Photo model: Rutzy the Saint Bernard
“We use bandages for several reasons: to protect wounds from the environment, protect the environment from wounds, and to discourage a pet from licking or irritating a wound. Bandages may be applied as support for strains or sprains or to prevent motion. Proper application is important – an improperly applied or too-tight bandage can cause decreased blood flow and potential loss of the limb.” ref.
Bandaging in veterinary medicine may be to prevent bleeding, immobilize limbs, and to prevent wound or incision contamination. Regular bandage changes are essential in preventing unwanted complications such as moisture, incorrect positioning, avoidance of pressure sores, foul odour.
Layers of bandages: if you are planning on changing your pets bandages yourself, make sure that you have detailed instructions from our St.Albert veterinary team as well as all of the supplies necessary. Most limb bandages include tape stirrups (to keep the bandage from slipping), Telfa (or other non adherent bandage products to cover the wound), cast padding for additional comfort, and a splint if necessary. You will also need conforming stretch gauze for added support, self adhesive VetRap and tape strips to finish off the bandage. If the bandage is in a position that it may slip, Elastoplast or tape may be used at the top of the bandage to help secure it. It is also very important to ensure that middle toes are exposed to monitor for swelling as well as odour.
It is important that you take steps to prevent your pet from licking or scratching at any wound or bandage. There are topical products available such as Yuk gel or Cothivet spray (bitter tasting to prevent licking) as well as Buster Collars (cones).
Protect your pets bandage from elements with temporary water resistant covers when outside; using a water resistant cover is encouraged. Ensure to remove these covers when there is no risk of water damage as condensation and moisture can build up inside the bag if left on for too long.
If you have any questions about your pet’s bandage, please contact the Mission Ridge Animal Hospital office. Here is a helpful video tutorial on proper bandaging for a pet’s leg: