Animal care products
Repolar Pharmaceuticals Oy is a Finnish family business that researches, develops, manufactures and markets treatment products for people and animals based on Norway spruce (Picea abies) resin and its active substances.
The resin is collected by hand in northern Lapland using a method that respects nature. The resin is cleaned and processed without heating it. That way, it is possible to preserve all the needed substances in the resin, and ensure that the end-products do not have carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties.
All products developed and manufactured by Repolar are based on comprehensive scientific studies and practical testing. The company’s quality management system is ISO 13485:2016-certified. The batches of completed products are always tested before being released for distribution.
The foundation of all Ani-series animal products are the non-sticky resin solutions developed and patented in Finland by Repolar, which come in several different strengths. Abilar® VET is an animal wound ointment containing 10% cold cleaned spruce resin.
Repolar’s animal treatment products are effective and safe, both for domestic and professional use. In order to minimise the risk of allergies and irritations, no scents or pigments are added to the products, neither do the products contain stinging acids or alcohol.
Repolar’s animal products work locally on the skin or mucous membranes, and their use does not require a doping withdrawal period.
Repolar Pharmaceuticals Oy values and supports Finnish labour and the Finnish economy. All our products also carry the Key Flag symbol indicating that they are made in Finland.
Ear disorders in dogs and cats
Our favourite species of pets, dogs and cats, suffer quite frequently from ear disorders. Most typical of these are ear infections, ear haematoma and various wounds and skin ruptures on the earlobe. Polyps and tumours that typically require surgical treatment are also not uncommon. Infections of the outer ear are more common in dogs, and they are also among the most common causes for seeking acute treatment from a vet.
Just like humans, the ears of dogs and cats can be anatomically divided into the outer, middle and inner ear. An ear infection in a dog or cat or ‘otitis externa’ means, almost without exception, an acute or chronic infection of the epithelial cell layer of the skin on the outer ear or earlobe and the ear canal. An infection of the middle ear or ‘otitis media’ and of the inner ear ‘otitis interna’ are much rarer in both species of animal.
Causes of ear infection
Causes of ear infection are divided into predisposing, primary, secondary and maintenance factors.
A dog’s ear canal is susceptible to infections because, anatomically, it is a long, narrow, L-shaped structure, at the bottom of which moisture, earwax, epithelial cells from the surface of the skin and dirt easily collect. Conditions in a dog’s ear canal are therefore favourable for the growth of bacteria and fungi that cause infections
Although a cat’s ear canal is structurally similar to that of a dog, constriction of the ear canal is rare in cats as a factor predisposing them to ear infections.
In addition to the structure of the ear, other factors predisposing the animals to ear infections include strong growth of hair in the ear, strong secretion from the earwax glands, floppy ears, frequent swimming and excessive or heavy-handed cleaning of the ears. These predisposing factors increase the risk of outer ear infection, but they do not usually cause it.
Factors maintaining ear infection, on the other hand, prolong or exacerbate infection of the ear canal. A change in the microclimate of the ear canal from dry to moist or pathological changes as a result of chronic infection prevent or slow down recovery from an ear infection.
The primary reasons for ear infections are allergies, atopy, foreign objects, parasites, hormonal skin disorders, autoimmune disorders, keratinisation disorders and tumours.
In cats, the most common primary causes of outer ear infection are foreign objects and external parasites. In dogs, on the other hand, far and away the most common cause of outer ear infection is allergy, such as food allergy or atopy.
Secondary causes are bacterial and fungal infections that exacerbate and complicate ear infections resulting from primary causes. The most common microbes causing ear infections in dogs are Malassezia yeast and Staphylococcus bacteria. The next most common are Streptococcus, pseudomonas and coli bacteria. Chronic ear infection in dogs is very often caused by a mixture of both bacterial and yeast infections.
Prevention of ear infections
There is no need to clean the ears of pets if they are clean and healthy. It is, however, worth checking the condition of the ears at regular intervals, so that nascent problems can be tackled in time before the infection becomes chronic. This particularly concerns breeds of dog with floppy ears and dogs that swim a lot, as the incidence of ear infections is great amongst these types. Dirty earlobes and the entrance to the ear canal can be easily cleaned with high-quality wet wipes. Fibres from the wet wipes must not be left inside the ears.
If your pet has had ear infections, the regular cleaning of ear wax from the ears with a soothing rinsing liquid will prevent the recurrence of infection and the infection from becoming chronic. A regularly cleaned ear canal is well ventilated and keeps dry, so that pathogens that prosper in a moist and dirty environment cannot multiply.
Ear infection diagnosis and findings
Ear infection diagnosis is done based on symptoms and findings from examinations. The symptoms of ear infection are redness, swelling, itching and pain in the outer ear and ear canal, as a result of which the animal will scratch its ears, shake and hang its head or walk with its head in a crooked position. Pus may be visible in the ear canal, and the infected ear might smell. Bacterial and fungal samples should be taken of the pus before cleaning, examining and treating the ear canal.
Examination of the ear canal (otoscopy) confirms the ear infection diagnosis. An ear canal that is full of pus, sensitive to touch, constricted or so swollen that it is blocked must be flushed and cleaned before the otoscopy, if necessary under general anaesthetic. When performing an otoscopy, a vet will always also check the condition of the eardrums. If an eardrum is damaged or punctured, ear rinses for which proper ototoxicity studies have not been performed, should not be used. An ear rinse that is ototoxic (poisonous to the ear) will damage the sensitive middle and inner ear of the dog, often causing hearing impairment.
Treatment of ear infection
Regular and careful cleaning of the earlobe and ear canal with ear rinse is very important when treating ear infections in animals. A good ear rinse effectively removes earwax, dirt and pus, and prevents bacteria and yeast from growing.
In order to slow the development and spread of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, a responsible attitude must be taken to the use of antibiotics. The choice of antibiotics used in an animal’s ear infection should always be based on the results of an examination of bacterial and fungal culture and susceptibility testing. The correct dose is determined based on the MIC or minimum inhibitory concentration value. Cleaning of the ears with ear rinse is necessary during both local and systemic medical treatment.
When an animal shakes its head or scratches its ear violently, damage to the blood vessels in the earlobe can occur. Leaking fluid mixed with blood collects between the cartilage and the skin and forms a build-up of blood. This kind of haematoma on the earlobe is also called othematoma. The possible causes of ear haematoma are many, but usually it is a consequence of scratching resulting from itching caused by an ear infection or parasite. It may also be caused by a serious illness, which weakens the blood vessels on the surface, so it is always advisable to investigate the reason for the symptoms. Ear haematoma is experienced not only by dogs and cats but also by rabbits, among other animals. Animals that have long floppy ears are at greater risk of suffering from ear haematoma than are animals with erect ears.
Treatment for ear haematoma entails emptying the build-up of blood and preventing its recurrence. If ear haematoma is left untreated, the earlobe often heals in wrinkled way. An earlobe that heals from haematoma in a deformed way is called a cauliflower ear.
There are several different techniques for emptying an effusion of blood. Often when ear haematoma occurs the first time, evacuating the cavity is done with a needle and syringe. The cavity must then be rinsed clean to minimise the risk of recurrence. Often, the cavity is also finally injected with cortisone or an antimicrobial treatment rinse that relieves irritation. If ear haematoma recurs, it is usually treated surgically. Surgical evacuation can be done using several different techniques.
Infection of dogs’ anal glands
Dogs have two small scent glands on both sides of their anus. Each gland contains a small amount of very strongly scented fluid. When a dog defecates, slight pressure is put on the glands and they secrete a small amount of fluid to lubricate the anus.
Causes and symptoms of anal gland infection in dogs
The anal glands may become infected for many reasons. These include heavy secretions or constipation, poor condition of the anal muscles, chronically soft faeces or recent diarrhoea. Usually, the anal aperture is swollen, red and sore, and the dog licks the area or drags its hindquarters along the ground. The faeces typically becomes soft and the owner will notice a typical smell of rotten fish coming from the dog’s rear end.
Diagnosis of anal gland infection in dogs
Diagnosing the disorder begins with a physical examination by a vet. The vet analyses the dog’s health and possible occurrences related to the problem. If necessary, a blood test and urine test are taken so that the possibility of other diseases can be ruled out. Enlarged anal glands are examined and a sample of secretions can be sent to a laboratory for examination of culture.
Treatment of anal gland infection in dogs
At first, infected anal glands must be emptied and rinsed clean. This procedure is best done at a vet’s surgery, if necessary with the animal sedated. After that an anti-mucosal rinse for cleaning and treatment of the anal glands is injected into the anal sac. Sometimes, oral antibiotic treatments may also be prescribed. Blocked and inflamed anal glands may fester, which requires lancing so that the secretion inside can be emptied and rinsed. The hole made by this procedure is left open so that the wound can heal from the inside. It is recommended that the hole be rinsed daily with a solution that relieves irritation. The vet performing the treatment will give advice on necessary treatment measures. In chronic anal gland infection, the vet may remove the glands completely.
