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Vets/vet Tech Ect.- When To Staple/stitch/leave Alone


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Guest snakes

A question to anyone that works in a vet or kennel environment. When a greyhound gets a skin tear, when would you staple vs. stitch vs just clean it and leave it alone? Specifically size of tear and type of tear (A clean slit vs. a whole segment of skin).

Having had a few skin tears and staples i was just wondering what goes into the type of care used.

Thanks!

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It's tough to say, for me personally I would have to see it and be able to touch it in order to decide what to do. Scrapes are probably not going to be helped by stitches or staples.

 

A clear slit, if it's deep enough, would be helped by staples or stitches. Just a surface cut, not so much.

 

Excessive bleeding is cause for staples or stitching.

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Guest Energy11

YOU would NOT believe what I healed on Staggerlee. Now, it wasn't into the muscle, and the bleeding stopped easily, BUT, it was BIG! I used Trypzyme-V spray, and did DAILY dressing changes. I also gave Keflex, 500 mg for ten days. It healed well.

 

IF no muscle is showing, and the bleeding has stopped, basically, you can try to heal it yourself or see the vet. I was NOT taught to stitch or staple as a paramedic, but did manage to heal Staggerlee.

 

In the end, always BEST to consult your vet, but, yes, healing large gashes CAN be done ...

 

Good Luck and sorry you are going through this.

 

Neck, trunk and body injuries:

 

from this year's Mt. Hounds first aid seminar presentation:

 

As most of us already know, greyhounds’ skin is thin, and when cut, tears like a zipper! If your dogs get cut or bitten, and it is a weekend or night, ... YOU CAN treat this yourself, for the most part. (*If the wound is into the muscle, or the bone is showing, Or you cannot get the bleeding stopped, see the vet IMMEDIATELY.

 

If it the wound is superficial here is what you do: Hold pressure to stop the bleeding. Gently clean the wound with warm water, and blot dry. Apply Trypzyme-V ointment or triple-antibiotic ointment to the would. Cover with a large band aid, or non-stick dressing. You can cover this, depending on the size , with a maxi pad, and affix to the dog’s body with Kling (stretch bandage) or the Surgical tubing mentioned in the ear segment. This dressing needs to be changed twice daily, and you need to see your vet for a course of antibiotics and a follow-up. Deramaxx or Rimadyl can be given for pain. If you don’t have either of these, ONE 81 mg BUFFERED aspirin can be given daily, according to a licensed veterinarian, but not for long periods of time. If your dog happens to get an object stuck in it, (*impaled object) DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT! Use rags, napkins, gause, ... whatever you have handy, to stabilize the object and tape it. Bringthe dog WITH the object in tact to your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY!!! Removing the object can cause more damage to internal organs and bleeding!

 

Temporary splints for broken bones can be made using folded cardboard, a rolled up magazine, or even a tree branch, if the above is not available. SPLIT in the position you find it! DO NOT try to straighten out the limp, and see you vet IMMEIDATELY! It is a good idea some old magazines and masking tape in your first aid kits for this emergency.

 

 

 

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Guest snakes

The current tear from today hardly bled at all, only the skin was torn, no muscle torn or bone or anything as horrible as that. We have had slit type skin tears before and those have been stapled with good results. One was going to be stitched but the pup in question had eaten to recently (i guess being put out is necessary for stitches). There is a flap of skin at the bottom of this one but it is pretty shrunk up, i couldn't imagine it could be stretched and glued. This is on the hind leg just below the knee and is about 1.5" downward length by 1" width at the bottom, it is triangular in shape. I figure that staples wouldn't help or stitches since there is too much skin missing so you can't approximate the edges to join them. I was just curious how the call between stitches and staples was made in general. My plan currently is to keep it clean, neosporin, and just watch it, she hasn't been licking it so far...

 

I can't post a piture as it is only on my computer and not at a URL.

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Guest Energy11

THIS DOES sound like something you can deal with, and it sound like you are doing a good job so far!!! AGAIN, I healed a far, far larger gash on Staggerlee a few years ago.

 

I'd keep doing what you are doing, and I'd TRY to get some antibiotics, specifically, Keflex, 500 mg, from your vet if possible. You DO need to treat for infection, within, and not just topically.

 

I have to state, I am NOT a vet, and I always advise people to contact their vets, with any questions or concerns.

 

As a layperson, retired paramedic and vet tech, I'd be doing the same thing .... actually, I did! BUT, IF ANYTHING changes, ... bleeding, swelling, fever, lethargy, SEE YOUR VET ASAP!!!!

 

Good Luck!

 

 

 

The current tear from today hardly bled at all, only the skin was torn, no muscle torn or bone or anything as horrible as that. We have had slit type skin tears before and those have been stapled with good results. One was going to be stitched but the pup in question had eaten to recently (i guess being put out is necessary for stitches). There is a flap of skin at the bottom of this one but it is pretty shrunk up, i couldn't imagine it could be stretched and glued. This is on the hind leg just below the knee and is about 1.5" downward length by 1" width at the bottom, it is triangular in shape. I figure that staples wouldn't help or stitches since there is too much skin missing so you can't approximate the edges to join them. I was just curious how the call between stitches and staples was made in general. My plan currently is to keep it clean, neosporin, and just watch it, she hasn't been licking it so far...

