View Full Version : Need advice/support-healing my GSD's nasty wound on paw!

Oct. 22, 2009, 10:55 PM
I debated asking about this here, but it is my "farm dog", and really my horse life seems on hold until I can get this wound to turn the corner toward healing. I've realized this is my fight now, I've had him to the vet 3 times, and I think the answer to success is in the quality of my nursing care at this point, in between vet visits.

As I type I'm choking up, as I feel like I'm at a turning point, but I really REALLY need to start seeing progress in healing this wound, or I'm going to have to start impossible to bear thoughts about losing my 5 yo GSD "Baron" - and i just can't deal with that!

So, anyway, background: the wound happened 1.5 weeks ago - I'm not sure exactly how, but my theory is, on our usual evening walk through the property behind us, he jumped on some glass (there is an old wreck of a house, it could have been broken glass from that...) I didn't know anything was wrong, until we got back to the house, I was giving the dogs treats, and noticed this blood everywhere - what the...???

Found a long, deep cut on Baron's right forepaw. He never yelped, I only noted he was following me closely the second half of our walk - his nickname is my "Best Boy" so I just patted him for being so loyal, didn't know he was hurt until we got all the way home.

So, off to emergency clinic, 12 stitches, antibiotics etc. Comes home with Elizabethan collar which he HATES, makes me feel bad to keep him in it.

But I do, then by the 3rd day realize he has figured out how to get around the collar, has managed to chew through the bandage, and pulled all but 2 stitches.

Back to vet, repair stitches, new bandage, chili pepper on top.

That weekend was the "Nor-easter" storm that ruined Fairhill for many, and proved impossible to keep bandage dry - kept have to replace it myself, and wound started gaping each change, wider, wider...

Back to vet on Tuesday, said it was beyond help of sutures, now using "Granulex" spray to encourage granulation tissue to fill in, put on another bandage.

That bandage started to loosen Wed, today I had to cut it off and clean and reapply.

Was going to go back to vet, but as I said, I feel now it's up to me (and Baron) - I need to up my nursing care & techique to enable this slow healing, gaping hole in his paw to heal!

He is still on antibiotics of course, and I did finally see something that looks like granulation tissue starting to fill in the gap (from the bottom of the wound)... and will call my vet in the morning, but worried...

The vet & techs keep saying, change bandage evry 3-4 days, but I haven't been able to make it that far - either he finds a way to chew into it, or my waterproof "sock" fails and it gets wet, etc.... I think I finallly have solved the later (IV fluids bag, pretty sturdy, duck tape holds it on when we go out) but still worried he will get to it some how (sprayed bandage with "Fooey" (supposed to be better than Bitter Apple to keep them off it).

Can't think seriously about anything else in my life right now, until I can feel my best boy, my faithful Baron, is going to make it through this. The wound is currently about 3 inches long, an inch and a half wide, on top of the inside of his right paw.

Anyone found any special concoction that a) helped a slow healing, beyond stitches wound? b) kept a dog from chewing bandage over said wound? or c) kept such a wound waterproof? (in spite of IV bag working, still worried as it is supposed to start raining again tomorrow... he is only allowed out briefly with me to go potty, going slighly insane at lack of exercise but what can I do..>?)

Has anyone discovered anything better than the clear plastic Elizabethan collar for this sort of thing? I was thinking about buying the "folding" E collar form Dr. Foster & Smith, but it is another $45 - I'm over $700 in vet bills already, but would buy it if I thought it would be more comfortable for him and/or kept him off wound better.

Thanks for reading if you got this far. I feel like I have to protect the new bandage I put on tonight with my "life" and pray (next scheduled bandage change Sunday, if it doesn't get wet or chewed - hoping to see good granulation tissue then, please!)

Need my best boy Baron, back on the job as chief farm dog. Miss my boy!

(& Baron, who says, if you'd just take this bandage & collar off and let me chew this paw until I'm done, we'd be fine Mom! SIGH)

Oct. 23, 2009, 01:54 AM
I haven't had any personal experience with this, but I'd look into treatment with medical grade honey if he's not healing the next time you check it out.



