Dogs are always going to prove their playfulness and curiosity to you.
They go through your trash, chase after squirrels, and play rough with other dogs. We love this about about furry companions, but this means your dog is prone to injury. And sometimes, our dogs require surgeries that have the tendency of leaving scars. However your dog got its scar, here’s what you need to know to keep it healthy and if you want, fade it as much as possible. If you want to be prepared for injuries before they happen, it’s handy to keep a first aid spay at home. So when your dog finds its way into trouble, you’re capable of initiating quick and easy treatment.
This article focuses on:
- How to identify a serious wound that needs veterinary attention
- What the healing process should look like
- Supplements you can give your dog to help the healing process
- What you can do to help hair grow back
- At what point you need to go to the vet for extra help
Diagnosis of Damage
The health of your dog is the priority. When your dog first gets injured, knowing the extent of damage is critical. Serious damage should be treated professionally by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner you get your dog under professional care, the less risk involved! The main symptoms of serious injury to look out for:
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop
- Swelling in the area of the wound
- Foul smell
- Warm, red skin in the area of the wound
- Behaviour issues, such as change in appetite
These symptoms could be a sign of infection, in which case a vet needs to be seen immediately. The vet may also determine your dog needs sutures, which enhances your dog’s chance of a lasting scar.
However you may be dealing with a minor cut, caused perhaps from a dog fight or a wrong step into some thorny bushes. It’s important to clean the wound. Water on a paper towel will do, but if you want to go the extra mile you can use the spray Fauna Care created for injuries like this. This helps your chances of warding off infection, but it is still important to keep an eye on the injury to make sure it doesn’t display any of the symptoms of a more serious injury.
Once you know your dog is no longer at immediate risk, you can focus on a steady recovery, and preventing permanent scars.
Time to Heal
Your dog needs time above all else. You should be checking your dog’s wound frequently, making sure it remains healthy looking and doesn’t show any of the symptoms listed above. Infection likens the dog’s chances of keeping a scar, and worse, infection can cause your dog pain. So keep an eye on the wound and call your vet with any changes that lead you to suspect infection.
Keep your dog from licking and/or biting at the wound. Despite our perception of dog’s lick containing magical healing power, the less the dog messes with it, the better chance the wound has of healing without consequence. The wound should be close to healed in two weeks, and scarring in week three. This is the point at which you can address the scar with treatment.
Products for a Healing Scar
There are many options out there to help the healing of your dog’s scar, some not as effective as others. Asking your vet for recommendations is always a good idea, but here’s a jumping off point of what’s out there, what it all does, and how effective it could be for your pup.
MSM is an organic sulfur compound that is commonly used on dogs. MSM can help your dog with chronic pain, neurological diseases, allergies, cancer, and a number of other ailments. How is MSM helpful for your pup’s forming scar? MSM can reduce the amount of scar tissue produced in the area of the wound. You can treat the scar with MSM cream which has additional moisturizing powers.
While you could technically use vaseline due to its non-toxicity, many professionals wouldn’t advise it. Vaseline may be a comfort on the skin, but it has no proven abilities to aid in healing. The vaseline may even cause harm to your dog. If licked off by your dog, the consumed vaseline could lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. The vaseline may also be drying up your dog’s pores. So when deciding on using vaseline on your dog, ask your vet first and consider another option that’s more dog friendly.
Your dog doesn’t necessarily need vitamin E supplements on a normal basis, but in the case of irritated or dry skin, Vitamin E could be beneficial to apply directly onto the skin. You can break the capsule open and apply the oil on and around the scar. This shouldn’t be used however without first conferring with a vet, as you don’t want to overdose your pup with vitamin E. There is such a thing as too much!
Applying moisturiser to your dog’s scar can help, but you have to be careful what type you use. Moisturizers meant for humans can contain ingredients lethal to dogs, so if you want to try a moisturizer, it’s best to use the products made specifically for dogs. There are a variety of products out there, and you may have to do a bit of research to choose the one best for your dog.
Depending on the type of scar your dog got, hair may never grow back. It all depends on if the hair follicles were damaged. You can always let nature take its course, and let the hair grow back naturally if it is able. But if you want to help along the process, and put the scar out of sight and out of mind under a new coat of hair, here’s what you can try:
- Use a natural shampoo: Give your dog a bath, and the natural shampoo should soothe the irritation of skin and help your dog leave the scar alone, giving the wound a better chance of healing, and the hair a better chance of growing back to its luscious former glory. (Ask your vet beforehand about bathing your dog if the wound is serious.)
- Fish oil supplements: Giving your dog fish oil supplements can help with the regrowth of hair, but again it depends on the damage done.
- Ask your vet for a supplement: Vets can offer your dog a supplement that soothes irritated skin, and promotes healthy skin and coat. Without irritation the scar can heal and fur can grow back soon after.
Going to the Vet
This has been said throughout the article, and it’s going to be said one more time! If your dog shows any symptoms of pain or illness, and you suspect the wound of being infected, contact a vet and have your dog checked immediately. During the healing process, your dog is at risk of forming keloids. These are lumpy areas formed due to a build up of collagen in the skin. Keloids can be painful for your dog, so give them relief as soon as possible by seeing a vet. Without treatment, keloids can evolve into something much worse.
Fauna Care’s pet sprays help with the injuries that are manageable at home. Easy to use, and effective care that doesn’t get in your pet’s way of a full day of plans. Using the pet spray gets the healing process on a fast track, giving your pup a better chance of having no scar at all.
A scar may remain after everything, but in the end what matters most is that your dog is healthy and comfortable, and can get back out there to do the important things in life: steal food from your plate, jump into lakes, and bark at strangers at your door.