Stop your Dog from Scratching a Wound
See files for Dogs
Do you share your home with a dog? Then you've probably already noticed how complicated it can be for your pet to stay completely healthy, since our furry friends are susceptible to numerous conditions, just like us.
It is important that the owner has a basic knowledge about first aid for dogs. However, you should know that this is intended to provide a quick and urgent intervention, not to replace veterinary care. It is as important for your dog to go to the vet whenever necessary, just as it is to provide them with suitable care at home.
If your dog has ever suffered a topical injury, you've most likely wondered: "How can I stop my dog from scratching a wound?" In this AnimalWised article we will show you how.
Why should you prevent your dog from scratching or licking a wound?
Suffering from an annoying mosquito bite will surely have you tirelessly scratching it, and you may even cause a small wound. Even though scratching a wound or injury causes discomfort and pain, it is an instinctive act in all living beings, especially in pets, who obviously follow their instincts a lot more than we do.
The main problem is that this instinctive act is very counterproductive for the wound to properly heal. Furthermore, excessive licking and scratching causes the release of chemicals that are pleasing to your dog, turning this bad habit into a vicious circle. This same lick-reward-lick mechanism is a causative factor of lick granuloma.
The Elizabethan collar, also known as the cone of shame or pet lamp-shade, is used by vets all over the world, especially after surgery, in order to prevent the dog from prematurely removing surgical stitches.
It is a highly stressful plastic device for dogs, as it deprives them of adequate vision and reduces their control of the environment around them. A dog wearing an Elizabethan collar can show the following behavior:
- Colliding with everyday objects
- Not wanting to walk
- Growling and showing its teeth if someone approaches
- Not being able to eat or drink water
While the use of this collar is not at all nice for your dog, sometimes it is the best option, especially when there is a post-surgical wound.
You can make this experience more bearable: avoid startling your dog as you approach, talk to it before so it knows you are approaching, stand in front of it to encourage it to walk, remove furniture that now pose an obstacle to your pet and raise its food and water bowls so it can feed without difficulty.
Wearing a bandage acts as a tool to prevent your dog from scratching and licking a wound; of course, this depends on the type of wound, the type of bandage and your dog's behavior. Let's look at these factors in more detail:
- Wounds: Not all wounds can be bandaged. Generally, wounds after surgery are already bandaged prior to the animal's discharge, but other, milder wounds such as scratches or cuts can benefit from contact with the air.
- Bandages: A light bandage cannot stop the harmful effects of scratching and licking a wound. This requires a thicker, tighter bandage, which obviously must be approved by a vet.
- Behavior: A strong craving to scratch and lick the wound may ruin even the most complex bandaging; always encourage your dog to be calm. Keeping an eye on your dog is crucial in deciding on one method or another.
To protect the most minor injuries this can be an excellent, yet comfortable, option for your pet. There are spray products or lotions that create a protective film over the wound and therefore allow proper healing.
They are available in pharmacies, but it is very important to get a product suitable for veterinary use, so the best option is to buy one at a specialized pet shop.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Stop your Dog from Scratching a Wound, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.