Note: These training videos are the same videos you will experience when you take the full Security Dog First Aid program. Your progress in watching these videos WILL NOT be tracked. You may begin the Security Dog First Aid training at any time to start officially tracking your progress toward certification.

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If your pet has been sent home from the vet with a bandage or cast you will need to follow your vets advice and keep it clean and dry. Where dressings, splints or casts are damaged, get wet, get infected or move, this can cause any injury to be made worse.

When dressings get wet, infection can follow very quickly so we need to do what we can to avoid this.

Keeping it clean and dry is not always easy and with a cat you could keep it insider in a crate but with dogs they have to go outside to go to the toilet. There are special plastic or rubber boots you can put over their foot to keep the dressing dry, but if you do not have these, then a plastic bag is usually fine over the foot each time they go out but you will have to make sure you take it off when they come in. Leave covers on for no more than 60 minutes and replace them if they get damaged while outside. Where plastic covers are left on for more than 60 minutes, moisture will build up on the inside causing the dressing to get wet and the risk of infection, increase.

To keep dogs under your control, it is best to take them out on a lead and avoid excessive exercise.

Dressings will be changed regularly by you vet or a vet nurse and the frequency will depend on what treatment has been given. They will advise you of what you should do.

You should not remove dressings applied by a vet unless they tell you to remove them.

The other problem with dressings is where they try to chew or scratch the dressing off. If this happens it will destress the animal and could injure them more. Call your vet and they may advise a collar like the collars covered in a separate video on this course.

Just because the vet says not to come back for a number of days, you will still need to closely monitor the dressing and your pets signs and symptoms in case there is a problem.

Things you should look out for include: 

  • Heat or warmth on the affected area
  • Wetness on the dressing which could indicate chewing but also that there is a discharge 
  • Bleeding through the dressing
  • Excessive pain or discomfort
  • The dressing appears to be too tight or too loose
  • Slipping or movement of the dressing
  • Monitor their food and water intake for any changes
  • Check the skin either side of the dressing for colour and texture
  • Swelling on or after the injury site
  • Check for chaffing at the edges, sometimes some talk or Vaseline may stop this
  • Any changes in their health or behaviour
  • General signs of illness, depression or lack of appetite
  • Any smells around the dressing.

If you notice any of these or you have any concerns, call your vet.

Try to keep the animal inside and where you can monitor them carefully. It is usually best to restrict as much movement as possible to allow them the best chance of recovery. Also to keep them safe, avoid contact with other animals or children to also keep them calm.

Finally, if your vet has given any drugs, make sure you give them at the right time and in the right way, for example with or without food.