Patient Care for the Bandage, Splint or Cast

posted: by: AAC Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Your pet has been placed in a bandage, splint or cast as part of the management of an injury. Proper care and observation of the bandage is critical, and failure to recognize problems early can be disastrous for your animal. When your animal is sent home from the hospital, take a good look at the bandage and notice how it is put on so you can recognize when it is slipping or twisting. THE BANDAGE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED THE SAME DAY if any of the following occur:

The bandage gets wet. To prevent this, slip a plastic bag over the foot and use a rubber band to keep the bag in place when the pet goes outside on a leash.  Always remove the rubber band and bag immediately after you come in.

The bandage slips or twists. Do not attempt to twist or push the bandage back in place and re-tape it yourself.

The bandage has an odor. This could indicate damaged tissue underneath.

If toenail tips are exposed, check these daily. The tips should lie right next to each other.  If the toes are apart, this indicates swelling of the limb, in which case the bandage becomes a tourniquet.

An animal who was previously using the leg well suddenly stops using it, gets worse or seems painful (restless, cannot sleep, cries).

An animal who has not tried to chew the bandage before suddenly starts chewing at it. This could be an indication of pain or problems underneath the bandage.

A wound underneath the bandage "strikes through" or fluid oozes to the outside of the bandage, causing discoloration and staining. Do not attempt to clean the outside of the bandage or tape over the spot. The wound needs attention.

The skin at the edges of the bandage appears very irritated or the bandage is cutting into the skin.

ALWAYS come in for your recheck appointment promptly even if the bandage looks OK. We cannot be responsible for damage caused by a bandage being left on too long. Make your appointment well in advance. The bottom line is, if something doesn’t seem right, get the bandage, cast or splint checked out by a veterinarian ASAP. Please don’t hesitate to call with questions