from legal repercussions (i.e. your dog is deemed dangerous or even ordered to be euthanized) is priceless.
What Happens if a Dog Draws Blood From Another Dog?
After a dog has drawn blood from another dog, exchanging information and seeking veterinary attention are the first steps. Once the wounds are treated, there will often be the question of who pays what.
Liability greatly depends on the circumstances, who instigated the fight, and how severe the wounds were.
That’s apart from the fact that every state has different laws regarding dog bites.
A bite that has drawn blood is always serious and not a simple tussle between two dogs.
If your dog has injuries too, it’s often dog owner etiquette that both parties pay each other’s vet bills, but that entirely depends on the liability and financial situations.
Dog owners who feel like their dog rightly defended themselves may not agree to pay the other canine’s vet bills and ask for compensation instead.
If your dog’s bite was the only action, it’s often easiest if you both reasonably come to an agreement that includes payment of vet bills.
But that’s why exchanging information is crucial.
Some dog owners may feel like fleeing the scene is a wise thing to do, but is it really?
I understand the rationale, not all areas have a local law that looks kindly upon dog bites.
Plus, if your dog was defending themselves or their property (assuming it has been marked according to the law), hiring a lawyer to get rid of that “dangerous” stamp might be far more expensive than the vet bills.
But keep in mind that it’s always unfair to let the other side foot a bill caused by some stranger’s dog.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not fighting any claims (or making some) is worth your time and it’s always best to consult a lawyer for serious allegations.
I’ll throw in my own experience below.
But what if you actually own both roughhousing rowdies?
My Dog Attacked My Other Dog And Drew Blood
If your dog attacked your other dog, end the fight as quickly as possible and visit a veterinarian for treatment of any bite wounds. After that, pinpointing the cause and working on the behavioral issue is essential.
It’s crucial to stop the fight quickly and seek veterinary attention but keep in mind that you may need to find somebody to watch your other dog.
No matter which one of your dogs caused it, it’s possible that both dogs may suffer from behavioral issues that need to be addressed.
It’s also important to check both dogs thoroughly for bite wounds and bring them to the vet if in doubt about injuries, separately if necessary.
Once you notice the bite drew blood and/or left a noticeable puncture wound, veterinary attention is the most important aspect.
Disciplining dogs after fighting may have an adverse effect if intended as “punishment”.
But you may use a verbal correction, especially if that helps break up the fight.
While it’s devastating to see your own two dogs fight to the point of drawing blood, there’s a positive aspect attached to issues within your home.
Nobody will sue you, so you’ll avoid that dreadful yearlong legal battle.
The big downside, apart from the negative emotions, is that you’ll have to figure out how to get your dogs to live together again.
But once your dog is treated for the bite wound, what will happen then?
Figure Out Why Your Dog Drew Blood
It’s not like you can come home from the vet’s office and have a serious group therapy session with your furry friends.
While going back to the status quo and hoping for the best is not the solution, separation is not a long-term solution either.
You need to figure out the root cause of the fight.
Introducing a new dog (especially a puppy) often causes a rift in that household.
Does your puppy bully your older dog?
Perhaps the older dog is attacking the puppy?
But dogs who have been living together harmoniously can start fighting too, even if it’s seemingly out of the blue (hint: it’s usually not).
I’ve compiled 8 reasons why dogs actually fight in the same household.
I’d highly recommend checking out these resources to make sure dog fights in your household will never cause bleeding wounds again.
Dog Attacks and Blood: My Own Experience
Luckily, my dog never fell victim to the nasty attacks you see on Reddit sometimes.
That’s not to say that nothing has ever happened to Amalia, the resident Rottweiler clocking in at nearly 100 pounds.
Although we’re always very vigilant, keep her leashed around strange dogs, and stay close to intervene if necessary, we had a situation where blood was drawn during a dedicated play session.
A young rescue dog didn’t understand the boundaries and one of those loud but harmless clashes ensued, or so we thought.
Sadly, Amalia’s ear had a puncture wound. Many dog owners have an earful to tell you about these types of accidents, suffice it to say that those floppy flaps bleed like crazy.
While some owners nonchalantly talk a bloody wound down, others are completely perplexed once this happens.
A quick recap of what to do.
The most important thing is to stay calm and level-headed and quickly end the fight.
Exchange information, even if you can’t find an injury at the moment.
After that, you’ll need to figure out everything surrounding liability and vet bills.
Dog attacks that draw blood can cause nasty infections and treating them is crucial.
Additionally, dog owners whose pooch was involved in a serious fight may have a long road of rehabilitation and counter-conditioning ahead of them.
For the foreseeable future, a muzzle might be required if your dog has hurt another dog, even in defense if you’re unsure about the underlying behavior patterns.
Apart from talking to your vet, it’s best to consult a professional behaviorist.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.