Foreskin infection in dogs
The prostate of a male dog is constantly producing fluid, which mixes with sperm produced in the testicles in the seminal duct. Foreskin secretion is also quite normal in male dogs and, in some dogs, they might produce plenty of it. The secretion is affected by, among other things, the dog’s testosterone levels and the scents from bitches in heat, which may be in the vicinity.
Causes and symptoms of foreskin infection in dogs
Dirt and secretions easily accumulate in the foreskin cavity or so-called sheath. Irritation or mild inflammation of the foreskin is quite common in male dogs, particularly those aged 6 months to 2 years. Signs of foreskin inflammation are yellowish-green secretion stains, dirt on the hair around the dog’s penis and the dog’s desire to lick its penis. Sometimes, secretion and licking of the penis may cause irritation of the foreskin. Such minor inflammations do not usually bother the dog. What often constitutes a problem are stains dropped by the dog around the living environment. Neutered dogs very rarely have this type of bacterial infections.
Diagnosis of foreskin infection in dogs
If the secretion begins to smell bad, the foreskin swells and becomes painful, the dog’s temperature rises (to more than 39.5°C measured in the rectum), the dog feels pain when urinating, or other symptoms of inflammation occur, the services of a vet should then be sought. By examining the animal, the vet will ensure that it is a question of foreskin inflammation rather than inflammation of the prostate, urinary tract or even some tumour.
Treatment of foreskin infection in dogs
The neutering of a male dog ends the production of semen, because the testicles and epididymides are removed. The prostate does remain in place but, as the level of testosterone decreases, the function of the prostate also declines. Neutering is one way of ending secretion, but rinsing of the foreskin can also treat the symptoms. The foreskin can be flushed out from the inside using a rinsing liquid and syringe available from pharmacies and vet’s surgeries. In their normal state, many antiseptics are too strong for the mucous membranes. The solutions are diluted to a suitable strength under the guidance of a physician. Flushing out is done daily from a few days to two weeks, or according to the symptoms. Sometimes with more serious inflammations, treatment may also consist of a course of antibiotics in addition to flushing out. A convenient aid to ease everyday life is the use of wet wipes that do not irritate the mucous membranes. With these lint-free wipes, it is quick and easy to clean both the foreskin and the folds of the vulva. Because secretion from the foreskin is linked to hormones, when a dog gets older the problem often calms down by itself.
Skin problems in dogs and cats
According to studies, more than one-fifth of problems brought to small animal vets concern skin disorders. With dogs, the most common reasons for contacting vets are ear infections, purulent skin infections, blockage of the anal glands, fleas and atopic rashes. With cats, typical problems are abscesses, fleas and ear infections.
Causes of skin problems
With skin disorders, the causes can be categorised into predisposing, primary, secondary and maintenance factors. This categorisation is familiar from ear infections. Of the aforementioned most common skin problems, both ear infections and purulent skin infections are almost always the causes of secondary infections. They are the result of some primary disorder such as allergy. In order to prevent the recurrence of infections, is also very important to find and treat the primary cause of the disorder.
Purulent skin infections (pyoderma) and their treatment
Depending on its depth, pyoderma is divided into superficial pyoderma, surface pyoderma (intermediate) and deep pyoderma.
In superficial pyoderma, the inflammation is in the outermost layer of the epidermis, in the area of the stratum corneum. The most typical forms of superficial pyoderma are hot spot or acute moist dermatitis and intertrigo, an infection in the folds of the skin.
In surface pyoderma, the inflammation is deeper than in superficial pyoderma, but still limited to the area of the epidermis and not penetrating the basement membrane of the skin. Examples of these are impetigo, its deeper form (ecthyma) and superficial folliculitis (inflammation of one or more hair follicles).
In deep pyoderma, the infection penetrates the basement membrane between the epidermis and the dermis, spreads to the dermis and sometimes even goes into the deeper tissue. Boils (furuncles) and cellulitis are forms of deep pyoderma.
