Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hot Spot and Wound care for pets

Dear Labby,

I have a nasty hot spot on my left hip! It burns and itches. How do I get it to stop?

Rusty the Lab

Hi Rusty,
Hot spots and other "owies" can be hard to get rid of and uncomfortable for any animal. I won't give you a complete first aid lesson here, but I would like to pass along some tips from our mom's horse vet, Dr. Larry Martin, of Large Animal Veterinary Associates in El Cajon, CA. 

Dr. Larry has a lot of common sense, and his suggestions are good for horses AND dogs. And sometimes for people too! The first step in treating any wound is to wash it out. "Irrigate, irrigate irrigate," are the first three steps, he once told me. Get all the dirt and bacteria out of there. If you've ever been bitten by a dog (heaven forbid!) and had to wash it out, you know how much it hurts to run water down into the wound, but it's the best defense against infection. 

If a wound is deep, be sure to get to the vet. The animal may need stitches and antibiotics. If it is a surface wound and you feel home care will be sufficient, read on.

Some wounds are in spots where you can't bandage them. When Star the horse had a nasty bite wound (from his roommate) on his shoulder, Dr. Larry had Terry make a mixture to put on it: 
Horseman's Dream aloe vera cream for healing, Swat! fly repellent, and Bag Balm (similar to Vaseline) to make it all stick to the wound and protect it. This gooey mixture has all the elements needed to keep flies from laying eggs and dirt from getting in while the injury heals. 

Dr. Larry says he even uses Horseman's Dream to put on his son's road rash when he falls off his bike and scuffs up his knees. Horseman's Dream is made specifically for horses and dogs, and you can buy it online or in a local tack store. I've used it on my own skin and it feels cool and refreshing. If you can't find Bag Balm (try WalMart), you can substitute petroleum jelly. SWAT is fly repellent cream, and comes in bubblegum pink or white. 

Back to the hot spot problem. Horseman's dream by itself cooled off and helped heal my own hotspot; I hope it helps you too! 

If the wound gets inflamed and red around the edges, or oozes pus, it is infected. Get to the vet right away before it makes the pet really sick. 



Nitrile Gloves said...

You should always keep a well arranged medical kit at home for self helping. These will be very helpful for you whenever anyone at home is sick or wounded.

nitrile exam gloves said...

Definitely have something like Vetericyn on hand if you are working with animals. It kills 99.99% of infection in 30 seconds, increasing oxygen and promoting rapid healing. Vetericyn is a one-step topical spray for animals that cleans wounds, treats infection, and kills bacteria. Hope that helps :)