03-2104 March

Ask Dr. Debbie

Q: My Blue tick heeler, Jinx, was goofing around and cut his leg open on a fence. He’s seems fine and is walking okay, but he keeps trying to lick the wound. I was going to go to the vet for sutures, but a friend told me dog saliva has healing properties and it’ll heal better if I just let him lick it.

A: While there is some truth to the old wives tale that dog saliva has beneficial compounds, I do not recommend your dog’s tongue serve as a replacement for proper wound care.

Dog saliva has indeed been found to contain beneficial compounds such as Nerve Growth Factor, histatins and nitrite. Through different biochemical pathways, these compounds help to promote healing and protect against bacterial infections.

But before we give those positive benefits too much credit, don’t forget what the average dog explores with his mouth on a given day. From crunching on bugs, ingesting wildlife feces, to the self- bathing rituals including butt and genital licking- a dog’s tongue covers a lot of territory and invites bacterial and parasite contamination. And one whiff of “doggie breath” should prove that some dog’s mouths are hotbeds for foul smelling bacteria accompanying periodontal disease.

Some dogs end up licking wounds to an obsessive level- and just don’t know when to stop. Repeated licking at wounds may compromise health of tissues and further delay wound healing.

I’d encourage you to take Jinx to the veterinarian to have his laceration evaluated. Most lacerations heal swiftest when they are managed surgically by debriding (cutting away) unhealthy tissue, lavaging the wound (flushing with sterile solution to clear a wound of debris and bacteria), and suturing tissue layers. Jinx will thank you for allowing him to get back to his normal antics soon!

Orphaned Wildlife- Or Not?
Its spring and wildlife babies of all types are being born. Often people find baby rabbits or birds and assume they are orphaned. Each spring our hospital is presented with scores of baby bunnies and nestlings that folks drop by, assuming that they won’t survive without human care.

But stop before you pick up these critters. In a recent blog, LMAH veterinarian Mary Lee discusses why human intervention isn’t always in these babies best interest, and how to recognize when you should intervene. Visit the LMAH blog at Stray wildlife in Las Vegas – Lone Mountain Animal Hospital

Dental Special Extension
Did time run short and you missed the dental special? You’ll be happy to hear that the LMAH dental month special is continuing through April 31st. Call the office for your pet’s dental appointment today 702-645-3116.

Pet of the Month
Congratulations to our pets of the month Destiny and Spike, Desert Tortoises. They are a definite survivor’s story, read more about them on our Pet of the Month Page

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