Local treatment like shaving fur, washing and local treatment (shampoos, gels, salves, powders, sprays, wipes) are important in all forms of pyoderma. Local treatment alone may be enough for the treatment of hot spot, intertrigo, impetigo and mild superficial folliculitis. Also in other forms of pyoderma, local treatment accelerates healing and prevents the recurrence of infection. In spite of everything, it is good to remember that, in order to heal, some individuals require systemic antibiotic treatment, which should be selected according to the bacterial culture. The significance of local treatment has been heightened by the increase in MRSP (methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius) infections, because it is not always possible to find a suitable systemic antibiotic to treat an infection caused by the MRSP bacterium.
It is also advisable to pay attention to animal diet, particularly the intake of fatty acids.
Hot spot, pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis
Hot spot is a purulent skin infection that begins suddenly and is usually evident in the clumping together of the animal’s fur. It begins with damage to the skin, for example a small wound, insect bite or tick bite. The Staphylococcus bacteria – mostly S. pseudintermedius that even under normal circumstances live on the skin – then begin to multiply in the damaged area. A warm and humid environment creates ideal conditions for the growth of bacteria and yeast. Consequently, hot spot is most common during the summer in long- or thick-haired dogs and those that like swimming. Allergies and infestations also predispose a dog to hot spot. Purulent skin infections can occur anywhere on a dog’s skin, but the most typical places are in the areas of the head and neck.
You can try to treat the symptoms of hot spot at home, but often an appointment with the vet is necessary. Hot spot is usually a very painful and itchy skin infection. In order to prevent the spread of skin infections, it is very important to protect the damaged area from being licked and scratched, for example by using a cone collar. However, covering the area in bandages should be avoided where possible. Even breathable bandages slow down the drying of a wound.
The fur should be cut short over the entire infected area, and also approximately 1-2 cm from the area of healthy skin. That way, it is possible to see the extent of the infection, and at the same time the surface of the skin is better ventilated. Removing the fur also makes it easier to clean the skin. It is advisable to wash the area with antiseptic shampoo on average twice a week. The shampoo should be left on the skin for approximately 10 minutes, depending on the product, so that its active ingredients have time to work. In addition to soothing properties, the shampoo cleanses the skin of, for example, dandruff, pus and dirt, as well as relieving skin irritation. Daily washing of the skin should be done with a mild rinsing liquid or a wet wipe. After washing, the skin should be dried and sprayed with a soothing wound spray that relieves itching, or a thin layer of wound salve can be applied to it.
Sometimes quite a thick scab forms over an infection under which there is still pus. Such scabs may hinder healing so it is advisable to gently remove them. Scabs may be softened by applying a thick wound salve or perhaps coconut oil to them for a period of time. Shampoo washes also soften scabs and make it easier to remove them. After removing the scabs, an oil-based wound spray will moisten the dry edges of the wound and relieve itching and irritation in the area.
Under optimal conditions, skin should be clean, dry and ventilated. Some breeds of cats and dogs and some overweight individuals have too many folds on their skin. In these folds, the skin becomes tightly packed against itself making it liable to rub against itself and rupture. As the moist and warm folds of skin cannot be ventilated, problems ensue. In intertrigo, an infection typically caused by Malassezia pachydermatis yeast is diagnosed, either alone or together with a bacterial infection. The most common places for skin folds to become infected are the paws/in between the toes, lip folds, nose-/snout fold, tail fold, folds of the vulva and groin.
In the relief of irritation and itching of moist skin folds, washing and local treatment products are important. Antiseptic shampoos reduce the number of microbes living on the skin and remove dirt, dead loose hairs, dandruff, scabs and pus from the skin. If an animal’s skin is dry and covered in dandruff, it is good to treat it with a shampoo that also has skin-moisturising properties. You do not always have to wash the whole animal. Treatment shampoos are also suitable for the treatment of local problem areas like the paws. Infected areas of skin can be treated locally with wet wipes, wound sprays and salves that hinder the development of yeast. Wet wipes are particularly useful for the regular washing of difficult areas of skin. These high-quality cloths do not shed fibres and do not sting, even in the more sensitive areas of skin. Good results in the prevention of infections can also be achieved with a talc/powder that keeps the skin folds dry. In some cases, local treatment does not produce an adequate response, then surgery has to be resorted to.
