Bandage home care

Once a bandage has been applied by your veterinarian, it is imperative that you monitor and care for the bandage daily to prevent complications. Proper bandage care is essential for fast healing of your pet’s wound. A bandage that is dirty, wet or too tight will actually damage rather than protect the injury. Please carefully follow the guidelines listed below to ensure a safe and rapid healing process

Home Care Recommendations

  • Check your pet’s bandage daily.
  • Ensure that the bandage is kept clean and dry and is not too tight or too loose.
  • If it is damp or wet outdoors, cover the bandage with a plastic bag before your pet goes out to keep the wrap clean and dry.
    • We may send your pet home with a reusable protective cover.
  • Prevent licking or chewing. This may require using an E-collar for the duration of the bandage.
  • Check for shifting or rotation of the bandage.
  • Keep your pet calm and confined. 
    • One very common cause of bandage failure is allowing pets to be too active and playful.
  • Check any nearby skin frequently for rub wounds, swelling, discharge, coolness, heat or unusual odor.  
  • Watch your pet for sudden discomfort associated with the bandage which may present as an unwillingness to use the limb or excessive chewing/licking of the bandage.  

When to contact your veterinarian 

  • If the bandage becomes soiled or wet.
  • Unraveling, shifting or rotation of the bandage, or if the bandage comes off completely.
  • If your pet is limping or not bearing weight on the limb.
  • If your pet is not eating or seems withdrawn or lethargic.
  • If you notice a foul odor, discharge, color change to skin, rub wounds, swelling, excessive coolness or heat.
  • Chewing or licking of the bandage. 
  • It is imperative that you let us know immediately if there are any problems with the bandage! In most cases, the bandage must be changed.


  • Please follow the bandage recheck schedule faithfully. Wound healing is a long process and setbacks can occur that may otherwise be preventable with early intervention.
  • Your veterinarian will let you know how often the bandage will need to be changed.
    • This is usually 1-3 times per week, depending on the wound type and location.  
    • In most cases, this will be done by your veterinarian or a technician to ensure proper bandage application and healing.
    • In some cases, you may be given instructions on performing bandage changes at home. 
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