Good luck!

Oct. 23, 2009, 05:56 AM
You have my sympathies. As you said, you need to get the wound healed now. So the dog will have to be miserable until it heals. I got a similar wound to heal on my horse using Tea tree oil first aid products--I cannot remember the name just now.

You also need to find a collar that he cannot get around. I have also then vet-wrapped the wound, and covered with a plastic bag sealed with duct tape. The super sticky adhesive tape used by vet hospitals and that you can get at surgical supply stores is also very helpful. You may need to keep him confined to keep the bandage from getting wet.

Good luck. It is doable. I never thought that my horse's hock would heal, but it did, and he returned to eventing.

Oct. 23, 2009, 08:06 AM
Agree with some sort of collar that will keep him off the paw. That said, our dearly departed GSP could twist herself into a pretzel even WITH a cone collar on and chew at her hind leg. What finally helped heal her wound was Columbia Veterinary powder. This was a wound that started as a scratch/scrape thatshe would not leave alone. We sprayed it with several types of NO chew products, she took antihistamines, we wrapped it- Ypou name it- we tried it. Finally a friend told us about the powder- an old race horse med. It's a boric acid based powder that is also good for human use. At least she uses it for bug bites, poison ivy, etc. We applied it several times a day, usually whenever we thought of it and in time the wound was a tiny spot. We lost her to old age at that point, but the wound was healing quite fast after over a year of trying eveything ew could think of. I've ordered it from KV Vet( www.kvvet.com) and I've only seen it in one store, a down east tack shop in Maine. You might find it in more rural/farming areas. Good luck, I know how frustrating these wounds can be.

Oct. 23, 2009, 08:30 AM
Just be careful with vet wrap/duct tape. I had some tough wounds on my GSD and vet wrapped them to keep him away. The vetwrap slid down enough where it created a pressure point and in about 8 hours created another wound....arggg! these wounds were just scratches that he kept bothering until they became a problem, so nothing like what you are dealing with. Good luck!

Oct. 23, 2009, 08:36 AM
You may have to muzzle him when you can't watch him if the E-collars don't work.

I've also used a light plastic bucket as an e-collar, they're longer and narrower than the standard collar and can be harder to get around.

It's a cut on his paw. You won't lose him. It'll heal, eventually, just keep it clean.

Oct. 23, 2009, 09:40 AM
Thanks guys! I will look into each of the products you linked me too.

Update, this morning, he managed to step on the water proof protective IV bag I'd taped on for taking him outside, dragged the entire bandage off! Managed to half carry, half drag my 100+ pound dog back to inside before it got contaminated, got clean bandage back on. The good news is, I thought wound looked a little better than it did last night - definitely filling in with something, hopefully clean granulation tissue!

You are right, he will just have to be "miserable" until this is done. No way I can let him do what he wants, nor even let him exercise his stress out. "Tough love" is the new motto!

Thanks again for new ideas & support,


Oct. 23, 2009, 10:03 AM
Can you get a boot for him?

My Jack Russell tore a pad all the way through and across while practicing for terrier trials. Day 1 I had to bandage, vet wrap and duct tape it, but after that I was able to get a boot for him and keep it on. What helped me to keep the vet wrap and duct tape on my guy was to wrap him all the way up, just make sure it's not too tight. Since you are putting duct tape over the vet wrap, you don't really need to strech it as you can make it tighter with the duct tape if needed.


You can put McNasty or a product like that on the boot to discourage chewing on it.

Oct. 23, 2009, 10:40 AM
ELastoplast is the name of the tape that is used to secure bandages. It is great, sticks to fur and is bendable.

Oct. 23, 2009, 01:06 PM
Basket muzzles (2, at the same time, were once needed on a Malinios)
E Collar (I once saw one made out of a plastic garbage can on a lab with a tail injury)
Leash walks only, no running to rip off the IV bag bootie.

If you can't control him, send him off for medical boarding. It won't be cheap but they should be able to keep him under control.

