TRIPAWDS: Home to 13840 Members and 1558 Blogs.

healing incision question | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!


Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
healing incision question
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
9 August 2011 - 8:05 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I have a question for you experienced pawparents about how amputation incisions heal.  Sparky's incision is about 10 inches long.  The amputation was one week ago.  The incision is stapled. The top 7 inches are just about completely healed, but the bottom three inches are still slightly red, and just slightly oozy looking. I think the bottom staple might be gone.  It's not actually leaking any fluid,  but just looks a bit wet.

I will call the vet tomorrow, but would apprectate it if any of you can tell me how long incisions typically take to heal up,  and whether they typically heal consistently, or in a top to bottom pattern.  Also, would it be ok if I put a little peroxide on the oozy part?  When we go for walks and he lies down, this is the part that is on the grass, and no doubt coming into contact with some icky germs.

9 August 2011 - 9:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

  Valentina's incision healed at the top well before the bottom. The vet said that most dogs are healed enough to get the staples removed in 10-14 days. Valentina did have hers removed  after 14 days but she had a whole host of complications and had a drainage tube put in so my experience is different than yours but by the 14th day the top was perfectly healed and the bottom was red and puffy and leaking fluid still. She later developed an infection which now is pretty much gone. Without complications going on I am not sure if it is normal for it to be wet looking. Definitely consulting the vet tomorrow will be the best thing to do to make sure that it is ok and not developing an infection. Valentina was on antibiotics after she came home but she still got an infection and ended up having to go on 4 different ones including an injectable one before it finally started to get better. Hopefully the vet tells you that it is normal and he will end up healing just fine. To protect Valentina's incision I draped a towel around her neck and secured it with a pony tail holder so if she laid down in the grass it would usually kind of lay underneath her so it wasn't coming in contact with the ground. If it wasn't quite under there good enough I would tuck it under her a bit. This also kept her from licking it. You may have to use something small for Sparky. Alot of people have put Tshirts on their dogs. Maybe a little kids one would help. Hope all turns out well! Good luck with your consult!

9 August 2011 - 9:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

 Oh and I have read to never try to clean it yourself or apply anything to the incision without consulting your vet first. My vet gave me a special antiseptic to clean Valentina's with. And I think that sometimes things like peroxide can irritate the delicate tissues. So be sure to check first.

9 August 2011 - 9:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Our dog, Capone,  had a pressure bandage on until he went back to the vet to have the staples removed. I did nothing with the wound during this time nor was instructed to.  The only thing my vet suggested was to apply hot compresses to an area that was protruding from his bandage. This area was a seroma which resolved in due time.   I would definitely discuss this matter with your vet.  We also kept a t-shirt on our boy too to help with extra support and protection.   

10 August 2011 - 5:41 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks everyone.  Your suggestions are very helpful.  He is now wearing a t-shirt and the licking is far less.  Another inch from the bottom of the incision has cleared up , so it's just the last 2 inches or so that has a bit of redness.  I think it was the licking (when the cone was off) that was causing the trouble. I will call the clinic in any event.  Thanks again for your help.

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 11791
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10 August 2011 - 8:49 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Do not use peroxide! We recently talked with a surgeon at CSU who strongly suggests never using anything to clean directly on the incision area. Warm water can be used to clean around it. Peroxide will kill the cells trying to heal, and ointments will prohibit proper “breathing” of healing wounds. Most dogs get stitches/staples out at around 14 days. The bottom of many incisions will often take a bit longer to heal since the fluid flows downhill.

10 August 2011 - 5:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

The t-shirt has made a great difference.  I guess he was sneak-licking during the day (on Dad's watch whatever) because he was wearing the cone at night.  Staples are scheduled to come out on day 14, next Tuesday.

10 August 2011 - 6:13 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

  Yes, generally you are not supposed to clean the incision but due to the large amount of fluid that Valentina had there was a buildup of the sticky fluid accumulation all around the area of the incision so my vet instructed me to use a special cleaning solution that he gave me each day to clean off all that junk. I did not actually directly clean the incision. Glad that another inch of Sparky's incision has gotten better! And glad that the Tshirt is helping. Valentina's appears to be all healed on the outside and there is not a drop of drainage but she will still try to lick it sometimes. So when I am out of the room I still keep the towel draped around her. Hope Sparky's incision continues to get better each day!

Forum Posts: 289
Member Since:
26 July 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11 August 2011 - 1:40 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Radar's healed that way too (top first).  It looked to me like on the bottom end of the incision the skin was folded under and the fold is what took the longest to heal.

Other than drainage which is most likely normal I would just watch for heat.  If the area around the incision if very hot it could be a sign of infection. 

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 597
Currently Online: coltgoesboing
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1034
Members: 9212
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 15490
Posts: 217281
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.