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Should I take the bandage off?

November 2nd, 2008, 07:12 AM
Cookie had her spaying done on Monday. Everything has been fine.

Yesterday I noticed she's been much quieter than usual. When I looked her over I saw that she has a raw spot where the bandages have been irritating her ... When she sits the way cats do with the four paws tucked in under themselves, the bottom edge of the bandage is rubbing against her inner hip area. She been licking at it and has it raw and its faintly bloody.

This is not the incision area, and I am positive it's being caused by the way the bandage has shifted over the week.

I have to call the vet tomorrow to arrange having the bandage removed. I checked it out and I can easily get my fingers in and a space of about 2cm free all along her back under the bandage.

So I'm wondering, should I just remove the bandage myself, hopefully preventing the raw irritated spot from getting worse and requiring treatment itself? I would still bring her in first thing tomorrow to have her looked over.
I just hate to see her in distress with it.

Any advice?

November 2nd, 2008, 07:22 AM
Oh, it's your kitty that the vet put the bandage on. I got you and Tundra mixed up. :o
Yes, take it off. I would have taken it off the day she came home but that's me. I can't figure out why a cat needs a huge bandage on. :shrug: None of mine ever have. Very strange. Watch the area where she is rubbed raw from it. She may need meds for it if it gets infected.

November 2nd, 2008, 07:24 AM
None of my kitties had a bandage after spaying. I think it should be OK to take it off.

November 2nd, 2008, 07:31 AM
My DH is worried that if I take it off she'll pull at her stitches and hurt the surgical spot.

I didn't ask the vet if they used dissolving stitches, so I don't know if there will be threads that she could go after under there. But IMO after one week, I'm pretty sure pulling at those threads wouldn't in any way endanger her health ...???

DH has a low tolerance for yucky looking medical stuff and I think he's partially just afraid to see what's under the bandage.

November 2nd, 2008, 07:36 AM
The op was done Monday. This is Sunday. The insision would be almost healed by now. I would be more concerned about having the bandage on and litter getting under it and infection setting in that way. :shrug: Tell hubby to suck it up! :rolleyes: :D j/k Seriously, the risk of infection from dirty litter getting under the wrapping is larger than the incision being yucky.

November 2nd, 2008, 07:52 AM
Even if she really starts licking at the exposed areas, and any threads there may be, she can't HURT herself, right?

November 2nd, 2008, 08:10 AM
I cut the bandage off.

Now she's grooming like crazy.

DH was right it is a bit yucky looking, but I think it's just dried blood and the yellow of iodine they must put around the area.:confused:

Should I clean her tummy up in any way? Or, just watch her and let her do it herself?

November 2nd, 2008, 09:36 AM
If she'll let you, you can use a little water and some very mild soap and try to clean up her belly. Don't get the incision wet, though, and try to keep her from licking it.

After about 5-7 days, the incision is well on its way to healing from the inside out, so you're right that even if she pulls a stitch, she'll likely not do any major damage--but you still want to minimize any licking/stitch-pulling/etc to avoid infection.

How does the area irritated by the bandage look?

November 2nd, 2008, 01:56 PM
She seems more comfortable with it off.

But she is licking like crazy, and has already removed some thread. She's got a pretty large shaved area, and it's all pretty pink looking, a bit red in some spots.
She's not too keen on letting us look too closely. She doesn't seem too distressed in her licking.

The spot from the bandage rub is about the size of a dime, very red and I think a little yellowish at the edges. The yellowish is what had me concerned enough to remove the bandage myself.

I hope I did the right thing for her!:pray:

November 2nd, 2008, 02:29 PM
Who puts a bandage on a cat after a spay ???? That's crazy.

Stitches need to stay in for I believe 72 hours. Yanking them out before them is considered an emergency, but after then no big deal.

I've worked in s/n clinics as everyone knows... it's not really a big of deal as some vets are making it out to be. I've also removed stitches by myself after a spay has healed up. I've seen the inside and the outside of spaying kitties.

You can wipe her tummy down but yeah, don't get the actual incision site wet. Use gauze if you can. Or cotton balls.

The yellow stain is the anti-bacterial stuff they wipe their tummies down with. Usually vets are kind enough to take a piece of gauze and wipe it off once they are done stitching kitty up and before they send her to post op. Atleast, that's what I've seen done :shrug:

November 2nd, 2008, 02:41 PM
She can still irritate the incision and get it infected...and it's best if the stitches stay in for 8-10 days, so don't let her get carried away on ripping them out. If you can keep her from licking, or at least minimize it, you run less of a risk of her developing a superficial infection on the incision.

November 2nd, 2008, 02:41 PM
I know bandages make me really itchy. If the incision is not leaking and is not red or overly swollen, then the kitty should be OK.

November 2nd, 2008, 03:22 PM
Let her groom. She will probably clean it and then leave it. Really, it's been a week. If it's still red it's probably from having a bandage on. None of mine had redness after the first few days. Like I said, they licked a little but not excessively. She probably is because she is irritated from the bandage. JMO

Just a thought. Does your vet charge for an office visit when you go back in to get the bandage off? He shouldn't be. The price should be included. Ask your vet if he used dissovable stitches. I have never even had to take any of mine back for a repeat visit after a spay. :shrug:

November 3rd, 2008, 07:18 AM
Thanks everyone.

