How to Care for and Keep Dog Stitches Clean After Surgery

Updated on April 29, 2018
Expert ReviewedDr. Rachel Barrack, Veterinarian & Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a former veterinary hospital assistant, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Unless a dog is supervised post-operatively, e-collars or cones should be worn at all times to prevent chewing.
Unless a dog is supervised post-operatively, e-collars or cones should be worn at all times to prevent chewing. | Source

Caring for Dog Stitches After Surgery

Whether your dog was just spayed, neutered, or had a recent laceration repair, he/she will be sent home with an incision closed with stitches, sutures, staples, and/or suture glue. Your veterinarian should have provided you with aftercare instructions, but you still may have the following questions:

  • How do I care for my dog's stitches?
  • How long do dissolvable stitches last and what is the healing time?
  • How do I keep stitches clean?
  • What if my dog chews, licks, or scratches the stitches out?
  • How long should my dog wear a cone?
  • Is this normal? What if the stitches bleed, ooze, or have pus?

Sometimes, you aren't even given the opportunity to talk to your vet after your dog’s surgery because the team has limited time and other patients to attend to. Let's review some of the most important aftercare instructions for dog spays, neuters, and surgical procedures.

Important

ALWAYS put an Elizabethan collar (e-collar) or cone on your dog when he/she is unsupervised after surgery.

How to Care for Your Dog's Surgical Incision

Task
Instructions
Scheduling
Schedule the surgery on a day your dog can be supervised.
Recovery
Set up a comfortable, quiet space for your dog to recover.
Isolation
Keep your dog away from other dogs and household activity.
Leash Walks
Leash walk for potty breaks and prevent jumping and running; no running or free play.
No Jumping
No jumping up and down from furniture. Lift your dog up and down onto the couch or bed. Do not leave them unattended. Barricade staircases.
No Baths
Keep the wounds and stitches clean and dry (no bathing) unless otherwise instructed to do so.
Cones and E-Collars
Keep a cone or e-collar on at all times to prevent chewing, scratching, or licking.
Monitor the Incision
Monitor the incision for signs of infection (heat, swelling, pus, oozing, discharge).
Take Home Instructions
Only cover the incision or apply ointments if your vet advises you to do so.
Monitor Behavior
Monitor your dog for behavioral changes (lethargy, panting, discomfort).
Emergency Contacts
Keep your vet's contact and emergency numbers close by.
Table is based on a typical spay or neuter procedure.
A typical spay scar, healing well.
A typical spay scar, healing well. | Source

What Is the Healing Time for Dog Stitches?

According to Pet Education, within 7 to 10 days a dog's incision is capable of withstanding tension and stretching. 7-10 days is the average healing timeframe for a typical spay, but activity should be resumed gradually, and the site should be monitored until your next vet visit. Healing time depends on the surgical procedure, the suture material, suture absorption time, and your dog's health and age. Stitches generally last long enough to promote the healing of tissue. So, whether your dog received absorbable stitches, non-absorbable stitches, or staples, you will need to take good care of the area as it heals.

The moment an injury takes place (surgery is classified as an injury), the immune system activates white blood cells which mobilize to the incision site. The skin will redden, bruise, and swell, but over time, scar tissue will form. Incisions heal side-to-side, so this means that a 4" incision will heal at the same rate as a 1" incision.

The Stages of Wound Healing

Wound healing in stages.
Wound healing in stages. | Source

How to Keep Dog Stitches Clean and Free From Infection After Surgery

Keeping the Incision Site Dry and Clean

You may feel compelled to give your dog a bath, but you may want to hold off if your dog has an incision that has to heal. This also means preventing your dog's incision from getting wet in the rain. Do not apply creams, ointments, or disinfectants unless your vet told you to do so. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide use is prohibited as these chemicals will damage the tissue. You can wipe your dog's body down with natural baby wipes or dog-approved wipes to keep them fresh (do not wipe around the surgical site).

No Bathing

Do not bathe your dog unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian.

Why Is My Dog's Wound or Incision Not Healing?

Here are some things to watch for that may impair healing. Common causes for prolonged healing times include the following:

  • Pre-Existing Health Conditions: diabetes, kidney and liver failure, hormonal imbalances, cancer
  • Excessive Activity: post-surgical activity (i.e. jumping and play)
  • Medications: i.e. corticosteroids, aspirin in high doses
  • Age: senior dogs take more time to heal
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, protein deficiencies

What Is a Suture Reaction?

