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Stitches - tips to prevent scratching?

10870 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Terry
It's the third day after Moe's surgery and he's begun to try to scratch at the incisions he can reach - one on his side and one on his front elbow, which is the worst and most fragile of his incisions. Both those spots can be reached, even with the e-collar on. So far his attempts have been half-hearted but he CAN reach them and I'm afraid he may try harder to get at them as they begin to heal. Any tips or suggestions to either soothe the itch or protect the vulnerable areas?
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I would definitely check with your Veternarian BEFORE trying this. When Rusty got neutered he bothered his stiches. I used my finger and dipped it in Bitter Apple. I rubbed it around the perimeter of the stitches NOT on the stitches. When he licked he of course, tasted the bitter apple and that stopped it. I didn't spray because I didn't want to get any on the incision which would be very painful for him, so I just used my finger and rubbed in around the area. It worked. But even after checking with the Vet, be VERY careful not to touch the incisions with the Bitter Apple. Good Luck!
I know I've said this before but my dogs have never had a problem bothering their sutures or incisions. Never had to use an e-collar either. I'll have to ask my vet if she does anything different. I know she does put a yellow antibiotic powder on the incisions. Also you mentioned that Moe had staples, I wonder if this are more bothersome than sutures?

Did you see my picture of a big incision on Roady's head on that other thread as I was finally able to upload it to my webpage.? Really not a webpage, just a place to store pictures. He didn't fuss with it one bit.

I know I didn't answer your question but maybe some of this powder will help. I knew the name once but it's since excaped me. Betsy might know.

Have you tried keeping him busy with a Kong or marrow bone? Another thing I've done when we felt my dog shouldn't be home alone all day when recovering from an illness or surgery is drop him off at the vets on my way to work and pick him up on the way home.

I hope Moe continute to improve and suspect he'll be feeling better even sooner than you expect. :)
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Terry, I also used Bitter something close enough to the wound (1/2 inch) that Francis must have tasted it becuase he stopped worrying his incision after he was neutered. Good luck and I hope Moe heals quickly!!
Thank you, all. It's not really a problem at this moment and perhaps it never will be. I just want to be prepared if he does start scratching or licking. I'm going to call the vet this morning so I'll ask them for some tips, also. They have been calling me every day to check on Moe's condition but I missed their call last night.
I talked to our vet this morning and, after discussing Moe's condition, I asked them about scratching and licking prevention. They thought that staples were actually more comfortable than stitches because stitches, with their knots and ends, could be more 'prickly'. But, if he starts to scratch or lick, I could wrap the wound (only possible with his leg) and/or I could put a T-shirt on him (as someone suggested once or twice in different posts). So far, any scratching he's been doing has more to do with the e-collar around his neck. Today is the fifth day and he continues to do fine. It seems I am just a worrywort, after all. :eek: If I am, I'm sure I'm not the only one... I'm in good company here! ;)
I know you've seen Bogie's new neck ware on the forum. The rolled towel really worked well, and he was much happier being able to eat, drink, and see than he was with the e-collar. The vet also gave us "Collasate Postop Dressing 7 gm" that we apply once a day to the stitches. She said it might help with the itching. He has the disolvable internal stitches. She also suggested a white T-shirt if he tries to scratch with the rear legs. So far so good on that.
Sure hope Moe heals quickly.
So far, so good. I've been leaving the e-collar off him the last couple of nights while he's sleeping. At night Moe sleeps like the dead and NOTHING rouses him before eight or nine in the morning. His incisions look great. Monday he gets his staples out... we can't wait!
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