Skin infections on the paws are very common. Symptoms may appear on the fur-covered skin, on the pads and even on the claws. Partly because of sweating and partly because of licking, the moist areas between the toes are ideal places for bacteria and yeast. When walking outside, the paws are also susceptible to the cold and heat, sand, stones, street salt and other foreign objects. If a pet is also overweight, the risk factors of paw infections are many. In surface infections, the skin of the paws typically becomes red, moist and odorous. The animal may also limp. If the paws are sore and have large lumps or cystose formations (furuncles or boils), this is called furunculosis. Once the spiral of furunculosis has begun, there are no easy ways to tame it. For prevention and treatment, the vet will try to investigate the original cause of the infection. The causes of paw infections are, however, unfortunately diverse. They include atopy, allergies, autoimmune diseases (e.g. pemphigus), endocrinopathies (e.g. hypothyroidism), parasites, tumours, malposition of the feet and trauma/foreign objects/irritant substances. Because the disorder behind pododermatitis is difficult to establish, only the symptoms can be treated and many different medicines must be tried. In paw infections, trimming the hair, washing and drying the paws, preventing licking and giving local treatment (treatment shampoo, wet wipes, wound salve) are the cornerstones of home treatment.
Rough and cracked paw pads can best be protected and treated with a water-free wound salve that is insoluble in moist conditions.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) or atopy is a form of allergy. It causes an animal to produce an exaggerated immune response to allergens in the environment such as human or animal dandruff, pollen, mould, dust mites and storage mites. Another skin disease causing similar symptoms is atopic-like dermatitis (ALD). The difference is that, with this disease, there is no information about what the animal is allergic to. From a treatment perspective, the diseases do not differ from each other. The only exception to this concerns desensitisation, which can only be done to animals for which the causes of their allergies are known.
Typical dogs that suffer from atopy are spaniels, retrievers or terriers aged 6 months – 3 years. For those attending a vet’s surgery, the symptoms are typically itching or redness of the skin and odorous and suppurating ears. An examination reveals that there is an infection in the ears caused by bacteria and yeast, but this infection is secondary. The actual cause of the symptoms is found to be the most common skin disease in dogs, lifelong atopic dermatitis.
The symptoms of atopy are many. Itching is, however, the most common of all symptoms. Sometimes this can be completely local, but at other times the animal may itch all over. The animal will exacerbate the situation by scratching and licking the affected areas of skin. Many dogs suffering from atopy also suffer from secondary bacterial and/or yeast infections. The most typical problem areas are the paws, ears, lips, around the eyes, neck, groin and the base of the tail. In addition to itching and redness, the skin may start flaking, thicken or become pigmented. Increased sebum secretion, scabs and hairless areas of skin are typical findings. Sometimes constant itching and the stress caused by it can make an animal more irritable. Because food allergies and external parasites may cause very similar symptoms to atopy, they must be ruled out before the commencement of treatment.
Completely avoiding allergens in the environment is rarely possible, but the symptoms of atopic skin can nevertheless be relieved in many different ways. Often in the treatment of atopic dogs, it is necessary to rely on an individually tailored combination of many different forms of treatment.
Cleanliness of the environment is one of the key things in the well-being of atopic dogs. In addition to thoroughly cleaning the home, the dog’s bedding must be washed from time to time (preferably at 60°). Regular washing of the animals themselves will also relieve the symptoms for many of them. Allergens, dust, odours, dirt and loose dead hairs can be removed from skin and fur by washing with shampoo. Furthermore, some therapeutic treatment shampoos can reduce the numbers of microbes living on the skin and remove dandruff, scabs and pus. Because atopic dogs must be washed often, it is recommended to choose as a treatment a shampoo product that also has moisturising and soothing properties. If the skin problems are focused on certain local areas (e.g. the eyes, ears, paws, groin and intimate area), wet wipes are a handy aid to the cleaning of these individual areas.
It is also advisable to pay close attention to the diet of atopic animals, right from the start. The addition of necessary fatty acids to food helps to strengthen the skin’s protective wall and reduces flaking of the skin. For animals allergic to storage mites, it is recommended that dry food be frozen before serving it to the animal.
In addition to the above, allergic symptoms can be eased by also using anti-itch medication administered by injection, medicinal treatments administered orally (cytostatics, corticosteroids, antihistamines) and various local skin treatments like gels, creams, emulsions, drops, sprays, powders, wipes and shampoos. Treatment shampoos can also be used locally to wash irritated areas.
In desensitisation, the idea is to gradually get the animal’s own immune system used to allergens that cause allergic symptoms. A prerequisite for desensitisation is knowledge about what the animal is allergic to. Based on skin tests, blood tests and other case history, a desensitisation solution can be individually prepared for the subject animal. The solution is administered to the animal either orally or by injection. The treatment requires commitment because the results cannot be assessed until several months after starting the treatment. In approximately 50–60% of animals, desensitisation substantially reduces skin symptoms and thereby the need for medication. If desensitisation is effective, the treatment lasts for life. Treatment doses just become less frequent over time.