In some cases, a dog's body may reject stitches rather than absorb them, triggering inflammation or a suture reaction and a prolonged healing time. A suture reaction is an inflammatory response by the body to a "foreign substance." This reaction may present as localized inflammation. The body is reacting to the foreign substance by either trying to dissolve it, break it down, or push it out. You will often see draining tracts and/or heat and redness.

Abdominal surgeries are closed in layers, so several types of suture material might be used to close the incision. If the suture reaction is deep, your veterinarian may have to go in and replace the suture material with another type. If the suture reaction is superficial and easily accessible, it may be a simple matter of removing the sutures and using suture glue or surgical staples depending on the stage of healing.

The type of procedure determines the extent of the aftercare.
The type of procedure determines the extent of the aftercare. | Source

Consider the Type and Severity of the Surgery

It's important to consider the invasiveness and severity of your dog's procedure to gauge healing time (always follow your veterinarian's aftercare instructions):

  • Dog Neuters: Many puppies that are neutered at 2 months of age will bounce back the next day, and healing will seem almost immediate as their incision site is small. You should still allow for a minimum of 7 days for healing. Neutering in adult male dogs is less invasive than a spay surgery, however, post-operative care should still be followed for 7 days minimum.
  • Dog Spays: As for an adult female dog who is spayed, a minimum of 7 days is mandatory, as the procedure is more invasive, the surgical incision is larger, and healing time is prolonged. A dog's age and size is a huge factor in female dog spays. Large female dogs, older female dogs, and deep-chested dogs tend to have more difficult spays, require longer recovery times, and may be more sensitive post-operatively.
  • Orthopedic Surgery: Knee surgery in dogs, which is quite common, requires rehabilitation. Your dog's incision may start to improve at the one week mark but mobility must be limited, so this type of healing will be parsed out according to your veterinarian's designated rechecks. By two weeks, the wound should have closed, however, there will often be a 2-week recheck and a 6-week recheck. Immobilizing dogs who have undergone orthopedic surgery is a must as is keeping the surgical site clean. Bone plates can become infected and must then be removed in a second surgery.
  • Mass Removals: When a large mass is removed, not much tissue may remain to close the incision. In this case, there may be lots of tension which can ultimately cause the incision to open up despite being stitched. To prevent this, your vet may use a special tension-relieving pattern to stitch up the area. Mass removal wounds should also be given a minimum of 7 days healing time.
  • Emergency Surgeries: Emergency surgeries often involve a dog that is already compromised on a systemic level, and recovery can be much longer than one week. Each case will vary, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian for week-by-week instructions as some medical emergencies require extensive post-operative care.

Compare Healthy and Infected Surgical Incisions

What Type of Stitches Does My Dog Have?

There are different ways to close an incision in dogs. Just as you stitch pieces of cloth together, a dog's skin can be sutured with needle and thread. The thread is usually made of synthetic material, but non-synthetic suture exists for specific procedures. Stitches can be absorbable or non-absorbable. In the case of absorbable stitches, the dog's body will naturally break down and absorb the suture material over time.

Depending on the type of incision, the stitches may be used to close just skin or several layers of tissue. For instance, in a simple laceration involving just a superficial skin tear, the edges of the skin are stitched together. In the case of a major surgery, the vet may need to stitch up muscles, the subcutaneous layer made of fat and connective tissue, and then finally skin, meaning there will be several rows of sutures in a single incision site.

Diagram of an uninterrupted suture pattern.
Diagram of an uninterrupted suture pattern. | Source

Types of Stitches or Sutures Used in Dog Surgeries

Type
Use
Care/Healing Time
Material
Absorbable Stitches
Muscle and subcutaneous layers and organs, like the intestine. Soft tissue (bladders). Not used for tendons or ligaments.
Does not need to be removed unless suture reaction occurs.
synthetic (polyester) or organic (collagen)
Non-Absorbable Stitches
Good for cardiovascular repair. Not for gastric or bladder surgery. Excellent for skin closure, ligaments, and tendons.
Needs to be removed by veterinary clinic generally 10 to 14 days after procedure.
synthetic (nylon) or organic (cotton, silk)
Surgical Staples
Faster than suturing. Closes incisions of the skin, clamps vessels internally, sternum closure in open chest surgery.
Generally removed 10 to 14 days later (if accessible) using a specialized staple remover.
titanium or stainless steel
Suture Glue
Allows wounds to heal more cosmetically. Acts as an additional wound barrier.
Falls off naturally on average within 7-10 days; keep dry.
cyanoacrylate
Suture glue being used on a boa.
Suture glue being used on a boa. | Source

How Long Do Dissolvable Stitches Last?

