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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 36797
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My friends twelve year old Labrador has had a wound in her

Customer Question

My friend's twelve year old Labrador has had a wound in her tail caused by a Blackthorn thorn for seven months which is refusing to heal. His vet has recently administered three injections of cortisone, but these have had no effect. Is there any other treatment we could try please, short of amputation? The wound does not trouble the dog, which otherwise is very healthy and happy.
Thanks for any advice you can give.
Richard Marshall
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is Dr. Peter I am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is she licking or gnawing at the wound?
2- What kind of treatments have they tried?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The dog is not licking or gnawing at the wound. The wound looks unsightly but does not smell, and doesn't cause other dogs to lick it. The vet said there is no infection, but it is an open wound coloured white and red, yet it does not bleed. The wound is half way along the tail


The dog has been examined on repeated occasions by my friend's local vet, and the wound was treated with Cavilon cream and spray. Several applications reduced and sealed the sore, but it reappeared and reopened on its own after ten days.


Thank you very much Dr Peter for your very fast response. We much appreciate your help.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Has the vet taken a tissue sample and submitted to the lab?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, the vet took a tissue sample. It tested negative for cancer or fungal infection. Blood tests were clear. The vet thinks the dog's wound is a reaction to the effects of blackthorn. The vet thinks it is unlikely to be tetanus, as this normally proves quickly fatal.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Friend, a non-conventional approach that I have found that works in the worst of delayed wound healing is the following:

1- Make certain she does not lick the wound. If she does pick up an ecollar (cone) to prevent her from licking/gnawing at the wound. In fact, I would recommend to keep an ecollar (cone) on when owners are not observing her like when they are sleeping.

2- Pick up in your local pharmacy "Hibiclens" antimicrobial soap or chlorhexiderm scrub. Dilute 1-2 tablespoon for every cup of water. Use this mixture to flush the wound 2-3 times a day. After flushing with this solution flush with plain water for 5 minutes, the flushing action of water will promote granulation tissue.

3- After flushing affected area as above apply honey on the wound. Yes, regular honey. It will also promote granulation tissue. Once you begin to see the tissue turn bright red that easily bleeds, this is granulation tissue; the wound will then begin to contract and close up. You should see significant improvement within the first week. Continue doing the above until completely closed. If no improvement is seen after 1 week then amputation is the next step. In addition, I would re-submit a tissue sample for histopathology evaluation.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Dr Peter for your detailed advice.

My friend will try your treatment and I will let you know the outcome.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from his dog Abbey.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Please do let me know how Abbey does with the flushing and honey, that would be really nice. You can follow this thread, it will not close after you evaluate me. Or, if you have additional questions.

You're welcome.

Happy New Year.

Dr. Peter