Splints and bandages can be very helpful in treating certain medical conditions as long as they are cared for properly. Failing to care for a splint or bandage properly at home can actually make the medical condition worse instead of better. Please follow the instructions below carefully to ensure your pet’s full and speedy recovery.
• Keep the splint or bandage clean and dry. Cover it with a plastic bag to keep out moisture and dirt when your pet is outside. Use the plastic covering only when needed – leaving a plastic bag on all of the time can prevent proper ventilation.
• Monitor the odor of the splint or bandage carefully. Foul odors indicate infection.
• Prevent your pet from biting or chewing at the splint or bandage. Also be aware that a persistent urge to bite or lick can indicate a pressure point or other problem within the bandage.
• Monitor the position of the bandage or splint closely. Small changes in position can splint create pressure points and sores or cause impaired circulation.
• For bandages or splints on the extremities, special monitoring is required. Check the toes daily – they should be warm to the touch and not swollen. Swollen or cold toes often indicates that the splint or bandage is interfering with circulation to the foot.
Reasons to have your pet rechecked immediately:
• The bandage or splint becomes wet and/or soiled
• A bad or foul odor is coming from the splint or bandage
• Your pet is biting or chewing at the splint or bandage
• The position of the splint or bandage changes
• For bandages or splints on the extremities:
- The toes are cool or cold to the touch
- Swelling of the toes is noted
- Bandage is slipping further over the toes
Finally: be sure to keep your follow-up appointments which allow the doctor to monitor the condition of your pet's splint or bandage and the progression of healing.
If you do not have a follow-up appointment, please contact your veterinarian at Animal Medical Hospital at 727-896-7127 to find out when the doctor planned to see your pet next.