Allergic dermatitis in animals cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be relieved and attempts can be made to prevent new symptoms springing up. Although the treatment of animals is often challenging, it is estimated to have a great impact on quality of life, both for the animal and for the whole family. The important factors in treatment are identifying the allergens and, where possible, avoiding them, keeping the skin, fur and environment clean, improving the protective layer of skin, reducing skin lesions and itching and carrying out desensitisation.
The typical symptoms of an acute wound are pain and bleeding. First aid entails stemming the flow of blood and keeping the wound clean. This will prevent possible microbial contamination of the wound and reduce the risk of infection. After first aid, it is essential to create an optimal environment for the wound to heal. A dirty wound must at least be rinsed and, if necessary, also cleaned mechanically. Cleaning a wound in the home environment should be done by spraying the damaged area with plenty of lukewarm water. In paw wounds, it is good to remember that there may be foreign objects in them. A vet is the right person to carry out the mechanical cleaning of a wound and the removal of possible foreign objects. After cleaning, the skin is dried and water-free wound salve (or alternatively a thinner wound spray) is applied to the wound. As necessary, the wound is protected with clean dressings and bandages that should be as breathable as possible. Usually, animals will try to lick their wounds. Efforts should be made to prevent this, for example by using a cone collar. Animal saliva slows down and even prevents the healing of wounds. The basics of the diagnosis and treatment of skin wounds in animals are largely similar to diagnosis and treatment in humans. Read more about this in the sections ‘Products for humans’ and ‘General wound treatment’.
The most common wounds in dogs and cats are bites/wounds from fights, cuts and stings. Of these, bites and stings can be unpredictable. The wound may be small but the tissue damage under the skin may actually be considerable. As a general guideline it should be remembered that, if there are no signs of healing of the wound after a few days of treatment at home, a vet should be contacted. Wounds that are deep, secreting profusely, sore, infected and in the areas of the joints and eyes also require treatment by a vet.
Pets can be stung by many different kinds of insects. Wasp, bumblebee and bee stings can cause strong swelling and pain in the area of the sting. The pet will then try to lick or scratch the area, and is often restless. Local treatment includes cleaning the skin, if necessary removing any sting that might still be in the skin, and applying soothing and antiseptic wound salve. Cortisone-containing tablets can be given to an animal when so directed by a vet. If the swelling hampers the animal’s breathing, a vet should be seen immediately.
A soothing wound salve or spray can be used to treat the itching and irritation caused by horsefly and mosquito bites.
Ticks are blood-sucking arachnids. They spread many different diseases so should be removed from the skin as soon as possible. Because the serrated proboscis of a tick is covered in barbs, it is easy to leave some of it inside the skin when trying to remove it. The safest way to remove ticks is to use purpose-made tweezers to twist or pull from the root of the proboscis. Squeezing the tick should be avoided so that microbes inside it do not spread to the animal. After removing the tick, the skin should be disinfected and an antiseptic wound salve or spray applied to the area of the bite. It is worth continuing local treatment for several days after. If, however, the area of the bite becomes inflamed or infected, the animal should be taken to a vet.
If your animal’s paw seems tender and the animal is licking it frequently, its claws should be examined. Claw damage is very painful and can cause much bleeding. When a claw is torn down to its root or the paw is very painful, the animal must always be taken to a vet. The vet will examine the condition of the claws, if necessary remove any partially detached keratin under general anaesthetic, and give suitable treatment instructions (cleaning, protection, licking prevention) and pain medication. Typically, home treatment for a claw torn right off initially comprises rinsing in water and carefully patting dry, if necessary flushing with a local antiseptic, application of wound salve and protective bandaging of the claw. Protection of the core of the wound with a water-free salve prevents infection. An untreated infection might spread to the toe bone, which will risk amputation of the toe.
- Sipponen A. Coniferous resin salve, ancient and effective treatment for chronic wounds – laboratory and clinical studies. Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Helsinki, University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland 2013.
- Rautio M, Sipponen A, Lohi J, Lounatmaa K, Koukila-Kähkölä P, Laitinen K. In vitro fungistatic effects of natural coniferous resin from Norway spruce (Picea abies). Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2012;31:1783-9.