How To Help Your Dog’s Staples Heal

Posted on
July 29, 2020
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Skin staples are used by veterinary doctors to assist the natural healing in situations when your dog’s open wound would need it. If your dog has been injured and received surgical staples as a way to mend their wounds, it’s important to do all that you can to make sure that their healing process goes smoothly. It can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what they need or what to do to make your dog feel comfortable. This article will hopefully be a helpful resource to you and your dog as you get through their recovery. 

In this article we’re going to discuss:

  • The Basics
  • Making a Plan 
  • Treating The Wound
  • Removal
  • Overall
A group of friends sit with their dog after it has healed completely.
Worrying about having to figure out what you can to help your dog heal after surgery is something that many other dog parents go through at some point or another if their pup has been in a similar situation. Placing your energy into equipping yourself to deal with your dog’s surgical staples is a great step in the direction of making your dog feel better.

The Basics

Everything you should know about surgical staples

If your dog has undergone surgery, depending on the specific condition or injury, there are a number of methods used to close the incision. Your dog’s veterinary doctor could use stitches, surgical glue, or staples to aid in mending your dog’s wound. Surgical staples have become more prominent as of late because they are fairly easy to put in, and are also a more affordable, and simple to remove alternative to the other methods. Of course, there are cases when staples are the perfect solution, but just as any other method there are injuries or procedures that staples are not suited for. 

Making A Plan

Organizing your dog’s home care

Your dog’s vet is likely to give you some basic instructions for helping your dog heal, but it’s also important that you make a plan to implement what they’ve said as well as make your dog feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process. After a procedure that requires surgical staples for your dog, it’s important to take a few precautions as a general rule:

  • Don’t bathe your dog or allow them to get their incision wet
  • Avoid taking your dog on longs walks
  • Don’t let your dog lick or scratch their incisions
  • Don’t clean the site of the staples with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as it can do much more harm than good
  • Don’t apply any creams or medicines until your dog’s vet gives you the OK

With any surgery, it’s very important to communicate with a veterinary specialist to ensure that you’re doing the right thing for your pet. Oftentimes post-operation, you’ll be provided with a timeline of dos and don’ts that are specific to your dog’s condition. But another important thing to note is that you should not let your dog run around off-leash in the first week to two weeks after their surgery. This time is crucial for the incision to heal, and mistakes made here could make things worse or at the least more complicated for both of you.

Treating The Wound

And things you should look out for

A good practice as your dog recovers is to take a look at the site of their staples a couple of times a day. Many dog parents dealing with their pup’s surgical staples have questions about what the staples should look like. This is something that is very specific to each dog, and each type of procedure that took place. If staples have been applied to the incision, you should make sure that the incision hasn’t opened. If you do notice this, it’s a good idea to apply bandages to the area to keep it covered and protected from debris or bacteria that could cause infection. After doing this you should take your dog to see the vet or contact them to figure out what the best solutions are.

Removal

In some cases, this will be up to you

One very crucial step in healing incisions that were sealed with surgical staples is the removal process. In many cases, your dog’s vet should be more than willing to remove them themselves, but for educational purposes and the off chance that you’ll have to remove the staples yourself we’ve outlined the process below. 

At the point of removal, the incision should be fully healed. It’s very important to note that you should wash your hands thoroughly beforehand or wear surgical gloves as well as gather the appropriate tools. First, you should use isopropyl alcohol to sterilize all of your tools, and also dowse some gauze in it to wipe down the area before you begin. The staples are fairly easy to remove using a pair of cutting pliers, and needle-nose pliers. You’ll want to get the help of someone else to hold your dog still in their lap as you remove the staples. Using the cutting pliers, carefully place them around the middle of the staple and cut it into two pieces. After doing this use the needle-nose pliers to remove the pieces gently, and repeat the process for each staple.

Once the staples are removed, you’ll want to wipe the area with isopropyl alcohol again and then apply an antibacterial. A good option for this is Fauna-Care’s Silver Spray, which you can apply to help the remaining area heal. This spray works towards helping to heal wounds and protecting against infection and can be applied.

A happy beagle runs after his incision has fully healed.
The number one concern in all of this is your dog’s well being. If you don’t feel comfortable removing the staples yourself or have some reservations about home treatment, your dog’s vet is only one call away.

Overall

What should you take away from all of this?

Luckily, a lot of the work in mapping out what you should do for your pup is already done for you by a vet professional. Still, it’s a good thing to try to get prepared for your pet’s home care just in case they don’t cover everything. Having your dog undergo surgery can be a scary, nerve-wracking thing to face. Our hope is that by preparing yourself before you take them home will help to ease your worries for their recovery. 


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Posted on
July 29, 2020
in
Advice
category