[Updated] Treating Dog Wounds: Natural Options For Open Wounds

treating dog wounds
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Whether your dog gets a nasty scratch during a hike in the woods, a deep cut from some over-enthusiastic playtime, or a bad scrape just from being a bit clumsy, there’s no need to panic …

… But you always want to take care when treating dog wounds, especially open ones.

When it comes to natural wound care, there are some basics that will help wounds heal faster, without the use of antibiotics or chemical-based topical treatments.

Options for Treating Dog Wounds Naturally

If you go to the vet, you’ll probably leave with a tube of the usual antiseptic, antibacterial, or immune-suppressing product. The problem is, these harsh products can do some long term damage to your dog’s health.

These natural options protect your dog and help those wounds heal faster.

1. Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy can work wonders.

The running water does the same thing as discharges that the body makes, but much faster. It washes away any debris that is forming as a result of the body’s attempt to heal, such as dead cells and pus. It also seems to stimulate growth of the healing tissue.

Run cool water on the wound for 5-10 minutes once or twice a day. You can use the faucet or a hose. If the dog is small enough to use the kitchen sink, the little spray hose that many kitchens have works very nicely.

2. Dry the wound and apply topical medicine to promote healing.

Calendula officinalis in gel, cream, oil or ointment form promotes healing and is antimicrobial.

For gaping wounds with space that needs to be filled in, or if there is exposed bone, add some Symphytum, again in gel, oil or ointment form, and you will see amazing growth of granulation tissue (the highly vascularized pink tissue that fills in wounds before the skin closes) filling the gap.

If you only have the dry Symphytum herb (aka Comfrey), you can mix it with the Calendula oil, gel, cream or ointment. Only add the dry herb if you are able to successfully accomplish hydrotherapy, as those bits of herb will need to come out with each bandage change.

Wounds with large areas of skin that need to regrow should have a wet bandage. Keeping the wound moist allows the skin to grow over the wound. In that case, use a water-based Calendula gel rather than oil or ointment. Keeping the bandage wet can be tricky, and it helps to cover it with plastic of some sort to keep the bandage from drying out.

Related: There are many herbs you can use for common skin problems. Here are 8 of the best.

Making Your Own Topical Treatments

You might be wondering where you can get the Calendula and Symphytum products. Most natural foods stores carry gels, creams, oils and ointments of Calendula. I’m not so sure about Symphytum. But you can make your own! My supplier stopped making them some years back so I started making my own calendula and symphytum oil, which are oil infusions.

It’s very easy.

Here’s what you need:

  • Get a jar and fill it once with the DRY herb*
  • Fill it again, this time with the oil**
  • Leave it in a cool dark place for six weeks
  • Strain, and you have your oil infusion

*For Calendula use the flowers. For Symphytum use the leaves. (You can grow your own or find a good online herb supplier. Your natural food store can likely order them for you.)

**Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil is nice and has an anti-inflammatory effect, but it doesn’t keep long, so if you’re worried you won’t get through the entire batch, use a smaller jar.

Keep an eye on your dog’s wound, keep it clean, and you should notice improvements rather quickly.


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