If you have a dog that often gets scabs, it may be time to see your vet. This is because scabs are a symptom of a deeper skin condition that needs to be addressed.
Scabs can develop for a variety of reasons, including flea bites, self-trauma, scratches from other animals and insect bites. They can also be the result of skin allergies.
1. Clean the Wound
When your dog has a scab, it’s best to clean the wound thoroughly. This helps remove dirt, fur and allergens from the wound that can cause irritation, itching or scratching.
After cleaning the wound, you can moisturize it to help it heal. Try a topical spray, containing vitamins E and B or hydrocortisone cream.
Keeping your dog well-hydrated can also help it heal. Dehydration aggravates skin conditions and can lead to crusty scabs.
In addition, an open wound or partially-removed scab can be an invitation to parasites like fleas and ticks, which are known to nest in the skin and feed on blood.
After a dog scab treatment, the wound should be cleaned with warm water and a dilute cleansing solution of chlorhexidine or iodine. Avoid soaps, shampoos or rubbing alcohol, as they can be toxic to dogs and delay healing.
Whether your dog has just had a minor cut or an injury that needs stitches, scabs can form over the wound to protect it from further damage. They can also help a dog stop scratching the area, which can lead to an itchy or painful experience.
You can easily apply a touch of coconut oil to the scab to keep it moist and soften the skin so that your dog doesn’t have to go through the painful process of trying to peel it off. Just make sure to cover it up with a bandage or sling to prevent your dog from licking or opening the wound.
The skin on your dog’s body is very sensitive, and if it is dry or itchy, the dog will likely become more stressed out and uncomfortable. This may cause your dog to lick the wound and cause it to get infected or even worse, to scratch at the skin and hurt the scab.
3. Keep the Wound Clean
A dog’s wound needs to be clean so it can heal effectively. The best way to keep the wound clean is to follow your veterinarian’s instructions.
You can do this by gently washing the wound with a mild soap and water or using an antiseptic cleaning solution, as instructed by your vet. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol as these can damage the skin and delay healing.
Keeping the wound clean will also help reduce irritation that could lead to additional scratching, biting or licking and can prevent bacteria from making their presence known. Depending on the type of infection, your vet may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics to help kill any bacterial growth and reduce inflammation.
4. Keep the Wound Dry
If you’re treating a dog scab, it’s important to keep the wound dry. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked.
Your dog’s skin is sensitive and needs airflow to stay healthy and dry. Leaving a scab to ooze or become moist can cause it to overheat and develop an infection that requires your vet’s attention.
Once the scab has been removed, it’s important to allow it time to breath and rehydrate itself before applying any antimicrobial ointment. It’s also best to let the scab dry completely before bandaging it with a clean, breathable gauze.
The first stage of wound healing is when the damaged cells start to repair themselves and form a protective layer over the area. During this stage, the wound’s surface is reddish pink and resembles a scab.