Why My Dog Wound Is NOT Healing?

Veterinary professionals see wounds on a daily basis, and the majority of them heal without experiencing any problems. In some cases, wounds may have difficulty healing, which can cause difficulties for clinicians. The owner often asks “Why My Dog’s Wound Is NOT Healing?“; There can be many reasons: these include underlying diseases, aetiologies, and poor nutrition, as well as surgical factors, such as hematoma and infection.

Why my dog is not healing

In this article, we discuss the causes of delayed wound healing and what can be done to prevent and treat it.

Understanding Wounds

There’s nothing worse than having your dog sustain a wound, whether that wound was sustained while playing, through an accident, or as a result of an encounter with another animal. But sometimes that wound seems to just never heal. It is common for dogs to sustain wounds of some kind or another, as they are curious and playful animals.

Here is what you should do if it seems like your dog’s wound just won’t heal. The foremost important task is to know:

  • The types of wounds and how they heal
  • How to treat them
  • How to tell if your dog is feeling better

Different types of wounds

There are many different ways a dog can sustain a wound, but there are three ways vets determine the level of severity:

  • Reason– There may be a puncture from teeth or a foreign object, as well as abrasions or lacerations from the claws of another animal or an accident.
  • The location- A laceration to your dog’s eye or abdomen is much more serious than a simple cut on their leg or thigh.
  • Contamination level- Depending on the reason for the wound, infection risks can range from low to high. Lacerations present a low risk of infection, while bites or punctures from unknown objects may present a high risk.
types of wounds in dogs.
Categorization of wound

Type 1- The bad ones

Bad wounds meet the above criteria the most severely- especially if they come from teeth or foreign objects if they are in a sensitive or vital area like the abdomen, and if it is jagged or punctured– leading to infection and a long healing process.

You must take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if they have sustained a wound like this, and not attempt to treat them at home. The wounds of this type are at high risk of contamination and should not be treated by anyone other than a veterinarian.

Type 2 -Not too bad

Wounds of this type range from simple scrapes on the paw to clean cuts without jagged edges. There is little risk of infection from wounds such as these, and they can even be treated at home. In spite of this, it is important that you know how to treat wounds, and if you are unsure you should probably just take your pup to the vet.

Understand The Healing:

Healing takes place in four overlapping phases:

stages of wound healing in dogs
Fig; stages of wound healing

Phase 1: Stop the bleeding (hemostasis)
The first stage of wound healing is for the body to stop the bleeding. This is called hemostasis or clotting and it occurs within seconds to minutes after one suffers a wound. During this phase, the body activates its emergency repair system to form a dam to block the drainage and prevent too much blood loss. Clotting also helps to close and heal the wound, making a scab.

Phase 2: Scabbing over
When the wound has stopped bleeding, the body can begin cleaning and healing it. First, the blood vessels around the wound open a bit to let more blood flow to it. This enables the wound to receive more nutrients and oxygen. Macrophages, which are white blood cells, fight infection by cleaning wounds. In addition, they send chemical messengers known as growth factors which help repair the damage.

scab formation in dogs
fig: healing in dogs

Phase 3: Rebuilding
Your body can begin to heal a wound after it has been cleaned and stabilized. New tissue is formed by red blood cells that are oxygen-rich. At this stage in healing, you might see a fresh, raised, red scar. The scar will slowly fade in color and look flatter.

Phase 4: Maturation (strengthening)
Even after your wound looks closed and repaired, it’s still healing – this is known as the Maturation phase. During this period, the new tissue gradually becomes stronger and more flexible. It may also feel tight or itchy at this time. The phase may last a few weeks or months.

materials required

What are your plans if your pet gets injured? Make sure you have a pet first aid kit. In order to treat a wound, you will need to have the following:

treat wound with first aid.
first aid kit for dogs with essential items
  • Sterile bandages
  • Bandage scissors
  • Cleansing solution suitable for pets
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean towels or rags
  • Elastic wrapping
  • Tweezers

Keep your pet calm and stable while you treat the wound to prevent scratches or bites.

  1. Do not let it bleed. In case of bleeding, place a clean towel or cloth over the wound and apply light pressure. It’s best to take your pet to the veterinary emergency hospital if the wound is bleeding profusely since it’s a more serious wound than a simple cut.
  2. Use tweezers to take out any foreign objects. Use tweezers to remove objects, such as glass, twigs, or thorns, that is inside the wound. A magnifying glass can be used to remove all the debris.
  3. Clean the wound thoroughly. An injury caused by a puncture wound, such as a bite wound, may appear minor, but it isn’t. A bite wound carries bacteria that can cause infection. You should clean and bandage it, even if it is small. If you want to do this, fill a water bottle with clean water and spray on the wound to remove any debris, dirt, etc.
  4. Apply a bandage to the wound. Cover the wound with sterile gauze or antibacterial ointment and apply a small amount of antibacterial ointment. Keep the bandage in place with elastic tape.
  5. Disinfect the wound. Wash the injured area with diluted betadine or chlorhexidine, which are commonly included in first aid kits. You should avoid rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as they can damage the tissue and delay the healing process.
  6. Use an E-collar if necessary. Dogs can’t understand why they shouldn’t lick or bite at a bandage. To protect the wound site from bacteria spread by their mouths (and keep them from continuously disinfecting and reapplying a bandage to it), use an E-collar (aka cone of shame).

Dogs On The Mend: Signs They’re Doing Better

The appearance of the wound
You should notice that when your dog’s wound has begun to heal, the deep red color of the inflammation has faded to a more pink color. This indicates that the wound is in the maturation stage of healing. If it was an open wound, the discharge should have stopped, and the skin around it has begun to scab and heal.

appearance of wound under healing stages
Fig: healing wound appearances

In order to avoid the infection process all over again, it is crucial that you prevent your dog from licking the scab of the healing wound-the bacteria on its tongue could cause an infection to recur. It is best to use a cone or a cape for this. Even though your dog won’t like it, they will appreciate the fact that their wound is healing and that they are less in pain.

The behavior
When the healing process kicks in, your dog should start showing improved behaviors after a couple of weeks. Even though it may be frustrating to see your pup in pain and wearing a cone, you can rest assured you’re doing everything you can to help them. If you’ve had a few setbacks during the healing process, you might feel like you have failed your pup; however, that is not true!

dog after wound healing
Fig: happy dog behavior

It can take a while for these things to heal— from a few weeks to a few months. If the wound is healing well, you will start seeing the dog’s personality return as well. Dogs, being dogs, will show their appreciation in the best way they know how, licking and wagging their tails!

Whatever the cause of your dog’s wound, you need to treat them as quickly as possible. Wounds can be treated satisfactorily at home depending on their severity, or at the vet instead. It will take your dog some time to heal his wounds, but with a little rest and attention, your dog should be able to recover quickly.

comment down your experiences with the wounds. Also, you can provide a few extra tips there.

Happy pet parenting.

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