Bandage care

Written by Michael B. Mison, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

ALL SPLINTS, CASTS AND BANDAGES MUST BE KEPT DRY!!! If a splint, etc, becomes wet, it must be changed as soon as possible. Wet bandaging material can cause serious problems for your pet.

When taking your dog outside, a waterproof covering can be applied over the splint, cast or bandage to ensure that it stays dry. Our staff can usually provide a bandage cover for use when walking your pet outside, or you can tie or tape a durable plastic bag over the bandage material. Please remove the bandage cover or bag when returning indoors, since these covers do not allow air to circulate in and out of the bandage.

If your animal has a fiberglass cast on, an ordinary blow-dryer may be used if the cast gets wet. Be sure not to direct very hot air onto your pet’s skin.

You may be able to see or feel two of your pet’s toes at the bottom of the bandage. (This may require that you separate the bandage material slightly, but do not cut or remove any bandage material.) If so, please inspect them twice daily for swelling, irritation or coldness, and contact us immediately if these symptoms are present. If we are closed, please contact your regular veterinarian. 

If the splint, cast or bandage should slip, twist or otherwise become damaged (by chewing, etc), or if it gives off a bad odor, we will need to see your pet as soon as possible for a bandage change. Please call the surgery department for instructions. If this occurs during the surgery department is closed hours, please call the emergency service. 

If you notice irritation at the top of the splint, cast or bandage, apply a daily dusting of baby powder or cornstarch to the area.

Please be sure to return for rechecks and bandage changes at the indicated intervals. It is very important that the surgeon is able to make periodic assessments of your dog’s progress and the integrity of the splint, cast or bandage. Failure to do so could lead to serious complications for your pet’s recovery.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 425-823-9111.

Published on July 17, 2008.