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Ask Dr. Larson Your Own Question

Dr. Larson
Dr. Larson, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1557
Experience:  Active in private practice since 2000. Both large and small animal practice for throughout career.
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my dog has had a pin in her hock to stretch the tendon as her

Customer Question

my dog has had a pin in her hock to stretch the tendon as her paw is clawing up.
She did not notice the wound for 7 days and then licked it - the internal stitches were still in tact but the edges of the skin were open. I put a collar on her but on a couple of occasions when she has not had it on she has licked it and is slightly bleeding.
How long should the collar be on for the wound to properly heal (i take it off her for going up the steps to the garden as that is her only exercise) She has been on a course of antibiotics and generally the area looks good and is drying.
it is now 2 1/2 weeks since her operation. She has another 3 1/2 weeks before pin is removed. Pat
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Larson replied 3 years ago.

larsondvm :

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Dr. Larson and I'll try to help with Lucy's problem.

larsondvm :

In most cases, when we have a licker like Lucy and have to resort to an E-Collar, the collar must be used untill the wound is fully healed. Unfortunately, this means she will probably need to wear it for another couple of weeks. As a wound heales, it begins to itch, much as it does in us. The licking is a response to the itch and an attempt to gain some relief. Until the wound is completely healed, it will continue to itch and we will battle the licking.

JACUSTOMER-cl3uhbi8- :

I had trouble connecting before. I further wanted to know if I could put a temporary breathable bandage on for when she has to have the collar off.

larsondvm :

There should be no problem with covering it with a bandage when the collar can not be worn. A bit of topical antibiotic ointment may help speed the healing process as well.

JACUSTOMER-cl3uhbi8- :

also what would happen if she was left without collar would she lick until it became infected? Do i have to now keep collar on for the full 2 weeks as it is only slightly bloody and she has already had it on for a week?

larsondvm :

It is unlikely that it would become infected with her licking. Dogs have surprisingly clean mouths. The problem that arises is that she will keep it irritated and the constant licking will prevent healing from occurring. I would recommend keeping the collar on until it is completely healed. Although there is no problem with taking the collar off if you can keep the wound covered, or can be with her and prevent the licking through personal interaction.

larsondvm :

I certainbly understand your position. I really do not like putting my patients in E-Collars, and use them only as a last resort. No one likes them.

JACUSTOMER-cl3uhbi8- :

From your answer I suppose I have to check on her healing process and leave collar on as long as necessary.

larsondvm :

There is no problem with taking the collar off, as long as you can prevent the licking. I would say, any time you are having personal time with her, take it off. It should only be necessary when you can not pay direct attention.

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