Due to some injuries or surgeries, your pet may go home with a bandage or splint. Splints and bandages are designed to protect and/or immobilize injured body parts. These devices also prevent self-mutilation due to licking or chewing.
Your pet cannot understand the function of a splint or bandage, and therefore may want only to get the device off in any manner possible. There may shake the area or pull and push on the splint in an effort to remove it. Fortunately, most pets accept such appliances eventually.
Important Points on Care of Splints and Bandages
- Keep the device dry. If your pet goes outside in wet weather, place a plastic bag over a Medi-Paw cover (available from Animal General) over the bandage or splint to keep it dry. Do not allow the bag to remain on for long periods. As a rule, remove the bag in one hour or less. Should the bandage become wet, it must be changed. Please call for an appointment immediately.
- Inform the doctor of any loosening or loss of the bandage or splint.
- Discourage your pet from licking or chewing the device. Consult the doctor if your pet persists in these activities.
- If the toes are visible, check them daily for any swelling or drainage. Try to note the size of the toes from day to day and call is us if you note any swelling. This is a sign that the bandage is too tight and needs to be changed as soon as possible.
- If the toes are not visible, signs to look for are obsessive chewing or licking. Also, an increase in pain may be a sign of a bandage complication.
- Inform the doctor if you start to notice an odor coming from the bandage.
Generally speaking, if the splint or bandage is necessary following a surgery, it will need to stay on until suture removal 10-14 days post-surgery. Your veterinarian will schedule a re-check appointment at the time of initial discharge if the bandage should expect to be changed for a long-term wound repair.