How can I help my dog with an itchy, licky tail wound?
September 6, 2012 12:14 AM   Subscribe

My (otherwise healthy, but very itchy as of late) dog licked and chewed his tail so much today that there is now a raw, bloody spot near the base. We are going to the vet tomorrow morning. Is there anything I can do tonight to stop the itching so we can both sleep? My instinct is to trim the hair around the wound, clean it with water, apply human antibiotic/anti itch cream, and somehow bandage the tail. Bad idea? Better ideas?
posted by justjess to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would give the dog some Benadryl. I was told by the vet just today to keep on giving our 40 pound dog 50mg twice a day. I put the tablets in a piece of wadded up Kraft Singles cheese and toss it in her mouth and she gulps it down whole. It helps.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:53 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Make sure it's just plain Benadryl, pseudoephedrine WILL KILL your dog.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:54 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

2nd Benadryl...I give my very itchy dog 25mg 3 times a day.
posted by cairnoflore at 12:59 AM on September 6, 2012

Your dog will probably need to wear the cone collar of shame as tails are very hard to bandage. If you already own one, I would put it on right now instead of/in addition to bandaging.
posted by anaelith at 1:26 AM on September 6, 2012

My dog has itchy butt/tail too; Nthing Benadryl. He's 20 lbs, I give him 1/2 reg strength pill 2x day if it's bad.
posted by Fig at 2:54 AM on September 6, 2012

Long hair? Short hair? Breed? Hard to tell without more specific information about your dog. But probably Benadryl for right now. Get him to the vet.
posted by trip and a half at 3:30 AM on September 6, 2012

There is this yellow stuff called Sulfodene that gives immediate relief. I mean immediate. Lasts for hours, too. Most pet stores will have over in the shampoo/ant-itch section.
I had never heard of it til my dog started getting hot spots (they tend to be at the base of the tail). The first time it happened, brought him to the vet, and he had half of his beautiful coat shaved off his ass for months. Tnen someone in the dog run told me about sulfodene. . Next time the chewing started, I bought this instead. I rubbed it on well to penetrate his fur to make sure that I got on the skin. He stopped chewing/trying to scratch immediately and within a week or two, it was gone. I had to reapply it twice maybe three times a day.
I was just upstate last week and my brothers dog had a hot spot and I went out a bought some and it worked just as well. He also had never heard of it prior.
Its relatively cheap, about $5-6 a bottle and well worth a shot.
posted by newpotato at 3:44 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Please use BABY Benadryl if you intend to administer Benadryl!
posted by Yellow at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2012

Be careful about what you put on it, being aware that the dog will try to chew whatever's there. I know that peroxide is safe in small quantities.
posted by windykites at 5:22 AM on September 6, 2012

They call that a hot spot. Your instincts are good. Here's how i take care of my two dogs when they get one: Trim the hair back so air can get to it and the moisture can dry out. Clean it gently with water (even with a little heavily diluted regular Listerine - the brown kind). Dry. Then some Gold Bond powder. And I agree a cone collar can be a lifesaver in cases like this.
posted by cecic at 6:22 AM on September 6, 2012

I have given Benadryl to my dog before, following my vet's instructions. He said that the typical dose is 1 mg/lb. Apparently, dogs do not react to Benadryl as strongly as humans do and need a higher dose than a human would take.
posted by Quonab at 8:20 AM on September 6, 2012

I used vet wrap to bandage my cat's tail. Pet stores might have it, farm supply stores definitely will.
posted by desjardins at 11:29 AM on September 6, 2012

Best answer: My dog had a hot spot and we put some vitamin E oil on it and it really helped. It alleviates the itching a little bit but it also helps to heal her skin. Good luck!
posted by cyml at 11:37 AM on September 6, 2012

All good suggestions. Yes, for right now, use Benadryl, following Quonab's suggestion of 1 mg/lb, unless your dog is under 10lbs, then subtract an mg. See a vet if this continues, because 'hot spots' can be caused by many things--food allergies for one and be hard to figure out the cause as well as developing into horrendous sores.

Pics when you get a moment? of the dog, not the spot.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:19 PM on September 6, 2012

Bactine always works for our (largish) dogs, and the vet didn't seem concerned about them licking it.
posted by bunji at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2012

Response by poster: I ended up using Vitamin E last night after deciding it was the least harmful thing he could potentially get into his system should he manage to chew through the bandage. It seemed to help.

Vet determined that he has "allergies" (yeesh, thanks) and he got a bath in something called "aloe and tar" shampoo which is helping so far.

Will try Benadryl if it doesn't clear up by tonight.

Oh yeah, and here's my favorite photo, post carne asada taco a while ago.
posted by justjess at 7:06 PM on September 6, 2012

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