You might have seen a dog who had surgery or a nasty wound.
But the next day, they’re lively as usual – as if nothing happened.
Yet it would take weeks for us to recover from the same situation.
So you’d think…
Do our furry friends have ‘healing powers’?
Continue reading to find out:
- How fast dogs and humans heal.
- If dogs heal faster than humans or not.
- 7 dog breeds that ‘recovers’ the fastest.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Do dogs heal faster than humans?
- How fast does a dog heal?
- How fast do humans heal?
- Which dog breed heals the fastest?
- Human vs Dog: Who heals faster?
Do dogs heal faster than humans?
Dogs don’t heal faster than humans. Both undergo the same 4 stages of healing. So they recover at the same speed depending on the severity of the wound. However, dogs have a higher pain tolerance than humans. And that’s why they can hide their discomfort well. So it may look like they healed faster.
How fast does a dog heal?
A dog usually heals within 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. However, it may take more than 6 weeks to repair open, larger wounds.
Therefore, how fast a Fido recovers depends on the type of procedure.
And it’ll also vary on the size and severity of the lesion.
So let’s talk about some of them.
#1: Spaying and neutering
First, one of the most common procedures in dogs is desexing.
And when we talk about recovery, spayed female Fidos take longer to heal than neutered males.
It’s more complicated to remove a female dog’s reproductive organs than a male’s.
So for a female Fido’s incisions to heal completely, vets say they usually need 2 weeks.
Meanwhile, neutered male dogs can recover after a week. But this is if they’re monitored and well-rested.
These procedures only leave surgery cuts on dogs. And these wounds heal by ‘primary intention.’
“What is that?”
According to experts, it happens when the body doesn’t need to fill the wound with new skin.
Take a surgical incision as an example.
The affected area is narrower than a scrape. And to bond the 2 skin edges together, you only have to hold them with stitches.
Then, the area will start healing after 2 to 14 days. So it cures faster than bigger wounds.
Now, are you curious about the healing process of our furry pals?
If so, you can check out the table below.
4 stages of wound healing in dogs
|Inflammation||After a few minutes||Clotting of blood to prevent further blood loss.|
|Debridement||Within a few hours||Releasing of fluid to remove debris in the wound.|
|Repair||In the next several days||Forming of new blood cells and skin in the area.|
|Maturation||After 2 to 3 weeks. But it can also take up to 6 weeks.||Strengthening and altering of scar tissues.|
#2: Orthopedic surgery
Next, cuts from this kind of procedure heal longer.
For example, it takes 2 to 3 weeks for dogs to recover from soft tissue injuries.
These involve muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
The last 2 connect muscles to bones and holds joints together, respectively.
On the other hand, surgery on bones heals longer.
Based on vets, most dogs are 80% healed after 8 to 12 weeks.
And it can take 4 to 6 months for Fidos to recover fully.
Now, let’s move on to exposed lesions.
Experts say that dogs’ open wounds heal within 2 to 4 weeks.
If you’ve noticed, the length is similar to surgery cuts when you desex a dog. And also, if your Fido had a soft tissue procedure.
But if the affected area is larger, an open wound can cure for up to 6 weeks or longer.
Note: You’ll know an open wound is healing when you see ‘granulation tissue.’ It’s a red, bumpy matter of new blood vessels and flesh. And it helps the lesion to heal and repair.
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How fast do humans heal?
Humans heal within 6 to 8 weeks after a procedure. But some surgery cuts may also cure fully after 6 months to 2 years. In contrast, open wounds can heal for 6 weeks to 3 months.
Like in dogs, a smaller wound will also cure faster than a larger one in humans.
Also, according to doctors, our lesions heal in 4 phases as well.
Although there’s a slight difference in names and duration. And the latter’s due to how invasive human surgeries are.
4 stages of wound healing in humans
|Bleeding||Within a few minutes||Blood clotting, forming of scab|
|Inflammation||After a few hours||Opening of blood vessels to let in oxygen, producing a fluid that cleans the wound|
|Growth and rebuilding||Within a couple of days||Building of new tissue|
|Strengthening||First 6 weeks||Toughening of new flesh, itching of the wound|
Note: The last stage can take up to several years if the wound’s large or severe.
Which dog breed heals the fastest?
All dog breeds heal at the same rate. And it’ll still depend on the severity and size of the wound.
But some Fidos can appear to have recovered faster than the others.
It’s because certain dog breeds have higher pain tolerance than other Fidos.
And based on a study, these are:
- Boxer dogs.
- Golden Retrievers.
- Labrador Retrievers.
- Pitbulls (American Staffordshire Terrier).
Now, you might ask…
“Why are some dogs less sensitive to pain?”
Experts think this must have something to do with the breed’s jobs.
For example, Fidos bred for fighting need high pain tolerance. Like Pitbulls and Rottweilers.
But working Fidos like Retrievers also need it.
These dogs were bred to get birds in freezing water.
So to get their jobs done, they must tolerate pain well.
Human vs Dog: Who heals faster?
Humans and dogs heal at the same pace. This is if both wounds or injuries have similar size, type, and severity.
But as I’ve said, our furry friends can tolerate pain better than us.
So it’s normal for dogs to bounce back quicker after surgery. And appear livelier within only a few days.
However, this doesn’t mean Fidos are fully recovered.
They can only hide the discomfort. And it’s part of their survival instincts.
But if your dog’s in pain, it’ll also show in their body language.
So you may notice these new behaviors:
Besides the high pain tolerance…
One more thing might have led to thinking that dogs heal faster than humans.
“What is it?”
The popular myth: A dog’s saliva can heal wounds
It soothes them. So it makes dogs forget about the discomfort they have at the moment.
But does their saliva help heal any wounds?
Vets say no.
A dog’s saliva has a few antimicrobial properties. So these may help protect a wound against infection.
And according to a study, our saliva also has similar enzymes.
However, these aren’t enough to heal all kinds of wounds.
A lesion’s main enemies are moisture and bacteria.
And we can find these in the mouth.
So if a dog keeps licking their wound…
The bacteria in their saliva may delay the healing process.
Then over time, too much moisture can also lead to hot spots. Or worse, infection.
So summing up…
Dogs and humans recover at the same rate in most situations.
But scientists discovered a rare case of a person who heals rapidly
How did the individual prove it?
Excuse me if you’re eating right now. But what I’m going to explain is a bit graphic.
Based on a research paper, the person inserted a metal skewer in one of their cheeks.
Then it went through the other side.
Afterward, the scientists observed the wounds.
And the results?
According to them, the puncture on the left cheek healed after 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, the wound on the right side improved within 8 hours. But it’s only 75% healed.
What does this discovery mean?
Some parts of the human body also heal fast. And science can explain this fact.
Do you ever wonder why wounds in our mouth heal faster than skin lesions?
A study found it’s due to a bunch of proteins.
These ‘healing’ cells are in our mouths. But they’re absent in our skin.
And that’s why it takes several days or weeks for the wounds on our arms to heal.
But lesions inside our mouth cure within only a few days.