He never turned up for the first few days after the injury. He went underground. Probably to heal the wounds himself. But eventually he emerged. He shied away from the betadine and shook off the turmeric each time I tried to apply it. He could be tempted to stand still with some parle-G biscuits but never did he hold on for too long. We persisted and hoped against hope that our remedy would work. For a few days, it went off well. We developed a schedule around the treatment. Late at night he would emerge from the darkness and packets of Parle-G, a bowl of milk and lots of turmeric would await him. He gave in eventually and we went off to sleep with some sense of satisfaction and hope.
But one night, we saw him whining in pain, running around aimlessly. When I approached him, he wagged his tail slowly. He would run and then sit to scratch his wound with his hind legs. He smelled of rotten flesh. When I finally got around to petting him, I flashed my torch on the wound, only to see what I had been dreading. The wound seem to be breathing, a trickle of blood ran from it, and along with the stench it became clear that he was infested with maggots.
One of the most common problems facing all wounded animals especially stray dogs and cattle is Myiasis. In urban areas, flies regularly hatch their eggs into wounds and the larvae that emerge wreak havoc by boring deep into the animal's flesh, eating away at skin and tissue. A small wound can turn into a gaping hole, irritating the animal and may even eventually kill it.
What followed is interesting and can be tried at home, with some adult supervision. If you notice an injured dog in your neighbourhood - either call up Karuna or follow the procedure mentioned below.
Over the next few weeks, we monitored him closely and even tried to feed him Amoxicillin 250 crushed and mixed in his milk, which he refused to drink. In the weeks that followed, the biggest challenge remained was that of convincing the community that an injured dog was not a mad dog. He could be spotted running around aimlessly because he feared humans would hurt him. Everyone had been treating him like a pest. But with the treatment showing some results, most of the folks changed their stand. Some even offered to spray Topicure in my absence (or presence because Whitey would run away each time he saw the can in my hand)
With a good diet, adequate rest, regular dressing - Whitey managed to heal himself. It was not a difficult process but it needed persistence. The life of a dog may not have value for a lot of folks, but those utilitarian thinkers might know an injured dog could easily be a threat to the society and at least for that, it must be healed.
The idea behind this post is to encourage community participation in the welfare of dogs. A small wound if treated promptly with Betadine, Neosporin and Himax will heal quickly without getting infested with maggots. And who knows, in the process you might even gain a friend for life!