Home Care Instructions for Pets with Bandages, Casts or Splints

Bandage, Cast and Splint Care

It is vital that your pet's bandage, cast or splint remains clean and dry. Pets should not get bathed or allowed to get their bandage wet in any way. Your pet should not be allowed to chew or lick at the bandage - if you notice them doing so, he/she will need to wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent this. E-collars may be purchased from our clinic reception. Ensure that pets are not allowed to roam outdoors without close supervision when they are wearing an E-collar, as this poses a choking hazard if it gets caught in a fence or branch.

Unless your pet has an Ehmer sling (for hip dislocations) or Velpeau sling (for shoulder dislocations) in place, we will also usually provide a foot bag to keep the bandage, cast or splint dry. Please place the bag provided over the affected leg when taking your pet outdoors, to prevent the bandage materials from getting wet or dirty. This bag must not be left on while indoors as it can cause sweating under the bandage. 

Please check your pet's toes daily for swelling which would indicate that the bandage, cast or splint is too tight. A change in your pet's behaviour or demeanor is often an early warning sign that the bandage, cast or splint has become uncomfortable. If the bandage appears uncomfortable for your pet, becomes wet, oversoaked with wound discharge, is smelly and/oror shows signs of loosening, please contact us on (06) 3588675.


Rechecks and Bandage/Cast/Splint Changes

Your veterinarian will advise you the frequency in which your pet needs to come back to our clinic for bandage changes. Pressure sores, failure of fractures to heal, loosening of bandages/casts/splints as swelling resolves are some of the frequent complications noted with bandage, cast or splint applications. These complications may also progress to more serious complications (e.g. pressure necrosis with deep infections, bone infections) if left unchecked. Therefore, it is imperative that you bring your pet back for regular checks as directed by your veterinarian, so that we can closely monitor your pet's healing progress.

Some pets may also require sedation for bandage changes - your veterinarian will advice you as such. Find out more about fasting times here. Ensure that you bring along any extra bandaging materials your pet has been sent home with.


Exercise Restriction

Confinement to a dry indoor area is necessary until all bandages, casts and splints are removed. It is important that all dogs are toileted on a lead. Dogs should not have any off-leash activity until all bandages, casts or splints are removed. Cats must remain indoors until all bandages, casts or splints are removed. 

If your pet has a fracture, torn ligament, subluxation or dislocation, your veterinarian will also advise you as to what other exercise restrictions are required. It is important that you adhere closely to your veterinarian's recommendations, in order to optimise your pet's healing progress. Do give us a call at (06) 3588675 if you need any clarifications on your pet's exercise restrictions. 



Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian or veterinary nurse at the time of discharge, no significant change is usually required to your pet's diet. However, for pets that require confinement, cage rest and/or restricted activity for extended periods, it may be helpful to reduce their daily rations by 10%, so that they do not pile on excessive weight during this time.



Some pets may have oral medications to go home with. Please administer all medications as directed on the label. 



Should you have any enquiries or further concerns about bandage, cast of splint care, please do not hestitate to phone us at (06) 3588675 to discuss.



Published by Cahill Animal Hospital on 29 July 2016
The team at Cahill Animal Hospital is here to provide you and your pet with the best possible medical, surgical and supportive care. Our motto "We care as much as you do" is a very important part of our day to day work. We are committed to providing you and your pet with the best options for care.

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