According to the Journal of Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research:

"Synthetic absorbable sutures loose most of their tensile strength within 60 days and eventually disappear from the tissues because they have been hydrolyzed."

What does this mean? Most absorbable sutures require 60 days to be completely absorbed by the body (hydrolyzed). Not to fear, absorbable stitches lose (dissolve) between 50% of their strength by 7-10 days, meaning the body is well on its way to healing.

Surgical Adhesives or Suture Glue

In some cases, your vet may use surgical adhesives to close the wound. Suture glue cannot be used near the eyes and is not suitable for oozing or contaminated wounds. Also, incisions closed with adhesives are more prone to opening up if they get wet. Adhesives are used to close very small incisions or act as secondary reinforcement for a top suture layer. Surgical glue is gradually removed by the body within 10 days on average.

Typical fracture repair or TPLO surgical incision on a recovering dog.
Typical fracture repair or TPLO surgical incision on a recovering dog. | Source

How to Stop Your Dog From Licking at Stitches and Pulling Them Out

Your vet sent you home with an Elizabethan collar (also known as the "cone" or more humorously, "the cone of shame") for a good reason: to help protect the area from excessive licking. Excessive licking may cause your dog to pull out the stitches or even introduce bacteria to the site, causing an infection. There are several techniques that you can use to prevent your dog from licking:

  • Elizabethan collars (e-collars), cones, or similar devices
  • t-shirts and socks (if approved by your veterinarian)
  • supervision and commands such as "leave it"
  • vet-approved anti-lick strips or sprays
  • dog puzzles and distracting toys (frozen kong treats)
  • sedation or tranquilizers in extreme cases

Dog saliva is not antibacterial and dogs should not be allowed to lick at their incision site.

Can I Cover My Dog's Stitches?

Depending on the location and type of incision, you can ask your vet about using a bandage to keep your dog from licking the area. If the incision is near the abdomen or shoulder area, you can try to discourage licking by putting a t-shirt on your dog. Simply put your dog's head and front legs through the head and armholes of the shirt. If the problem area is the foot, you can ask your vet about placing a sock on the area. Of course, avoid doing so if you own a dog who would eat the sock or shirt and be at risk of an intestinal obstruction!

Healing times are subject to change depending on the procedure and patient.
Healing times are subject to change depending on the procedure and patient. | Source

How to Stop Your Dog From Scratching at Stitches and Opening Them Up

As the wound heals and the fur starts growing back, the area starts to get itchy. The Elizabethan collar may not be helpful in this case, as it prevents licking, but won't do much for scratching. Monitor your dog closely for scratching, and if possible, find a way to discourage scratching by using a command such as "leave it."

Crating your dog when you are not around may be helpful if it's snug enough to discourage scratching. Depending on where the incision is, letting your dog wear a t-shirt may also help to discourage scratching. This can be good for incisions on the abdomen and shoulders; check with your vet, as some procedures require the wound to air. Remember that dogs are capable of scratching their front legs with their back legs, so if your dog has an incision behind the front legs, he/she may cause significant damage by scratching!

For some supervised dogs, a t-shirt may prevent them from scratching or licking and is less disruptive than a cone.
For some supervised dogs, a t-shirt may prevent them from scratching or licking and is less disruptive than a cone. | Source

How Long Should a Dog Wear a Cone After Stitches?

Keep your dog's cone on for as long as your veterinarian has recommended activity restriction—generally 7-14 days. Neck collars for well-behaved dogs may be more appropriate, as are inflatable donut collars for small, mellow dogs that can be closely monitored. Just know that no collar or cone is foolproof, and dogs can get around the tip of cones with their tongue. Some dogs may react terribly to cones. It is okay to remove a cone while your dog eats if they are struggling to do so, but only if you are monitoring them 100% of the time. You may prefer to hand feed them or elevate their bowl.