Oct. 23, 2009, 07:56 PM
Can you get a boot for him?

Gosh I loff you guys :)

My best boy Baron has benefitted from all advice so far, but quoting this as it was the impetus for me to visit Pet Smart this aft - found several other items reccomended there but quoting above as the "Mutt-luk" booties I picked up are a huge hit - Baron is okay wearing it, and it's waterproof and securely staying on. Also bought a bigger, more comfortable E-collar, that seems to be working much better as well.

So, now I'm all set & determined to keep bandage on & dry until Sunday - my parents are visiting and my mom is a retired nurse, I'll change it with her professional advice to help.

Oh, extra treats & chew things from Pet Smart haven't hurt either ;) Baron and I have agreed we'll start our diets again (we both need to lose about 15 pounds) *after* his wound is closed!

Thanks again, you guys have definitely helped me think outside the box and confidence we will get this fixed. :)

Oct. 23, 2009, 08:09 PM
Hopefully the boot works.

Did you all know there's a type of Vetrap that's made to taste nasty? My dog vet sent me home with a roll for one of my dogs that had a tumor on her leg removed. It detered my dog from chewing her bandage, but she wasn't hell-bent on getting it off, either. She was more of a licker than a chewer.

And on the subject of Vetrap for dogs- the 4" rolls cut quite nicely with a sharp knife to make two 2" rolls. I wasn't about to pay $3/roll for the narrow stuff when I already had a stash of $1.19 rolls of the 4" rolls in the barn.

Oct. 24, 2009, 01:42 AM
Does he like kongs? Most of my GSDs have adored their kongs. And you can stuff it with goodies and even freeze to keep him occupied for a long time.



With a big male, I recommend one of the extremes (black) in extra or extra extra large. They'll still trash 'em, but it takes a bit longer. :cool:

Oct. 24, 2009, 01:48 AM
If the boot doesn't work, depending on the size dog, you could put a condom over his paw when walking. Weird, I know, but it works. Hey...if it's icy, get him the ribbed kind for better traction!:lol:

Oct. 24, 2009, 02:43 AM

Now that's really thinking outside the box....so to speak!

Oct. 24, 2009, 11:41 AM

Now that's really thinking outside the box....so to speak!

My brother did that with his thumb, when he cut it slicing lemons. He said he was doing "safe cooking".:lol:

Oct. 24, 2009, 01:00 PM
LOL Jetsmom; I would need to buy extra EXTRA large to fit over Baron's bandaged paw. Not sure it would work but thinking of buying some just for the humor at the cash register moment.

PS so far Muttluks bootie is working - YAY!

Oct. 24, 2009, 01:33 PM
For humans, they pack the wound with gauze soaked in sterile saline or a sterile bleach solution (can't remember the name). DD had some pretty serious abdominal surgery and the staples blew. We had to pack it with fresh gauze and/or steril packing tape twice a day. Don't know if that's a solution for a dog or not. Have you thought about taking Baron to a doggie internist for a second opinion. They're expensive, but the one time I had to use one, it was worth it.

Oct. 24, 2009, 05:55 PM
For humans, they pack the wound with gauze soaked in sterile saline or a sterile bleach solution (can't remember the name). DD had some pretty serious abdominal surgery and the staples blew. We had to pack it with fresh gauze and/or steril packing tape twice a day. Don't know if that's a solution for a dog or not. Have you thought about taking Baron to a doggie internist for a second opinion. They're expensive, but the one time I had to use one, it was worth it.

Thanks, I was wondering what they did with a human in this situation; I hope your DD recovered fine!

I am crossing fingers that I will see improvement at next cleaning/rebandaging with my RN mom present; all going well we will proceed, but thanks for reminding me that getting another opinion and or taking him to a more experienced clinic is an option!

All this makes me wish I'd insured him with VPI - I considered going for it with all my dogs after puppy Beowulf ate the light bulbs, but I hesitated.

So after this incident, I will anty up and insure all 3 dogs - probably never to have a serious issue again, murphy's law being what it is, LOL.