If your dog needed a surgery or had other trauma such as an accident or a bite from another. dog, scar tissue could form. Whether or not your dog's scar will ever grow normal hair over it depends on a number of factors. Take good care of your dog's skin during the healing process to maximize the chances of full recovery.
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About hair growth and scars
When our skin gets injured or heals from a surgical incision, our body replaces the normal skin tissue with scar tissue, according to The Tech Interactive. Take a look at any scars on your own body and, chances are good that there's no hair growing out of any of them. The same holds true for dogs most of the time. As their skin heals it doesn't necessarily replace hair follicles in the process of making sure the two pieces of flesh stay united.
The key is to minimize scarring. If your dog is having surgery, for example, chances are your vet will plan the incision to lie naturally beneath hair or in a fold of skin once recovery completes. This means that chances are good, your dog will have a scar you will be able to see. However, most dogs — even short-haired breeds — have coats long enough to cover up a scar once healing is complete.
Follow your vet's instructions
Proper care of your dog's surgical incision or wound will minimize the chances of him getting an infection. It will also minimize scarring that can prevent hair follicles from producing hair.
If your dog's incision needs special care, your veterinarian will give you detailed instructions in writing. However, most surgical wounds can receive proper home treatment by following some general instructions, per VCA Animal Hospitals.
Keep activity minimal
Your dog's energy level might be higher than normal, or higher than you would expect, because his meds help minimize his discomfort. However, you will want to take your vet's advice and keep activity levels low during the time his stitches are healing.
Surgical incisions cut through several layers of skin and flesh. The area might be joined with staples, surgical glue, or stitches, or even have a stint or button joining particularly large gaps. Sutures can have a lot of pressure on them, particularly if your dog had a tumor or torn flesh removed as part of the surgery.
The vet will do her best to join the flesh for the best cosmetic outcome, including promoting hair growth to cover scarring. Tearing or stretching the suture line when your dog is too active can interfere with the appearance of the resulting scar and its potential for hair regrowth.
Home remedies for dog hair regrowth
Until your dog is fully healed, VCA Animal Hospitals cautions against using any type of home remedies such as essential oils, dog hair regrowth cream, salves, topically-applied vitamin capsules, or ointments. Only apply the medication given to you by your veterinarian.
Closely follow cleaning instructions if instructed to clean the incision by your vet. A surgical incision must never get wet, and even surface cleaning with disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol can damage the tissue, preventing hair regrowth on your dog's scar.
It's also a myth that a dog's own saliva is antibacterial and healing. Chewing or licking its incision or wound will disturb the sutures, leading to increased scarring and less chance for hair reappearing on your dog's scar.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.