Keeping an e-collar on your dog is the best way to prevent post-operative complications.
Keeping an e-collar on your dog is the best way to prevent post-operative complications. | Source

Important: Restrict a Hyper Dog's Activity After Surgery

Limiting Activity

Yes, those staples and stitches are strong, but if your dog moves in a way that puts tension on the area or stretches it excessively, this may impair healing and the sutures are at risk of opening and bleeding. Depending on the incision, your vet may recommend activity restriction for anywhere between 7 and 14 days or even longer. How to limit activity:

  • Always take your dog out for potty breaks on a leash.
  • Discourage running around and jumping especially during the first days. Jumping up and down in the house or on furniture may cause swelling and pain.
  • Barricade stairs or carry your dog up and down depending on necessity.
  • Avoid long walks and rough-housing with other dogs.
  • Your vet may recommend cage rest or keeping your dog in a small room.
  • Tranquilizers or sedatives may be prescribed for particularly hyper dogs.

When a surgical site reopens, your dog may have to go in for a second procedure.
When a surgical site reopens, your dog may have to go in for a second procedure. | Source

When Dog Stitches Open Up, Come Out, or Look Infected

A big threat to an incision is an infection. The infection prolongs healing time and the pus may put extra tension on the stitches making them more prone to coming out. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics to prevent this complication especially if the area was already infected or you are dealing with a difficult wound such as an animal bite. What to look for:

  • Signs of an Infection: If you see active bleeding, oozing, and bright green pus or odorous discharge, take your dog to the veterinarian right away. Behavioral changes, fever, panting, and loss of appetite, are all indications that your dog may be harboring an infection and should be seen ASAP.
  • Open Wounds: The most serious complication of an incision is protruding tissue. Stitches are meant to keep the dog's underlying tissues in place, and when the stitches come out, there's the risk that the protruding tissues will trigger a serious and even potentially fatal infection.

Do Not Treat the Wound

Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide should not be used on incision sites and stitches as these chemicals will cause cellular damage and slow healing.

Signs That Your Dog Needs Medical Attention

What indicates a post-operative medical emergency?

  • Excessive swelling or redness at the surgical site
  • Fresh blood seeping for over 24 hours
  • Discharge or drainage dripping from the incision site
  • Foul odor, pus, or off-color drainage
  • Missing sutures with redness/swelling and discharge
  • Edges of the skin are no longer together or a wide gap exists over ¼ inch
  • Protruding tissue (medical emergency)
  • A dog that is listless and not eating

Some discharge is considered normal after surgery.
Some discharge is considered normal after surgery. | Source

When Discharge From Your Dog's Stitches Is Normal

Know What Normal Is

Do your best to keep the area as clean and dry as possible. It's good practice to observe the incision at least twice a day; consider taking pictures of the site in the same light as a reference. Know how many stitches or staples your dog has so you can keep track of them.

Characteristics of a Normal Incision

  • Clean with edges touching.
  • Reddish/pink color that intensifies during the first days as the area heals.
  • Some bruising along the edges in pale dogs as the area heals.
  • Clear, blood-tinged discharge in small amounts (first 24/72 hours).

Clear, Blood-Tinged Discharge

A small amount of clear or blood-tinged discharge can be seen seeping intermittently in the first 24/72 hours. According to Assisi Animal Health, it's normal for a little blood mixed with plasma (a clear, yellowish fluid) to leak from the wound site. Normally, the discharge should have a light yellow tint (serous) or a pink tint (serosanguineous) and it shouldn't have any odor. This can be observed by gently blotting the incision site with clean gauze or a clean paper towel.

Discharge may be normal or abnormal depending on consistency and other accompanying symptoms. Know what to look for.
Discharge may be normal or abnormal depending on consistency and other accompanying symptoms. Know what to look for. | Source

Why Did My Dog Get a Seroma After Surgery?

At times, dogs may develop a seroma at the incision site. When small blood vessels are ruptured, a seroma (an accumulation of plasma) will form as a pocket of extra space around the surgical site. The majority of these non-painful growths reabsorb on their own with time and the swelling will decrease. This collection of serum may occur because of excess "dead space," and the inflammation is often seen in animals that were too active during the recovery process or who licked and chewed the incision site. Hot or warm compresses (avoid moisture on the surgical site by using a plastic bag or similar barrier) may be helpful as these will encourage blood flow, allowing the body to reabsorb the extra fluid faster. Always test the compress on your skin first to avoid thermal or cold burns.

