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Imagine taking a peaceful walk in the beautiful Wicklow mountains, only to witness a chaotic tangle of four dogs fighting. Unfortunately, my dear canine neighbour Toby ended up on the losing side of such a scuffle, suffering extensive dog bites from a larger dog. He was rushed to the vet and underwent surgery to treat his wounds.

He looked like a patchwork quilt after

With stitches and drains protruding from his body. We knew how crucial it was to prevent any chance of infection since dog bites can quickly escalate and become fatal due to sepsis. Therefore, these tubes were necessary to allow the wounds to drain any potentially infected fluids, which could be seen oozing out in a red, brown or watery colour.

After the traumatic experience, I reached out to my holistic vet friend based in Portmarknock Vets in Dublin who shared valuable insights into bite wounds. She warned that even a seemingly small wound could lead to flesh rotting underneath. Causing the skin to peel off, exposing the underlying damage in just a few days. It was an important reminder of the severity of dog bites and the need for prompt assessment & treatment. 

If your animal friend has been in a scuffle…

Always feel around & palpate the body. Part the hair and look for any possible bites. Or if they start to get quiet a day or two after a fight take them to the vets for a check up. And even after an initial vet check up or treatment for dog bites stay vigilant of their energy levels as if they reduce it can be a sign of further infection developing.

My vet friend also revealed that Toby may have had stitches below the surface of his skin. As dog bites can cause harm to the muscles and fascia, resulting in tears up as far as his shoulders from the bites around his hips. I want to share this with you not to frighten you, but to bring awareness. So Toby’s experience can possibly help other animals someday as I know he would like that. 

Now getting back to his healing story! 

Fast forward a week later his drains were taken out at the vets and the holes started to close up. He was still on antibiotics and painkillers at this stage. And I had been treating him every step of the way with my animal botanicals including Helichysum essential oil for physical trauma of the body and the mind. Not only is this oil beneficial for Toby’s bite wounds, it helps with emotional bruises and tears too. I had him on an injury mix also that included a homeopathic antibiotic Hephar Sulph 200C. Just to be sure. 

Then the month of March brought snow! And it kept snowing, leaving our cars buried in the frosty terrain. The next day, as Toby gently sniffed about in it, I noticed fluid buildup around his wounds, causing me to worry. Going back to the vets wasn’t feasible, so I took swift action to alleviate the situation.

I changed up his botanical protocol

And put him on a homeopathic remedy Silica 200C to push these excess fluids out. And coated the sites where the drains had been with a green clay mix that contained Helichrysum essential oil, plus Thyme essential oil for its antibiotic properties and Witch Hazel to stop him scratching at it. 

Green clay acts to pull out the fluids which makes it a powerful adjunct in combination with the action of Silica that helps the body expel them. Toby had self selected all of these so he was guiding his own holistic animal treatments. What I mean by this is when we offer animals botanicals in their pure form they respond in such a way that shows us which ones they want to interact with such as licking it, or sniffing it vs ignoring it or turning away. Which helped me stay focused and calm as I’m a firm believer animals know how to heal themselves far better that we do.

Within 12 hours the fluids reduced down

And more red / brown fluid was wonderfully oozing out once again. I wanted to keep the drain wounds open until he could get back to the vets to prevent further build up. So everyday I washed them clean with warm distilled water, salt, and Thyme hydrosol. Gently removing any scabs, then reapplying the green clay which also acts as an effective protection barrier. 

By the time he got back to his regular vets three days later the wounds were perfectly clean and she said it was ok to let them close. The infection & fluids had abated nicely & she was very curious to learn more about this magical green clay! I thought this might happen, so I had my neighbour well versed on how to explain its mode of action. The more vets that know about these incredible botanicals the better.

Toby’s healing journey:

Are dog bites dangerous?

Once again I changed his protocol

And put him on Bellis Perennis 30C to further heal the extensive damage under the skin & Calendula 30C to close up the drain wounds more readily. The vet encouraged us to keep using the salt water each day also. But by this point Toby had turned a crucial corner and two weeks in we finally toasted to him being out of the woods. 

My next stage in his treatment is actually to heal the trauma in his daughter who he had been protecting during the dog fight. Since that day she barks at any large dog she meets. Whereas Toby, the top valley dog that he is, doesn’t miss a beat as he carries on about his doggie business as normal. To celebrate him with us, check out the video below that I made of his canine antics up here in the hills from before. And you can see him play with his sweet daughter who was born next door.

And if you would love to learn how to support your animals more holistically in this way, check out our online membership Animal Gatherings. Suitable for animal paw-rents who want to do better for their fluffs at home.  

Blessings, Lisa & Toby