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How to treat a dog wound inflicted by a groundhog

Groundhog taking a step on a green lawn near the side of a house.

Doesn't play well with dogs. (Photo: Flickr/Cathy Gayle)

How to treat a dog wound inflicted by a groundhog

February 01, 2013

Q: My Jack Russell terrier got in a tussle with a groundhog and has a 3/4" cut on his upper mouth. (About 2 inches from his nose on the upper lip.) We got the wound cleaned out at the vet hospital and he now has antibiotics and a rabies shot. There has been very little bleeding. At the hospital they wanted to stitch him up, but I just cannot afford to spend $800. Will the wound heal without the stitches?

A: The wound should heal, as long as it does not become infected. The wound should contract and close by scarring within a couple of weeks. Because of where it is located, you cannot apply topical antibiotics or he will lick it off. Instead, this is what you can do:

1 - Flush the wound with plenty of water 3-4 times per day to keep it clean and promote scar tissue (granulation tissue). This tissue will be bright red and bleeds easily. Once you see this tissue (within 1 week), that is a good sign. Soon the wound will begin to contract and close.

2 - When you finish flushing the wound, apply a honey (regular honey) on the wound. Prior to applying the honey distract him by giving him a treat or holding a treat in front of him. If he licks the honey it will not be a big deal. Honey will promote granulation and somewhat prevent the wound from becoming infected.

3 - Continue on oral antibiotics.

-- Answer from Dr. Peter, a dog veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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