Disclaimer

This article should not be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog's incision is showing signs of infection, or your dog is experiencing post-operative surgical complications, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Expert Review

Dr. Rachel Barrack

Veterinarian & Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist
New York, New York
  • The article has been modified since this review was written.

Questions & Answers

  • My dog got neutered three days ago. The vet used absorbable stitches; we noticed today the stitches were gone. How fast do they absorb? He has been licking at the spot, but not obsessively. We stop him every time we catch him. How fast would they disappear, or should we go ahead and take him back to the vet?

    Usually, absorbable stitches are dissolved by the time the area is healed which is within 10-14 days. I would, therefore, expect it to be too early for them to dissolve.

    If there is any gaping of the wound's edges and the area look red, swollen or infected, then that would warrant a vet visit. An emergency visit is warranted if there is bleeding/wide gaps or if the dog starts acting ill and lethargic.

    If there are no gaps, there are chances that the vet has placed some buried sutures that hold things together. It would be best though to contact a vet just to be safe.

    Being a weekend and a festivity, your clinic should have arrangements for after-hours emergencies. If you call your regular clinic most likely, the answering service will inform you about some emergency clinic open nearby. You can then contact the ER clinic and see what they think.

    Chances are, if there are no major gaps or signs of bleeding, they may suggest covering the area temporarily with some non-stick bandage and checking the area a couple of times a day. An Elizabethan collar may be needed to protect the area from further licking. Best wishes.

  • Do dogs have to be put back to sleep to remove stitches?

    Unless your dog has stitches of the dissolvable type, you will have to see your vet remove your dog's stitches. Usually, all your dog needs is gentle restraint while your vet removes them using a special tool, but if your dog is particularly fractious, the vet may administer a sedative.

  • What can I put on my dog's stitches to limit itching or scratching?

    You can put an Elizabethan collar or a pair of boxers or pants or a shirt on your dog depending on where the stitches are. Close monitoring is still needed, though, as your dog can still reach the stitches if he really wants to.

© 2014 Adrienne Janet Farricelli

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Monica Rodriguez 

      6 weeks ago

      My dog had two surgery's a tumer removed. And she got fixed but she has 3 days she dont want to eat is this normal I make her drink water

    • profile image

      Brandy bishop 

      2 months ago

      My dog just had surgery and it's white stuff around the stitches what does that mean please reply quickly

    • profile image

      Jackie manchester 

      3 months ago

      Very very helpful site , my dog has had a mass removed from her head , and 1 of the stitches looks a bit weepy , been to emergency vet , but now feel more at ease after reading your advice thank you

    • profile image

      Yamielt 

      4 months ago

      my dog just got surgery and the stitches are around his abdominal area and he had a cone but he is blind in one eye so he cant see with the cone off so i took off the cone and put a bandage around that area so he wont pick, was that a good idea? please reply ASAP

    • profile image

      Jazmine 

      5 months ago

      My shitzu was attacked by a pitbull bul sat and one puncture wound under her leg has 4 clear stitches she licked 2 out it's oozing clearish pink fluid alot I just put a shirt around her head to stop licking is this normal

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 months ago from USA

      Ouch, sounds like the edges of the cones are irritating the eyes, I would be worried about a corneal ulcer. I would take them to the vet to play it safe. Whether or not you can leave them without the cone depends on how well you can supervise them to prevent them from bothering the area. As the scab forms sometimes it gets itchy. You may have to use a soft cone perhaps, like a comfy cone or have the vet get a better sized cone that won't touch the eyes.

    • profile image

      Aimee 

      6 months ago

      Hi i just got my two dogs neutered about a week ago and there's a scab on the incision. the only issue is that both my dogs now have eye infections from rubbing their eyes on the cones. would it be too early to take their cones off and let their eyes heal?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 months ago from USA

      Samanthi, this is really odd that your dog is crying. I would follow up with your vet.

    • profile image

      Samanthi 

      7 months ago

      my dog was operated and the stiches were removed after 18 days. I noticed that some stiches are missing and i am 100% sure that notthing happened to the stiches. I assume some of the stiches have gone inside his skin. Now my dog is crying from time to time. Is this because the stiches have gone inside?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 months ago from USA

      Maria, so sorry to hear that. What happened exactly?

    • profile image

      Maria 

      8 months ago

      My 10 Year old GSD died the next day after stitches. . .

