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Wound Licking

Guest grapecat

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Guest grapecat

I've posted about Humphrey, our greyhound who broke his front leg 5 weeks ago (almost!). He is doing much better, though there is still a way to go. His healing process has not been uneventful, unfortunately, but we are all hanging in there. We are, however, having a licking problem. He really wants to lick all around his external fixator (he has an external brace and 6 pins through his leg). It has mostly healed, but he is not supposed to lick it, and he has foiled everything we have tried short of the lantern collar which we are all loath to do, especially Humphrey. It did NOT go over well.


I have looked through the archives and found loads of great suggestions, but he has managed to chew through any kind of shirt/sweatpants/bandage combination. We have tried a lot. I read about wonderful sounding stuff called EMT Gel, and Allercaine, but I can't seem to find this in the UK. Do they have different names? or is there something else we can use that will discourage him licking? We really don't want to resort to the collar. I would worry about the damage he could do to himself trying to get it off...he's pretty resourceful.



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If you know someone who sews, find some ballistic Nylon- we have it in the fabric stores here in the US- and make a "sleeve" out of it, the same way the sweatpants leg would be used to cover the wound site. That would be more difficult to chew through, although a determined dog could do it.


You might Google for e-collar alternatives:




That might give you some design ideas. There is one company making foam rubber e-collars; instead of being the hard plastic V-collars we're familiar with, they're foam rubber and flat- a big disc that wraps around the neck. I think most are coated in fabric, otherwise dogs will chew through them.


Lastly- do you have a muzzle? I know they're frowned upon in the UK by many. In this case, it could be a medical necessity.


Good luck!

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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I've used a plastic muzzle with duct tape over the end (only the end where his tongue can reach, not the sides) with good success before.

~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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I would try wiping some chew deterrent onto the external parts of the fixator - NOT on his skin, or near it, but on any parts which don't contact him. Just catching that with his tongue may be enough to put him off. I found one (Renie chews walls when stressed :rolleyes:) which contains Bitrex. Works very well and tastes Dis-GUST-ing .. as I discovered on day when I moved through the spray with my mouth open. :puke


The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Bitter apple is supposed to work (although I don't have any personal experience). The first site Mommydog provided carries it.



Marc and Myun plus Starbuck (the cat)
Pinky my AWOL girl, wherever you are, I miss you.
Angels Honey (6/30/99-11/3/11) Nadia (5/11/99-6/4/12) Kara (6/5/99-7/17/12) Cleo (4/13/2000-4/19/2014)

Antnee (12/1/2002=2/20/17)

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Guest wrldruler

Somebody recommended putting Listerine near the wound -- nasty smell and taste.


On George, we used an all-natural eucalyptus (sp?) gel -- smelled just like Vicks Vapor Rub. But he didn't have a strong desire to lick, so it was easy to deter him with something smelly.


If you don't want an e-collar, then you may be able to try the Bite-Not Collar.


EMT Gel is supposed to help the wound heal -- seriously doubt it will deter licking. I don't remember it having a smell.


- Chris



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