How To Take Care of Your Dog’s Surgical Incision

by Linda Troup on April 14, 2013



When our pets hurt, we hurt. It is only natural to want to speed up the healing process any way we can, especially when it comes to a surgical incision. If we aren’t careful though we can cause more harm than good. No one wants to do that! So here is what you need to know.

Surgical Incision5 Tips To Help You Care For Your Dog’s New Incision

  • Follow all instructions from your Veterinarian.
  • Restrict your dog’s activity for 7-14 days depending on the extent and location of the incision. Allowing your dog to run, jump and rough house can cause the skin to over stretch and the sutures to burst.
  • Never get a fresh incision wet! This includes bathing or applying any sort of ointment that was not specifically ordered by the Veterinarian.
  • Put away your Hydrogen Peroxide. Yeah, I know our mom’s put it on our cuts growing up and it would get all white and foamy if the cut was nasty. Well it turns out that both Hydrogen Peroxide and Rubbing Alcohol can seriously damage the skin cells.  Not good!
  • Do not let the dog lick the incision. It is an old wives tale that the dog’s saliva is antibacterial and they are cleaning it. Not only could they get an infection but they could also break the stitches. If you cannot control the licking you’re going to have to resort to using “the cone of shame”. If your dog is stressed with the traditional Elizabethan Collar you can opt for one of many newer soft collars.

In the beginning stages keep in mind that the body has a very intricate system in place that is quite capable of  healing and repairing tissues. When I was going through my Anatomy and Physiology studies for Rehabilitation Massage for Small Animals I was absolutely fascinates with the process of wound healing. What made it even more interesting was I had cut my finger to the bone right when we got to “skin regeneration” and I watched the process, quite literally “first hand”.  Suffice it to say that unless something out of the ordinary occurs the body has this part all under control.

If the incision has been left uncovered by the Veterinarian be sure you look at it closely a couple times a day. The edges of the incision should be touching each other and the stitches should not be pulling real tight.  The skin may be a bit red or even have some bruising. This is all pretty normal

When Should You Be Concerned?

These 3 signs warrant your concern and a call to the Veterinarian.

  • Continuous dripping or seepage of blood or other fluids from the incision.
  • Intermittent blood seepage that continues for more than twenty-four hours.
  • Any swellings, excessive redness of the skin, unpleasant smells or discharge.

What Can You Do to Help Speed Up Healing?

Watch this short video and learn how to do Tellington TTouch Raccoon Touches, a safe and gentle touch you can do to help your dog help himself. 

Speed Up the Healing Process of Surgical Incisions

You can do these very close to the incision area with clean hands at any time. Do not touch the incision but gently do the touches, as demonstrated in the video, to help focus the body’s healing attention to the area. Raccoon Touches can help reduce pain and inflammation as well as call the body’s own healing energies to the site to begin the job of repair.  Wanna boost it up a notch? Apply Young Living’s Helichrysum to your finger tips as you work in the area.

I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion on Social Media recently about “Incisions Gone Bad” please share this post on your pages and feeds. Let’s get the word out together the best way we can help our pups in their time of need.


Linda Troup, founder of TouchNpaws, the TeachNpaws Academy, and creator of Holistic Pet Care Videos is a Canine Wellness Consultant who specializes in Senior Dogs and those with Physical or Emotional Challenges. She is known for her compassion as she helps pets’ golden years be shiny gold through the use of Tellington TTouch, Therapeutic & Rehabilitative Massage, Energy Work and Therapeutic Essential Oils. Linda teaches people how they can enhance their senior or disabled dog’s comfort, wellness and mobility.

Helping her own French Bulldogs through challenges ranging from chronic allergies to paralysis and spine surgery she has found her passion in life…Helping senior and challenged dogs feel their best!

Linda offers you an opportunity to learn how to help your dog feel their absolute best when you grab your Free copy of her Holistic Pet Care Videos in the top right-hand corner of this page! Or, just click here.

Previous post:

Next post: