Dressings and bandages on dogs

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There are so many different types of dressings and bandages that you can get for your first aid kit, but what you want to be doing is making sure that you have types of bandages that you can use for various different wounds. You do not want to have to have a different bandage for different wounds because you are not going to be carrying around a huge first aid kit with you. So you only really need a few little bandages that you can use for different conditions. You always want to make sure you have some pads and different-sized pads because some wounds will be larger than others and there may be some wounds that you want to bandage, you may want to place that dressing over the end of the foot or over the end of the tail, in which case you need a slightly larger dressing like this one.

And if you just have a small wound, then actually a small dressing is fine. If you do not want to have both, just have the large one and make sure you have a pair of scissors because you can always cut this down to the size that you need to use. With this kind of dressing, these are the low-adherent dressings and they will often have a shiny side on one side and then a non-shiny side on this side. It is this shiny non-stick area that you want to be using on the animal, you do not want this to stick to the fur or to the wound. So, shiny side to the wound always.

When you are bandaging, these are always going to be bandages that you are not going to be leaving on for ages and ages, so they do not have to look beautiful, they just have to be functional and they have to be safe and comfortable for the animal. You are always going to start off with your dressing to start with, so if you have a wound where you want to provide a little bit extra padding before you place the outside layer of the bandage on, you can use something like this, which is called Softban. It is quite stretchy, it is not likely to go too tight and it just makes the bandage a little bit more comfortable, and as I say, it gives it a little bit of extra padding.

So you would put the dressing on first, then your Softban. You just need a single layer of that, you do not need to be doubling up, provides more support to the bandage. Then for the outside layer, you can use what's called a cohesive bandage, and this bandage sticks to itself so there is no need for lots of scissors and there is no need to try and prevent it from slipping because it is just going to stick to itself where you put it. It is quite stretchy, and what you do not want to do is stretch it out and then apply it as tightly as you can because it will be too tight and almost acts as a tourniquet, so it can then cause pressure around the blood vessels and you can again get things like pins and needles in the limb or wherever you are bandaging, and it can be quite uncomfortable for the animal.

So with this, you normally unravel it as I have done there and then just give the tension, just let that ease a little bit and then place it round. These bandages are not trying to do anything apart from hold a dressing in place to keep a wound clean and potentially stem some bleeding from that wound. So it is just holding it in place, it needs to be tight enough so that the dressing does not slip, but not too tight that it is uncomfortable for the animal.

There are other types of dressing that you could use. You have this kind of dressing, which is commonly used in human first aid, where you have the bandage material attached to the dressing. So with this one, you would start to unravel it. You got a short end here that you would put around wherever you are dressing and then you have got a longer part that you would carry on putting around the wound. With these ones, you probably would then need a little bit of sticky tapes and Micropore just to seal off the end because it does not stick to itself.

You then have this kind of dressing here, which is a type of dressing really that it has got a little bit of giving it, is less likely to go tight like this cohesive bandage would. But you still need to make sure that you are not applying it too tightly. This, again, can be used... It is basically like this bandage, but without the dressing. So you could use a dressing and then this applied around it just to hold it on. Again, it is not sticking to itself so you would need some kind of tape, some Micropore tape just to seal off once you finished your dressing. You need some scissors to cut that and then some little tape just to make sure that it does not unravel.

So you also have these triangular bandages, which are normally used in human first aid, they can be used for various conditions. We are not going to be using it as a sling as you would in a person, but you can use it if you do not have any other bandage, but you have a pad, a dressing pad, you can still use this just to keep that pad in place if necessary. You can also use these as an emergency tourniquet if you needed to, they do not have any stretch in them. So, the rest of these bandages do have some kind of stretch, this one does not so it can go very tight if you tie it, it is not going to rip and it is not going to get looser as you leave it on. So this is a type of bandage that you may want to use if you have not got anything else, but if you are bandaging a wound, I would prefer to use ideally the cohesive bandage with a dressing, but if you do not have any of that, then you can either use these ones with the dressings attached already or this kind of stretchy bandage with the dressing.