How to Prevent Your Pet from Licking Its Wound


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Pets get injuries, just like humans, and they need to be treated in time for these injuries to avoid complications and infections. However, a major issue, especially with cats and dogs, when it comes to wounds and healing is that they tend to lick their wounds constantly. Although this helps them keep the wound clean in the wild, it means that you will not be able to apply any medication on the wounds for them to heal faster. How can you prevent this behavior?

Ways to prevent your dog or cat from licking its wounds
  • Elizabethan collar: This is the most common way to prevent licking, more commonly used for dogs than cats. It is a stiff, cone-shaped collar that looks like a lamp shade and is strapped to your petโ€™s neck just behind the ears. It prevents them from licking their bodies and keep the tongue away from wounds and stitches.
  • Soft collars: There are also soft cloth and inflatable collars that you can use for your pet. These collars are more commonly used with cats than dogs, and are used for specific injury sites on the body. Your vet is the best person to guide you on what collar, stiff or soft, will work best for your pet post-surgery or when recovering from an injury.
  • Anti-lick bandages: Both dogs and cats have a tendency to chew through bandaging material, especially gauze. Dogs may also rip away the bandaging with their powerful teeth and jaws, leaving wounds and stitches exposed and increasing chances of infection. There are anti-lick strips available that wrap around gauze and keep your dogs from tearing away the bandaging. Sticky bandaging that does not teat away with licking can be used for cats. These bandages are useful mainly for legs and paws.
  • Distractions: This works mainly for dogs, although you can use it with your cats as well. Give your pets something to do with their mouths so they do not try to lick their wounds. You can give them chewy treats or toys, distract them with games, or tire them out so they are exhausted and fall asleep.
Tips to help your pet heal from injuries
  • Ensure they are treated on time by a veterinary doctor you trust.
  • If there are bandages, check with the vet about bandage changes and strictly follow hygiene and bandage changing schedules.
  • If you notice any odd smells, swelling or any abnormality with the wound, take your pet to the vet immediately for a checkup.
  • Give your pet the proper recommended diet when healing from a major surgery or injury.

Take care of your pets when they are injured to ensure that they heal well and do not injure themselves further or fall prey to infections. Keeping a close eye on your pets till they are completely healed is always a good idea.

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