Bandages and Bandage Care For Your Pet

There are several types of bandages we use in veterinary medicine. These include:

Soft Bandages- these are used when minimal support to the underlying structure is needed. Frequently they are used to control bleeding of a wound or nail problem or to provide a small amount of support and help prevent swelling, such as after orthopedic surgery

Splints-these are more rigid bandages which are used when a pet needs more support than can be supplied by a soft bandage alone. Fractures of toes and foot bones can often be splinted.

Casts- these are hard bandages which help support larger fractures in the event that surgery is not desired or available.

Body Wraps-these are used after surgery or on wounds to prevent swelling, drainage, and licking.

Important Points in Your Pet's Bandage Care

Home care of bandages is very important to prevent further damage to the bandaged area

- Inspect the bandage at least once a day. Signs of wetness, odors, rubbing, or excessive wear should be brought to your veterinarian's attention. If the toes are visible in your pet's bandage, check for swelling or skin irritation. If the bandage seems out of position, that should also be noted and ultimately examined.

- Keep your dog confined to a leash and allow him or her outside only for bathroom duties. Please do not allow your dog to run or take long walks while wearing a bandage.

- The bandage must remain dry. A wet bandage can cause severe irritation to the skin. We will provide you with an appropriate cover for your bandage, depending on how long it is expected to stay on. The cover should be removed when your pet is indoors and placed on loosely when your pet goes outside—even if it seems dry outside. Please do not place any rubber bands around your pet's bandage.

- Some dogs would like to chew their bandages—this can cause wetness and damage which can significantly affect the ability of the bandage to provide the support that is intended. An E-collar is frequently needed to prevent access to the bandage. There are sometimes other alternatives that can be used. Please ask your veterinarian if you have any questions.

- Your veterinarian will recommend a follow-up appointment to examine, change, or remove the bandage. This examination should occur at least weekly, but the bandage may need to be evaluated more frequently.

- The better care you take of the bandage, the better chance your pet has to recover sooner.

- Cats with bandages should be kept inside at all times. Please inspect the bandage daily, especially after your kitty's trips to the litterbox. We want the bandage to remain clean and dry.

- As always, if you have any questions, please call our office.