Bite wounds in dogs remind me of icebergs because the damage beneath the skin if often much worse than the surface damage. During a bite, the teeth are inserted below the dermis (skin), then two things can happen. First, the teeth can sink deep into the underlying tissue causing damage and injecting bacteria from the mouth. Second, if the biter twists their head while the teeth are inserted, the skin is ripped off the underlying muscle and bone leaving a pocket. If this pocket is not drained, a horrible abscess can form. Whenever I see bite wounds, I always probe the puncture wounds for pockets. If a pocket is greater than an inch, I put a drain in to prevent infection.
The biggest mistake people make is to look at the small puncture wounds and assume that is the extend of the damage. As the following images demonstrate, the superficial wounds do not indicate how much damage rests beneath the skin. Look at the first image and note the two puncture wounds.
Now l have inserted a cotton swab beneath the skin to demonstrate how much damage occurred. The tongue depressor is positioned at the end of the pocket.
To treat this condition, I inserted a drain to prevent an infection. The drain is the tan colored rubber tube sticking out of the skin.
After three days of antibiotics and medication to control pain, the drain was removed. The dog finished its medications and made a complete recovery.