A couple weeks ago I got bad cuts on each leg one worse than the other…As soon as I came home that night my dog went right to the spots where I had got hurt and licked them nonstop. A week later one of the wounds healed, now he leaves that one alone but insists on licking the other wound not fully healed. How can he tell that I got hurt there? I know dogs lick their own wounds so much that sometimes they need a cone on their head so I guess they think it helps.
Dog saliva has been shown to kill bacteria but depending on what the dog has just been licking/eating their saliva has bacteria of its own too. Still, in general a dog licking its wounds is nature’s way of aiding in healing but it is not always helpful (they can do it too much hence the cone on the head bit).
As much as I love my dog and like to think she has a pharmacy of antibiotics in her mouth I’ll opt for some over the counter remedies and a bandage.
I think the cone on the head bit is more a matter of them ripping out stiches. When my dogs where spayed the vet said they don’t need the cone unless they spend alot of time ‘down there’ becuase they would reopen the wound.
And to the OP…When I got my most recent tattoo, I thouht it was really stange that they wouldn’t stop sniffing it all night (they would have been licking it but I kept them away from it). I just chalked it up to maybe the smell of the ink, or something they put on it, or the latex from the gloves the guy wore. I never thought that it was possibly from the smell of a ‘wound.’ (But I was pretty sure they didn’t recognize that the tattoo was of them.)
My guess is smell. I’ve heard but can’t verify that a dog can detect one drop of blood in a gallon of water.
I had a similar thing happen. I had a mostly healed cut on my knee. The wound had scabbed over, and the scab was about to fall off. My dog came over, and very gently pulled the scab off with his incisors. I have no idea why he did this-was it to help me in some way?
Smell is right. Dogs are being trained in some hospitals to sniff wounds for signs of infection. They can also sniff moles and detect oncoming skin cancer, or smell a patient’s breath and check for signs of lung cancer.
Of course, all of this is still in the experimental stages, and doctors will continue to rely on traditional testing, but I think it would be great if dogs could be trained and sent to third-world nations where they don’t have such advanced medicine.
Dogs can also sense seizures long before the humans know they’re coming on. Anecdotally, we used to know an old man whose dog would sniff his breath and paw him anxiously when the man’s sugar levels were dangerously low. He’d never been trained to do that.
Others have answered the question- it’s probably the smell coupled with the additional heat that a healing infection puts out- but I have to post to ask this:
Y’all let your dogs lick your wounds? Pull off scabs with their TEETH? :eek:
Don’t get me wrong, I love my animals, even the really, really stupid ones. But I know where their mouths have been. There’s no way you can convince me that this is a hygenic practice. Even the mailbag implies it’s not a good idea. Out of curiosity, and not intending to be snarky at all: what is going through your minds when you let them do this?
I sure as hell don’t-- I’ve seen where that tongue has been.
I suspect like the other posters stated that he smelled the wound. I’m personally surprised you allowed him to lick the wound. How old are you, if you don’t mind answering?
The dog have an acidic low Ph saliva to kill bacteria. This is how they can eat rotten road kill infested with maggots and not get sick.
I have two Hybred cats part asian leopard and these guys impress me every day with their extreme senses.
For your health and well being use an antiseptic such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide next time. I would hate to see you lose a leg due to an infection because your dogs saliva was not up to par that day. :smack:
It was nice salty snack, right? They eat poop, why not another nice organic treat?
Yeah, you do realize that you’re made of meat, right?
its interesting discussion. Well, I came to know that dogs have some magnetic tincture in their
tongue, they lick their wounds and that it heal them. Hope you got the idea.
Pointers maybe. As long as they’re the kind that always point north.
Or, in other words:…
(It’s taking longer than we thought.)
zombie or no
shit eating dogs are nature’s nurses.
I’ve watched my dogs gently clean each other’s wounds, especially where the victim can’t reach (like ears and faces). They use the same technique and wear the same expression as mother dogs licking their puppies do. I think it is an instinctive social behavior, which only applies to friends and offspring. My dominant male tenderly cleans the nicks that he himself snarlingly applied to a socially junior dog getting above their station only moments before.
Dogs’ sense of smell is so much better than ours that it is, practically speaking, a different sense altogether.