Wounds in dogs may be a result of an accident, injury, or surgery (see for more info). Every pet owner knows that dogs are naturally playful and curious creatures, so accidents happen. It’s important to have a plan for dealing with wounds when they occur.
Here are six tips:
1. Keep the wound clean.
Keeping the wound clean is probably the most important measure you can take to help speed up the healing process. Be sure to use mild soap and warm water to cleanse the wound daily. Ask your vet before using ointment, cream, or any other substance on the wound to avoid complications.
Also, if your vet instructs you to put on a bandage, change it regularly to keep the wound clean and dry.
2. Give a nutritionally balanced diet.
In normal situations, you should avoid giving your dogs sweet treats that can lead to overall health and dental problems. This reduces additional expenses, other than regular dog teeth cleaning, on unnecessary procedures due to tooth decay.
But this is especially beneficial when they are healing from wounds. A proper diet helps them to recover quickly and reduces inflammation. Below are some excellent types of food to give them for faster wound healing:
- Protein-rich food helps in the formation of new tissues. Some examples are poultry, fish, and meat.
- Vitamin A is essential for the growth of new cells and tissues. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and kale are good sources of vitamin A.
- Vitamin C is a collagen-producing antioxidant that is good for wound healing. Citrus fruits, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are some great sources of this vitamin.
- Food high in omega-3 fatty acids helps to reduce inflammation. These include flaxseed, walnuts, and salmon.
- Zinc promotes immunity and cell growth. Good sources include pumpkin seeds, oysters, and beef.
3. Give your dog supplements if needed.
When you are not sure if your dog is getting all the nutrients they need from their diet, ask your vet about giving them supplements.
4. Monitor for signs of infection.
Keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as:
- Excessive licking or biting at the wound
- Increased pain
If your dog manifests any of these signs, take your dog to the vet immediately.
5. Don’t allow your pet to scratch or lick the wound.
This can be difficult, but you should prevent your dog from scratching or licking the wound. This helps keep the wound clean and to avoid infection. You may need to put a cone on their head.
6. Take them to the vet.
If the wound is more than a couple of days old and does not seem to heal, take your dog to the vet. You also have to take them to your vet for proper assessment and treatment if it is 1/2 to an inch deep.
Treatment options include:
- Antibiotics. If your dog has an infection, they will likely need antibiotics.
- Surgery. If the wound is deep or needs to be sutured, your dog may need surgery.
- Therapy. Some modern types of treatment, such as cold laser therapy, can help speed up the healing process. It also encourages bone healing and helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Wound healing for dogs can be a long and difficult process, but there are things you can do to help speed it up. Keep the wound clean, provide a nutritionally balanced diet, give supplements if needed, and monitor for signs of infection. You must also take your dog to the vet for proper assessment and treatment if the wound is more than a couple of days old or does not seem to be healing properly.