It is important that bandages are carefully monitored at home to avoid complications. This video, featuring Veterinary Specialist Services surgeon Dr Abbie Tipler, describes how to care for your pet at home when they have a bandage. 

Bandage care tips

Checking your pet's bandage

The most important thing about a bandage is that it’s not painful for your pet. If you suspect that it is causing them pain or discomfort, you should return to your local VSS as soon as possible. 

Leaving your pet in pain or discomfort in a soiled bandage, or a bandage that is too tight could lead to serious complications for the limb.

Bandage complications aren’t uncommon, here are some notifications that your pet is uncomfortable in its bandage:

  • Your pet is chewing at the dressing
  • Your pet suddenly becomes lamer on the limb
  • They’re generally more distressed

To check if your pet is in pain in its bandage, you can very gently palpate along the covered area and monitor for any degree of discomfort. 

If your bandage has become soiled

If your bandage is soiled, you should return to your local VSS as soon as possible. 

It’s a concern when bandages are soiled because they can cause problems, like infections and irritations, with your pet’s skin or the covered wound.

Checking for pain or discomfort

If the bandage is causing issues, you should return to VSS for our advice and treatment. To check if it is, try removing the outer layer of the bandage then checking for any further symptoms.

It’s okay to remove the outer layer of the bandage as it’s usually just additional protection.

Check your dog’s toes

Your pet’s toes can give a good indication of pain or discomfort. If your pet’s toes are visible once the outer layer is removed, check for:

  • Swelling 
  • Splayed digits
  • Pain when gently handled

If any of these symptoms are present, you should return to your local veterinarian or VSS near you.

Check for moisture or discolouration

If you feel any moisture or see discolouration of the dressing, this is a sign that your pet’s dressing should be changed.

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