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Treatment For Cuts?


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Gila was running int the yard and got a 3 inch cut on the front of one of her rear legs. It was a clean cut, didn't bleed much, so we wrapped it and took her to the vet the next morning for stitches. The vet didn't want to do stitches as she'd need to be sedated, and had already had breakfast (they don't sedate me when I've had stitches!). He opted for staples, a shot of penicillin, and told us to leave the wound uncovered so it could dry out. I kept Gila muzzled so she couldn't get at it. That sounded odd, as Gila's our fifth greyt, so we've dealt with this quite a bit, and have always bandaged wounds and put ointment on. I did a quick search on-line and found a number of studies that said wounds should be wrapped and kept moist, that they heal much quicker, never mind stay cleaner. Needless to say, the staples didn't hold, and a week later the wound was gaping open. We took her to a different vet (the one recommended by our local greyhound rescue group), this time assuming stitches, but he said, no just leave it alone, it'll heal on it's own. i mentioned that Gila would probably keep licking it and make it worse. He said to let her lick it, that she'll keep it clean. Has wound treatment changed recently in the vet community? I was expecting changing bandages daily, dealing with an Elizabethan collar or muzzle, and was surprised to be told to just let it be. I guess wounds on animals heal by themselves in the wild, and Gila is on antibiotics, and is certainly much happier without bandages and muzzles. She does lick it, but not excessively. What are your experiences, opinions?

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Since the staples failed, I doubt there would be enough viable skin left to stitch together at this point. Managing as an open wound is your best bet for now. Vetricyn, Granulex, antibiotic ointment, Neosporin spray (what I use mostly) are all options depending on your level of comfort. You can lightly bandage or not, to keep it clean for a few days, then leave it unwrapped as long as she leaves it alone. Muzzle with a stool guard or duct tape works well. Warm, moist compresses a couple times a day will help it heal.

 

The skin of legs is very mobile and usually too thin to stitch or staple. I almost always manage at home with ABs from the vet.

 

I think both your vets gave less than ideal advice.

Edited by greysmom

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When Peggy did this to her back leg in 2011 I used a loose child's sock with the toe removed held up with vet tape.

It took about 4 weeks to heal. I used hibiscrub to keep it clean and the sock to keep it from knocks and grass etc.

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Having just endured two weeks of open wounds on my girl, I understand your confusion about permitting the licking :wow . My girl would have lost her mind in an e-collar, so I just watched her carefully and muzzled as needed. I quickly discovered that she was most prone to licking when I kept insisting on applying the neosporin, so I just eliminated it as she had 2 weeks of antibiotics. Her wounds were left open the entire time - bite wounds to be exact.

Good luck with your guy - sounds like you've both been through a lot already. :goodluck

Jody, Leah & Jimmie
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Ben is the only one who cut is leg and needed stitches. In fact I took him in early morning and fed him, but he still put him under. Our vet always recommends leaving cuts uncovered to heal faster. However, he does not recommend licking them. Ben wore an e-collar.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Paul's bite wounds were kept open, though we did e-collar him so he wouln't lick. Our vet also gave us an antibiotic powder to put on the wounds. It keeps the oozing down and has a sedative in it. I guess open is the new bandage.

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This is a paragraph from the article I found on-line concerning wound care. There seems to be two distinct schools of thought on this.

 

 

Keeping Wounds Moist heal a wound faster by promoting epithelialization
Dr. George D. Winter's wound care study showed that the regrowth of skin over a wound (epithelialization) was twice as fast in those wounds covered with a film dressing. His wound care case study showed that wounds that were kept moist healed in approximately 12 to 15 days while the same wound when exposed to the air healed in about 25 to 30 days.

Read more about Winter's case studies on The care of wounds by Carol Dealey on Google Books.

And also:
"Despite the theoretic risk that a moist environment is associated with a higher risk of wound infection, studies have shown that occlusive dressings do not increase the incidence of infection."
source: Hutchinson J. Prevalence of wound infection under occlusive dressings: a collected survey of reported research. Wounds 1989;1:123-33.
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No licking! I'm surprised a vet would encourage/allow that. Licking will just cause erosion. Depending on the severity of the wound I find an ointment like fura-zone and a light wrap will generate healing (used with a telfa pad-non-stick). There is a time in the healing process that allowing the wound open to the air will become beneficial.

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I didn't realize this was such a controversial topic! I was surprised the vet said to let her lick it, he said she would keep it clean herself. I pointed out I've had dogs that have turned a minor scratch into a large wound from licking. He said if she licked excessively to wrap it, but otherwise, let her take care of it, generally she knows best.

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I didn't realize this was such a controversial topic! I was surprised the vet said to let her lick it, he said she would keep it clean herself. I pointed out I've had dogs that have turned a minor scratch into a large wound from licking. He said if she licked excessively to wrap it, but otherwise, let her take care of it, generally she knows best.

Apparently he doesn't know my dogs!!!! No licky is a staple statement around my house. My Shannon would lick a hole in--rather through her leg if I let her!

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