Most dogs recover from surgery quickly and without issue. However, proper care must be taken to ensure problems don’t arise. Learning all you can about how to protect your dog and spot potential issues following surgery can help ensure your pet remains healthy and happy.
About Surgical Incisions
During surgery, your veterinarian makes an incision in your pet’s skin. Once the surgery is complete, this incision is closed with sutures, staples, or surgical glue. The type of closure used depends on the location and size of the surgical incision.
Many pet owners wonder what’s normal and what’s not during the healing process. While some redness and swelling is normal and expected following surgery, excessive redness and pain could indicate a problem. It’s important to discuss anything that looks abnormal with your veterinarian.
Recognizing a Problem
Following surgery, the edges of the incision site will probably swell and appear red. You may see bruising and minor blood tinged seepage coming from the wound. This is totally normal. In healthy pets, the incision site should heal within 10-14 days. A permanent scar should develop in approximately 14-21 days.
During healing, the wound should appear clean with edges touching. Excessive drainage from the wound, active bleeding, excessive redness, pain, missing sutures, protruding tissue, and/or a gap at the incision site could indicate a problem. It’s important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Early treatment is necessary to prevent additional problems.
Dogs sometimes develop a large swelling at the incision site. An accumulation of fluid under the skin known as a seroma can occur if your dog does not rest immediately following surgery. This condition can become quite serious, requiring immediate veterinary attention.
Proper Care of Surgical Incisions
It’s important to make sure your dog does not lick or chew at the wound while it heals. Although many people believe that saliva can encourage healing, the bacteria in your dog’s mouth can actually slow the healing process and increase the chance of infection. If you notice your dog licking or chewing at the incision site, it is up to you to stop them.
Until recently, the only option pet parents had was to use an Elizabethan Collar. This cone shaped collar prevents pets from gaining access to their wounds. Unfortunately, these collars also often cause problems with eating, drinking, and even walking.
DogLeggs® Surgi-Sox Torso provides coverage, protection, and compression of the torso. This revolutionary product provides an effective alternative to traditional bandages and Elizabethan Collars. The compressive quality of the Surgi-Sox™ has been shown to calm anxious pets and prevent the formation of seroma following surgery.
The Surgi-Sox™ Torso goes on easily and provides instant protection and coverage of the incision site. This product reduces licking, chewing, and scratching at the wound. It provides excellent benefits for pets both at home and in the clinic environment.
Please contact us for more information about our products.
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