 

I can't post a piture as it is only on my computer and not at a URL.

 

 

Oh... that skin will die and drop off, or, at least, Staggerlee's did.

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The current tear from today hardly bled at all, only the skin was torn, no muscle torn or bone or anything as horrible as that. We have had slit type skin tears before and those have been stapled with good results. One was going to be stitched but the pup in question had eaten to recently (i guess being put out is necessary for stitches). There is a flap of skin at the bottom of this one but it is pretty shrunk up, i couldn't imagine it could be stretched and glued. This is on the hind leg just below the knee and is about 1.5" downward length by 1" width at the bottom, it is triangular in shape. I figure that staples wouldn't help or stitches since there is too much skin missing so you can't approximate the edges to join them. I was just curious how the call between stitches and staples was made in general. My plan currently is to keep it clean, neosporin, and just watch it, she hasn't been licking it so far...

 

I can't post a piture as it is only on my computer and not at a URL.

 

This seems large enough to me that you might need to do a bandage. I am far from an expert on this (others will likely know much more) but this is my guess as to how to handle it:

 

1) Flush well with sterile saline to ensure that the wound is thoroughly clean (this is available at a pharmacy)

2) cover wound with a sterile gel (I can't remember the name of what the vet had me use for Joe). Perhaps triple antibiotic ointment would work fine

3) place a wet to dry bandage over wound (use several layers of gauze, the first layers are wet with the sterile saline).

4) Use vet tape or something similar to hold the gauze in place

5) Give oral antibiotic

6) Change the bandage regularly (every day probably)

7) You will look for granulation tissue to form indicating that the wound is healing. Also look for any signs of infection.

 

Joe's injury was much larger (about 4 inches by 8 inches). OSU was able to debride and suture much of the skin together, leaving just about 1 by 2 inches open. The above was the procedure that we used for the open area. They had to make loops of suture material through the skin for me to lace a ribbon through to hold the bandage on. It was just in such an awkward place that the bandage wouldn't have stayed in place.

 

If you ever have a tear that can be sewn back together, it is important to get to the vet right away. The longer the skin hangs loose, the less likely that it will heal and not die.

 

As to the staple vs suture question, I really have no clue.

 

Jane

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Guest Liz_in_PA

When Bonnie had her 8 stitches (inner layer and outer layer), the E-vet was willing to try with just a local. I'm glad she did as that saved us $300. So I'm always going to ask if going under is necessary.

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Guest EmilyandSioux

When Sioux did his nose it was stapled with no lidocaine. We have tears here all the time because we are in the country. If it is where I am imagining it is it would be better left alone and treated as a open wound. The stitches/staples would pull out. I use medical honey on Sioux and change the bandage daily. It sounds like bandaging would be hard because it is going to slip down. Do not use duct tape it will tear him more. I use Band aids and they stay on. Just keep it clean. If you are incertain at all see the vet.

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I assess my dogs the same way I used to assess my kids injuries. Often once you get past the blood and things calm you can usually deal with things yourself.

 

These are the inuries that I take my guys in to the vet, as they may require stitches or staples.

 

Bleeding that won't stop with direct pressure.

Large area with muscle showing,

Gaping wounds

Facial wounds especially near the mouth - often there is a pocket that food and debris can get in

 

Peanut gashed her leg last fall, and I had planned to just clean and vet wrap since there was next to no bleeding. When I moved her fur, I could see inside her leg! Yeah that took 6 stitches to close, my vet knows I do my own first aid so they took her right back. The vet tech said over her shoulder "Miki said if you say it needs stitches, it needs stitches."

 

Things I don't like stitched, but do take them in for a look see

 

Puncture wounds - to make suer there is nothing in there and usually antibiotics.

Cuts on the bottom of the feet - I personally don't like to stitch since a lot of nasty bacteria can end up stitched inside. Jake cut his foot a few years ago and you could see the tendon. We had it checked to make sure there was no damage and then cleaned and bandaged.

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Guest snakes

thanks everyone. I did try a bandage, a few times, but due to the nature of it being right near the 'knee' joint it wouldn't stay in place. Looks like we will just heal an open wound keeping it clean with normal saline rinses and triple antibiotic ointment a couple times a day. I am used to looking out for infection due to being a nurse so you can be sure i'll be checking the wound frequently!

 

It seems staples vs stitches is a personal call by the vet. I, so far, prefer staples as they are quick to put in and no drugs to knock them out either.

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I prefer staples, having had both that and stitches myself. I know for my vet she'll use either, depending on the wound/location.

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I usually treat all skin tears at home, thanks to a vet who showed me how to care for wounds, and also thanks to colloidal silver. We've not had to use antibiotics in years, we just flush initially with silver, and tack with surgical glue in one or two spots if needed, and then spray with silver 4-5 times a day until it's well on it's way to healed. The tears heal up amazingly well. I used a similar protocol when my daughter cut the top of her thumb off, the antibiotics they gave her made her sick, so she used silver and Traumeel, along with a few other homeopathic remedies. Healed up beautifully!

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