Whether caused by other dogs’ attack or surgical incision, neck wound in dogs is not an uncommon thing. Allergies might also trigger dogs to scratch their neck. When a dog scratches the neck too hard, it can always possibly end in bleeding and irritation. If this is unnoticeable and left untreated, the bleeding and irritation may end in infection, which can be harmful to the dog’s health. Hence, preventing your dog from scratching the injured area is the most important thing in promoting a proper healing process.
Why preventing dog from scratching neck wound difficult
Keeping a dog from disturbing injured parts on the neck is not an easy thing to do. This might be caused by several instinctive reasons, such as:
- Shaved hair on a wounded part triggers severe itching, which invites dogs to either scratch the area hard or licking it continuously.
- Dogs have an instinct on licking an injured part as a way of attempting healing.
- Scabs, which are formed when a wounded skin is healing causes itching which most dogs cannot stand. As a result, they try to scratch to pick the scabs, which instead causes bleeding.
- Most dogs are not comfortable with any instruments put on their injured neck. Besides, some wound-protecting shields or collars sit on the neck that aggravate the wound instead of protecting it from scratches.
Keeping dog from scratching neck wound
Despite these complicated matters, it is not advisable to let the dog scratch the neck wound excessively, as their claws might not only be sharp, but also contain multiple kinds of bacteria which can be transferred into the wound from scratching. There are some things which can be tried to minimize the act of scratching or its effects on the wounded part. These include:
- Putting anti-itching cream or ointment onto the wound.
This might be effective for itching resulted from small wounds, but may not work for deep incision, which tends to be itchier. If you are applying itch-relieving ointment to the wounded neck, it is important to keep an eye on the dog, making sure she is not licking it, as the substances might be poisonous.
- Applying cold compress to the wound.
This can be done to minimize itching caused by a neck wound if you have plenty of time supervising the dog. Cold compress will numb the wound site, minimizing itching and burning sensation which trigger dogs to scratch and lick the wound.
- Bandage and no-lick spray.
Dressing the wounded neck might be effective. To lessen the possibility of falling off, use stretchable cotton bandage around the neck to cover the wound. Once the dressing is on, spray it with a no-lick spray to keep the dog from licking and wetting the gauze, which may trigger bacterial infestation.
- Neck collar.
There are variety of kinds of neck collars which can be effective in keeping dogs from messing with their wounded neck. You might find an e-collar—stands for Elizabethan collar, donut-shaped collar, and soft paper collar. However, some reasons make collars ineffective with dog neck wound, as it sits right on the wound, making it worse. Despite this, the e-collar is still beneficial for protecting the wound from being scratched by using it differently:
- Choose an e-collar one-size bigger than your dog’s usual collar size.
- Put the collar backwards on the dog’s waist near the rear feet, resembling a skirt.
- Put booties on your dog’s rear feet to minimize destructive effects of scratching to the wounded neck.
When you have a dog with a wound on the neck, a dog T-shirt is not merely a dog fashion item. Dress the wound with cotton gauze which is attached around the wounded neck. Afterwards, put the T-shirt on. This will give outer cover and protection to the wound site, preventing the dog from being able to scratch it excessively. Putting on booties to the rear feet is also a helpful method of prevention. This method will work best for incision site, as the T-shirt is going to cover the site entirely and gives no space for the dog’s feet to scratch.