Home Care Instructions for Pets Requiring Wound Management

Wound Care

It is vital that your pet's wound remains clean and dry. Pets should not get bathed or allowed to get their wound wet in any way. Your pet should not be allowed to chew or lick at the wound - 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.

Depending on the location and type of wound, not all wounds will need to be sutured closed. Some wounds may require bandaging (see more here) while others may be left open to heal on its own. Not all open wounds will need to be flushed; however, for wounds that require flushing, your veterinarian may prescribe a specific wound cleansing fluid and best advise you on how to keep the wound clean. It is important that you first check with your veterinarian about what solutions can be used to safely cleanse your pet's wound, because some liquids can severely irritate the wound bed and delay healing. In general, clean water or 0.9% sodium chloride (from a pharmacy) can be used to safely cleanse wounds.

Do not bandage or cover the wound, unless directed by your veterinarian.



Your veterinarian will advise you the frequency in which your pet needs to come back to our clinic for wound rechecks. Abscess development, cellulitis (tissue inflammation), failure to heal are some of the frequent complications noted with wounds. These complications may also progress to more serious complications (e.g. deep tissue 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.

If your pet has a bandage over their wound, your veterinarian will advise you the frequency in which bandage changes as required. Some pets may also require sedation for bandage changes. Find out more about fasting times here. Ensure that you bring along any extra bandaging materials your pet has been sent home with.



For more severely affected patients, your veterinarian may also take a swab of their wound and send this away to an external lab for culture and senstivity, with your permission. A veterinarian will contact you with the results as soon as they are back from the lab – this typically takes up to 7 working days. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date so that we have a number to reach you at.

Based on the culture and sensitivity results, your veterinarian may have to alter or extend your pet's antibiotic course.


Exercise Restriction

Confinement to a dry indoor area is necessary until the wound is fully healed. It is important that all dogs are toileted on a lead. Dogs should not have any off-leash activity, and cats should remain indoors until their wound is fully healed. 

If your pet has a fracture, torn ligament, subluxation or dislocation in conjunction with the wound, your veterinarian will also advice 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; give all pain relief medications and antibiotics with a meal.



Should you have any enquiries or further concerns about your pet's wound 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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