Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Choosing the right dog bandage largely depends on the type of wound your dog has. Adhesive bandages are not usually recommended for dogs, because of their fur. Gauze pads can be used to help control bleeding and keep the wound closed. Rolled gauze, a self-adhesive bandage, or an elastic bandage can be used to hold a gauze pad in place or immobilize a limb, and a many-tailed bandage is an excellent option to bandage wounds on the abdomen or neck. Liquid bandage can also be used for small wounds, such as scratches.
Although adhesive bandages are popular for humans, they are not typically recommended for use on animals. Since dogs have fur, these bandages stick to the fur instead of the skin. This will usually limit the effectiveness of the bandage and make it hard to remove.
In dog first aid, a gauze pad is a useful dog bandage. By pressing it to the wound, you can use a gauze pad to help stop the bleeding in scratches, cuts, and abrasions. It can also be secured to a healing wound on a dog to keep the wound clean. This can help prevent infection as well as keep the dog from reopening the wound. Different sizes of gauze pads are available, depending on the size of the wound.
Rolled gauze can also be used as a dog bandage. This type of bandage can be used alone or to hold a gauze pad in place, especially one covering a wound on a limb or the head. The gauze pad can be placed on the wound, and the rolled gauze can be wrapped around the limb or head to hold it in place. It can either be tied or secured with tape to keep it in place.
A self-adhesive bandage, however, is usually a better option to hold a dog bandage in place. This type of bandage is usually elastic. It also requires no tape or fasteners, since it sticks to itself as it overlaps, but it does not stick to a dog's fur.
An elastic bandage can also be used as a dog bandage. Along with keeping a gauze pad in place, an elastic bandage can be used to compress an injured area. This will help reduce swelling. Most elastic bandages are usually secured with Velcro® or metal clips.
Like other animals, dogs can also break bones. When they do, it is important to immobilize the bone, until the animal can be taken to a veterinarian. To immobilize a broken bone in a dog, such as a leg or tail, a stick should be gently placed against it. Rolled gauze, a self-adhesive bandage, or an elastic bandage can then be wrapped around it to hold it in place.
Wounds on the abdomen or neck can be difficult to bandage. A many-tailed dog bandage is usually best to bandage a wound that is on one of these areas. This rectangular bandage has ends cut into strips, or tails. It can be wrapped around the abdomen or neck, and the tails can then be tied together to hold it in place.
Small wounds, such as minor scratches, also usually need to be covered to prevent infection. For these wounds, you can use a liquid dog bandage. This substance is typically brushed onto the wound and allowed to dry. This forms a protective waterproof cover over the wound.
@Logicfest -- the plastic cone is called an Elizabethan collar and is the standard device used to keep dogs from chewing on bandages, casts, etc. As you pointed out, that didn't work in your case.
There are alternatives that are well worth trying, Treating the bandage with something bitter such as a substance called sour apple (available at your local pet store) has proven successful. Dogs hate the taste of it and that deters them from chewing.
A word of caution, though. You need to check with a vet before you use such a substance to see if it could harm the dog. If you are dealing with a bandage, whatever you use to prevent the dog from chewing could soak through the bandage and might infect the wound or delay its healing. That's not as much of a concern with a cast, but certainly something to keep in mind with a soft, absorbent bandage.
But there is a major problem with a dog bandage -- how do you keep them from chewing on them until they are destroyed. Had a dog with a broken leg once and he chewed through three casts before we gave up and quit taking him to the vet (that gets expensive in a hurry). The vet put one of those plastic cones on his head to prevent the chewing, but that didn't work as he could still reach his hind leg and chew like crazy. The leg never did heal correctly.
What should we have done to prevent the dog from destroying his casts?
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!