Dogs and cats alike, as a rule, do not like to wear bandages. Sometimes, however, having a bandage placed on your pet is essential to their surgical rehabilitation. For orthopedic surgeries, joints require stabilisation and rest. For trauma and lacerations, wounds need to be kept clean and prevented from drying out for optimal wound healing. For both of these situations, the wound or suture site needs to be kept clean and free from infection.
Bandages need to stay clean and dry. Wet and dirty bandages can provide a haven for bacteria and parasites, causing further trauma to the skin. If the weather is wet, or the ground is damp, you can prevent bandages on legs from getting wet by placing a plastic bag over the bottom of the bandage, and fixing it to the bandage with some adhesive. Please do not leave this on for long periods, as the plastic bag will stop the bandage from being able to breathe, allowing an accumulation of moisture at the skin surface.
If you notice any smells or discolouration coming from the bandage, you will need to see us immediately. This indicates an infection of the surgical site or skin, and this will need to be seen promptly. A pet with an infected leg without treatment may lose it to gangrene.