    • profile image

      E.j. Vegas 

      8 months ago

      My dog had a couple tumors on his lower abdomen, removed 3 days ago. Every now and again, he has a fit like a bucking Broncos. I'm thinking it's an itch. Anyone else dealt with this on how to ease his trauma?

    • profile image

      Bren 

      8 months ago

      my dog was attacked by another dog, he had stitches, skin died and had a second surgery with many stitches in a Y shape on his rear end, now they opened and not enough healthy skin to restitch. Vet is letting would heal without stitches. These are not little wounds, they are infected and he is on antibiotics and pain meds for who knows how long.... will he survive?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 months ago from USA

      Doesn't sound normal, could he have got injured jumping in and out of the car?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 months ago from USA

      Redd, stitches may pop when dogs are overly active in the first few days after surgery, so the vet may charge you based on that.

    • profile image

      8 months ago

      Our dog was fixed 14 days ago , stitches were removed tday !! He is acting weird shaking and yelping when he is held or starts to walk ! Is this normal ?

    • profile image

      Bella 

      8 months ago

      This is a wonderful article. Everything was explained so well that I was left with zero questions.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Redd 

      9 months ago

      I've paid for surgery now a stitch popped the vet wants to charge me another $100 to fix is this all on me or does the vet have to fix there mess up?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      9 months ago from USA

      You would need to keep her exercised and mentally stimulated (interactive toys, stuffed Kong, training, walks) to keep her distracted so that she'll be more likely to rest during the day and you can put the E-collar. on or supervise her. Consult with your vet for the bleeding.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      10 months ago

      My female dog just had her right eye removed recently few days ago and she tend to be very active dog and she like to scratch her stitches but still wear E-COLLAR til her stitches removes on October 18th..she still has blood draining all over her right side ..so how to stop her scratching and blood draining??

    • profile image

      Tasha 

      10 months ago

      My dog was just neutered 2 weeks ago, and I removed his cone today but I noticed he had been chewing and licking it still and it's started to bleed a little and opened a little. I've put the cone back on for now but I don't know if I should take him back to the vet

    • profile image

      Michele 

      14 months ago

      my dog was spayed on Monday and she had tore the cone off she's a pitbull puppy 8 months old had not been bothering the incision but now it is red and open and seeping a light watery blood ish what should I do to prevent her from entering herself more..... she is very active and hyper can't really keep her down

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      14 months ago from USA

      Hannah, would get that checked out by the vet to be safe.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      14 months ago from USA

      Sounds good, what did the vets say when he got the stitches out?

    • profile image

      Olga 

      14 months ago

      The stitches are out the area looks normal no drainage should I still worry

    • profile image

      HANNAH 

      14 months ago

      My dog got hit by a car 4 months ago and the vet said her stitches will desolve but never did. I pulled them through her already healed wound and it is very red and puffy. When I squeeze it yellow puss comes out. How do I clean the infection out of it is already healed?

    • profile image

      Cyndi 

      18 months ago

      Yes this article was helpful. I used to clean dried blood from stitches with hydrogen peroxide and now it is NOT recommended.

      We have a small Maltichon mix, 14 lbs, and wears an 18 month baby's onsie. (We usually put a bladder leakage pad in it and have it on her for when guests are coming over. She has a nervous bladder, a subservient trait of some small dogs.) Recently she had 3 sebaceous cysts removed from her back, leaving huge incisions with many stitches. The onside has worked great to keep the wounds clean and dry. No cone of shame needed after we added her Thunder Shirt that securely covered her back and kept her warm. She hasn't been able to reach her wounds to scratch or chew on them. The wounds are healing well and she is calm.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Happy to hear this article about stitches aftercare in dogs was helpful to you.

    • profile image

      Detective T 

      2 years ago

      Very helpful article. answered all my concerns about absorbable suture care.

    • revolutionbjj profile image

      Andrew Smith 

      3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Our dog (Molly, a 12 year old Dachshund) just had minor surgery a couple of weeks ago. We're thinking of removing the stitches ourselves this time!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      3 years ago from Chicago Area

      We've had both the dissolving and removable types of stitches used. And it is tough to keep them from licking, scratching and pulling 'em out. The cone collars can help, but they don't like those too much either. Tough as it is, this is a constant monitoring situation for the days of healing. Thanks for the tips!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)