Q. Dewey has open gash on rear hind leg; not bleeding, but very raw. What can I use to help heal wound?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Even if the wound is not actively bleeding, if it is very large (more than an inch or two) or you can visibly see tissue or bone underneath it, it is best to seek veterinary care. Your vet will likely recommend suturing up the wound to prevent infection and other debris from getting inside and taking hold. In larger wounds, antibiotics may also be given preemptively, or a temporary drain placed to keep bacteria from sitting under the skin.
If the wound is small and minor, keeping it clean and dry is the best for preventing infection. A clean warm wet washcloth can be used to clean out any dirt or debris, and then lightly dried with a dry washcloth. Do not attempt to place any over the counter medications unless instructed by your vet as many can be toxic. Keeping your dog from licking or chewing at the wound will also help prevent an infection. Signs of infection to look out for include discoloration, pain, swelling, redness or discharge that is green or yellowish in color. If you see these signs, making an appointment with your vet is best.