Wound stitch up involves removal of the unhealthy tissue and a thorough clean of the area to ensure no debris is left in the wound to ensure wound healing can take place.
Stitch ups are carried out under a full general anaesthetic or sedation. This will depend on the severity of the wound. Due to the anaesthetic, your pet may be sleepy and a bit unsteady for the next 12-24 hours. During this time, they should be allowed to rest quietly in a warm (not too hot), comfortable, draught-free place and be monitored closely.
During the operation, the veterinary surgeon will suture (stitch) the skin. These sutures are usually dissolvable; buried under the skin (and so cannot be seen). Sometimes we will use nylon sutures that need to be removed approximately 10-14 days after the procedure.
During the operation, the vet may have placed a breathing tube into the windpipe to help him breathe through the anaesthetic. This can sometimes cause a little irritation, they may have a slight cough but should not persist more than a day or so.
Wounds caused by injury are often difficult to heal. Although every precaution is taken to prevent this, in some cases, the wound will open back up after being sutured. It may also develop an infection, this is caused when the foreign object which may be from a bite or stick etc. contains lots of bacteria, that is transferred to the wound at time of injury.
Licking can slow down wound healing and introduce infection. We have supplied you with a buster collar. This should be worn at all times although can be removed for feeding; please ensure he is supervised to ensure he does not lick or chew the wound at any time.
The wound should be checked on a daily basis for pain, swelling, or discharge; Some small amount of discharge can be normal within the first 24 hours but any more than a few drops should be checked by a vet/nurse. If the discharge is cream in colour or is smelly please contact the surgery. Check that the sutures are holding, if the wound has opened up please contact the surgery.
Do not apply anything to the wound and the wound should not be cleaned unless advised to do so by a Veterinary nurse or Vet.
A post op check should be booked with a Veterinary nurse 3-5 days after surgery, this is so we can check the wound is healing normally.
If external sutures are present these will be remove by the veterinary nurse between 10-14 days after surgery.
If wounds are on the foot please use the foot cover provided when outside to keep the wound clean and dry.
For the first 24 hours, your dog should only be allowed out to the toilet and not walked, we advised that you use the lead in the garden to prevent running around.
After the first 2 days, you can take your dog on short lead walks, this should be continued for 7-10 days.
For the first week, extra care should be taken to prevent strain on the wound, this means that ideally your dog should be lifted in and out of the car, do not allow upstairs or on the sofa. (if difficult to keep off sofa you can lift them up and down). Care should be taken not to apply pressure to the wound when lifting.
Avoid muddy areas to keep the wound as clean as possible, and do not allow swimming. Do not book into the groomers or give a bath etc. until the wound is fully healed.
Although your pet has been offered a small meal while in the hospital they can be offered another light meal tonight. This should be easily digestible such as cooked chicken and boiled rice or white fish. Alternatively, you can purchase a tin of Royal Canin Gastrointestinal food from reception.
Normal appetite should return in 24-48 hours so they can be offered their normal diet the day after surgery.
If your pet has not eaten within 48 hours of his operation, they are listless or unsteady, or you have any other concerns about the wound or their well-being please telephone us for advice on 01383 722818.