Bandage Care Tips for Your Pet
In the veterinarian world, we utilize many different types of bandages, dressings, and splints. Your pet may need such protective covering(s) following a growth removal, an animal bite, or even a surgical repair. A bandage or splint may seem daunting, but when essential to your pets’ recovery we want you to have confidence in at-home care!
Keeping the Bandage Dry and Clean
The bandage or splint needs to stay dry! This is essential in preventing any potential secondary skin infections. If a dressing becomes damp or soiled, bring your pet back in for a bandage check and change.
Tips for preventing wetness or moisture build-up:
- Do not let your pet lick at the bandage! We know this may be easier said than done at times, but using a simple protective collar, or E-Collar, while you cannot monitor your pet closely is effective in deterring any potential licking. We also offer liquids and sprays designed specifically for direct application onto the bandage to deter your pet from wanting to lick. After all, our pets don’t realize that while licking may cause them some immediate relief, it could stall the healing process.
- Prevent moisture when going outdoors! Use of a temporary water resilient bandage cover is important when walking out for a potty break. Rain and morning dew have been known to dampen intact bandages and warrant a complete bandage change. Slip over a plastic baggie with a rubber band, and remove upon re-entry so no moisture can build up after being outdoors.
We know life happens and even with your best efforts, a bandage may get damp or wet. If the bandage feels damp, it IS damp. That means it’s time for a bandage change!
If the bandage, sling, or splint becomes soiled in any other way, chances are the space between the material and skin has been compromised allowing the opportunity for bacteria to grow.
When in doubt, bring your pet in for a check and change.
Abnormalities to Look for at Home
If you’re successful with keeping your pets’ bandage clean and dry, here are some other things to be mindful of:
- Is the bandage fully intact, and in its’ original positioning? Some dressings must be applied in places with great range of motion and may slip or slide with activity. Limiting activity is always ideal for pets during recovery. You may consider only leash-walking your pet or using a crate while you are not present. Often, limiting activity between your recovering pet and any other pets in the household is crucial, too. Allow regular playtime when all are healthy and healed!
- From what you can see, does the area and skin around the bandage appear healthy? If you see any abnormal swelling, redness, or oozing we may need to change the bandage or splint. Feel the skin. Is it warm? Is there a foul odor? If so, we worry about potential infections. If at any time you are worried the bandage or splint has been compromised, bring in for a bandage check!
In an effort to promote the best recovery for your pet, we urge you to check the bandage daily!
Look and feel for differences or abnormalities.
A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, bring your pet in to have the bandage checked!
If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your pets’ healing process, don’t hesitate to ask us. Each case is different and we want our furry friends healing quickly and in the healthiest fashion possible.