Why do dogs lick their wounds?

April 13, 2012

It is easy to imagine a dog licking a wound on a front paw. Dogs will normally lick any wound on their body if it can be reached with their tongue. The tongue is perfect for probing a wound and licking the wound clean. The tongue’s moist and soft surface makes it a naturally effective wound cleaner.

The saliva of a dog’s tongues acts to loosen any debris that may be on the surface of the wound. Any dirt or other debris will also become attached to the moisture of the saliva. If a splinter is lodged in the skin, the manipulation of the area with the tongue may drive the splinter in further so that the wound requires medical attention.

When you notice that your dog begins to lick itself suddenly, a wound may be the reason for the sudden licking. This is why it is important to find out the cause of any unusual or sudden licking that your dog does. Although there are normal reasons for licking including affection, communication, activities of motherhood and the puppy stage and reproductive reasons, any wound may become infected especially if there is excess licking in the area. Excess licking in any area can also cause lick granuloma.

It has been discovered that a dog’s saliva contains components that act as a mild antibiotic on wounds. The antibiotics help to heal a dog’s wounds when they are applied through a dog’s licking action.

Your dog’s tongue is a great tool for the initial cleansing of wounds. It is fantastic that a dog’s saliva has antibiotic qualities that can help a wound heal safely and cleanly. You must seek out the medical attention for any wound on your dog that is not minor. Your dog’s health and safety depends on effective treatment of its wounds.

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