She has settled down a lot on the licking, so I think it probably was just that she felt "dirty".

The inner stitches I believe the vet uses are dissolving, but the surface layer is not. I know this is what they did when Puss was operated on.

No, they wouldn't charge for removing the bandage & stitches... although I don't know about today since I did the deed. They've been really good with us to date, so I expect they'll only charge if she requires any treatment for the irritated spot.

Regardless, I'll be taking her in asap just to get the once over.

Didn't realize white cats were all pink underneath their fur ... kind looks like baby rat skin where she's shaved ... ewww. :loser:

November 3rd, 2008, 07:41 AM
Didn't realize white cats were all pink underneath their fur ... kind looks like baby rat skin where she's shaved ... ewww. :loser:

Lol it's really only on the tummy that it's pink :laughing: the rest of her is probably a cream color underneath her fur. You could always shave her down and see :p

November 3rd, 2008, 09:26 AM
Uhh, Kathryn, I'm not THAT curious!:D

Called the vet's and we're going in at 12:45. Again, only getting to see the tech ... kinda' annoyed at her ... on the phone now she made it sound like, yeah, it was my job to take the bandage off to begin with and what's all the fuss?

Like, could you give clear instructions to start with and not treat concerned pet owners like they're bothering you ... did you read your job description?

Love the vet ... not too fond of the tech.

November 3rd, 2008, 11:13 AM
That sucks you aren't getting more respect! How the heck are you supposed to know without instructions? Sheesh.

I've always thought with bandages - if they are necessary they should be changed every day? None of my spays have ever had a bandaid, maybe she bled a little afterward so they put it on her. I agree, someone at the vet's office shoud have given you clear instructions.

November 3rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
Poor Cookie!

Apparently she has chaffing and dermatitis on her abdomen now, hence the redness and irritiation. The vet says because she's so lean, she has these skin flaps in the area that are rubbing together and getting chaffed.

They stuck her in that goofy collar and I have treatment cream to rub on her abdomen twice a day ... she's in this position 'til Thursday, when they want to recheck her.

DH is about to have a bird! Says this is cruel and they should have rebandaged her ... also blames me for taking the other bandage off. The vet said my removing the bandage has nothing to do with it, but boy do I feel awful for her.

Anyone got any advice how to get her thru the next few days like this?:frustrated:

November 3rd, 2008, 01:24 PM
Tell hubby it's a good thing the bandage is off--keeping dermatitis from breathing leads to nasties... :eek:

How miserable is she in the collar? Our dogs all initially act like the world is ending :rolleyes:, but by the end of the first few hours, they pretty much accept it. Using the litter box might be a problem if she's digging the litter up trying to sniff it...since we only have dogs I don't have any advice for you there, except maybe taking it off when she has to go. The problem with that is that if she's unwilling to let you put it back on, it might lead to frequent struggles... :o

Otherwise, she should do okay with drinking and eating as long as the bowls are put on the floor. You might have to guide the edge of her cone the first few times till she figures out how to position herself to get in the bowls.

She'll do good. In a few days, she'll have it off and be back to normal! :goodvibes: And in a week or so, you'll both have forgotten what a pain the Dreaded Elizabethan Collar can be. :o


November 3rd, 2008, 01:28 PM
When I had an e-collar on Snowball, I had to cut the collar so it wasn't so long so he could manage better but still not be able to get at his cut. It made a world of difference for him.

November 3rd, 2008, 06:17 PM
Poor Cookie!

DH is about to have a bird! Says this is cruel and they should have rebandaged her ... also blames me for taking the other bandage off. The vet said my removing the bandage has nothing to do with it, but boy do I feel awful for her.

I don't have advice to help you get to Thurs but tell your hubby it is probably the bandage causing her the trouble in the first place. The vet didn't say this but having it bandaged is the perfect environment - moist, dark and warm - for infections to grow. Best wishes for Cookie to heal up quickly!

November 3rd, 2008, 06:18 PM
She's not too happy with her lot in life right now, but she is coping. I'm using small food dishes that easily fit within the circle of the collar, and standing by with my fork to keep moving the food into a nice high pile for her. I brought a litter box upstairs for her and she was able to use it, but dragged the collar edge in it trying to sniff. She keeps banging into things all around the house and the darn collar makes it hard to do the stairs or to jump up. She did try to play a bit, but I sense it's not as fun if you can't get your teeth into it!

She has little flip outs every now and then, and looks pawsitively depressed, but so far so good.

I'm thinking to keep her in my room again through the night, so that if she has any trouble, I will be nearby to sooth her.

L4H - did you take the collar off to cut it down a bit & was it a struggle to get it back on? It does seem like it would be better if it was just a cm or 2 smaller. Does it require a engineer to get the thing put back together?

November 3rd, 2008, 06:27 PM
Trying to play with a string on the bathroom floor!

Please do not click on the "Do fish get ...test..." - this is some advertising link my image host tacked on ( (

November 3rd, 2008, 09:42 PM
Just the fact that she's trying to play tells me she's not too traumatized by the DEC. :D From the pic, the cone doesn't look too long. Any shorter and she might be able to lick her belly. It's amazing how flexible they can be when they need to get around the DEC. :o

November 3rd, 2008, 10:47 PM
Oh, how sweet! So great she's doing well.