Instructables
Picture of Dog Leg Stitches protector with a sock
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My dog Zorro had to undergo surgery last week. He had a huge tumor on his elbow that had to be removed. The surgery went well but he ended up with a few stitches. This left the dilemma of stopping him from pulling out his stitches ...

the vet and me tried all kinds of traditional surgical dressings, but they kept sliding off on their own or failed upon being licked. A dog's elbow is a tricky place to bandage.

Finally the vet Dr.Hemant suggested that i try putting on a sock or something..
so heres what me and my mom cooked up... and it works wonderfully!

UPDATE!! (roughly a year back)- The biopsy result from the tumor came in yesterday. its not malignant! He's going to be OK!

UPDATE(July08 2010) - had to admit zorro into the hospital. saw some bleeding in his mouth day before yesterday. its a new tumor. also the old one on the elbow has grown back. The two Vets i showed him to said that the one in the mouth has to be removed ASAP. surgery to remove them both tomorrow.

UPDATE(July09 2010) - Surgery lasted one and half hours. Doctors say it went well, they got both the tumors. we should be able to take him home in 3 days.

Update(July28 2010) - pathology report on the tumors came. the one in the mouth is malignant. trying out homeopathy now.. and then some ayurveda. The Vets' said, conventional treatments are not worth trying.

Update(July10 2011) - The oral tumor came back twice and we had it removed each time. the third time though it was inoperable. After a year of fighting it the cancer won, Zorro passed away in the first week of july 2011.
memorial page:
http://chaitanyakrishnan.blogspot.in/2011/07/zorro-rip.html

 
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chaitanyak (author)  monkeysandllamas2 years ago
1) wait and see if she actually does anything to the stitches.. a few dogs leave it alone.
2) the sock needs to be loose enough that it doesnt apply pressure.. so that it never gets uncomfortable.. ideally cut off the elastic ends. it needs to be a sock thats not too wooly/fibres sticking out etc.. those will stick to the wound and cause more damage than help.
3)change it in the morning and evening.. more often if it gets too wet(..from blood and other discharges..first few days)

hope she has a speedy recovery.
beckster394 years ago
Our dog decided to chase a squirel a few weeks ago and got impaled her leg on a 6inch metal spike whilst trying to climb over some old railings. Her skin literally split showing all muscle, although there was very little blood. The vet did emergency surgery and she had stitches down the entire back leg. The plastic collar the vet gave just ended causing more damage as she tried to get to the stitches. She ended up with about a 2 inch hole in her leg where the stitches came apart which the vet said would heal in time on its own. This is when I originally came across the above solution but she managed to work her way out of this. Then I tried a childs t-shirt with a fine tubeigrip bandage - she got out of this, I then put a harness over the t-shirt and she got the tubigrip off her leg. Out of desperation, I bought some cheap 2-3 year old babygrows (press-studs go over the back, the arms go over the front legs, the legs over the back legs of the dog. I have cut off the babygrows feet as they were too long. The dogs tail is left free by leaving some press-studs unfastened. I do need to put safety pins in certain places so than she can not pop the press-studs open) This seems to keep her off the wound. The vet and I decided that further surgery was needed as the wound was weeping alot. When I took her in for the operation, I had left her babygrow on as this is the only thing that keeps her from licking the wound, the vet was really impressed with this idea and now her new stitches (touch wood) are keeping dry and seem to be healing well. If you want to try this, the babygrow needs to be cotton and not tight. We removed the plastic collar as soon as we realised this method worked as she was getting really depressed. Keeping everything crossed now that this whole nightmare will be over soon. I just want to really thank you for your idea of the sock, it made me think of the other ideas, to finally trying the babygrow. I am glad your dog is now ok.
chaitanyak (author)  beckster394 years ago
first of all, i hope your dog heals up well! using a babygrow is an excellent idea, could you put a pic of it? or possibly an instructable too? coz i know that it might be useful for a lot of people(including someone who works in the animal healthcare field) who have liked this sock thing i did. and you'd be helping them out with your idea too :) thanks for sharing!
She worked her way out of the babygrow once this week and whilst doing so pulled the stitches! We have a little Houdini on our hands! I have put safety pins all the way down the back legs and rolled them up so that she can not stand on the material and pull them off. To say how poorly her leg is, you would not think it to look at her, she never stays still, so to get her to stand still and have photo's done at different angles is difficult. The babygrow needs all the press-studs open, then lay it open on the ground. I then saddle Emma to keep her still, and push her front paws through the arms of the outfit, start fastening the press-studs around the neck (just like a baby), when half of the babygrow is fastened along the spine of the dog, turn around and push the back legs through each leg of the babygrow (you may have to cut the feet out of the babygrow legs if they are too long). Complete the press-studs along the dogs back, fasten the leg press-studs as high as you can. The gusset part will hang loose below the dog, but this does not cause problems. As she is a girl, she can go in the garden for the toilet with the grow on. For a boy, I would just take his back legs out of the grow and tie the babygrows legs around the dogs body whilst he goes outside. I hope this is clear, I have tried attaching a photo of her in her 'outfit' but it has failed - sorry.
chaitanyak (author)  beckster394 years ago
no problem, your description was well written :) hope she does well. My dog's old tumor area has swollen up again. this time the vet says its not a tumor. just fluid and should be treatable with medication. will have to wait and see.
Oh crickey, the worries start again, I am sorry to hear that. I will keep my fingers crossed for him and you. Been to the vets today and the good news is that all the stitches are out, unfortunately not fully healed but the vet thinks this will heal with the help of some ointment which promotes healing. Looks like the babygrow will be on for at least another fortnight! She really will look naked when all this is over!
Cool idea. I don't own a dog, but I've got to say that I absolutely love your dog's name.
chaitanyak (author)  flyingmerlin5 years ago
thanks! he's quite old now, i got him around the time that the first Zorro movie(the one with Antonio Banderas not the original classic) released.. and he was jet black back then
 we have a black labrador named zorro as well :D though ours is 14 years old :D
I used to cut the white hairs off so he wouldn't feel old haha ..
chaitanyak (author)  doruk4 years ago
neat! its an epic name for a black dog isnt it!
he he you actually cut the white hair! thats so crazy!  did it work?  :)
fuzychiapet4 years ago
My dog has calluses on his elbows where he is missing fur. This is from him sleeping on the hard floor (even though he has a bed). Sometimes they get a little scabby. When they do, the vet recommended rubbing vasaline on them, and this will help keep my dog from licking it off, and give some padding. Thanks
chaitanyak (author)  fuzychiapet4 years ago
thanks for sharing! always love to hear about how this is helping others :) was just a simple idea me and my mom had one day 
bardon084 years ago
This is a great idea! I work in an animal hospital, and keeping dogs from chewing out their staples is a major problem for us! I will be able to use surgical stockinette material ( a knit fabric sleeve which is placed around animals' legs to keep hair and other contaminants out of the incision during limb amputation) and umbilical tape (a slender gauze strip used... you guessed it ...to tie off umbilical cords after parturition) to fashion a similar solution. Thanks again!
chaitanyak (author)  bardon084 years ago
he he awesome!!
Grady5 years ago
These very simple ideas are great. Thanks
chaitanyak (author)  Grady5 years ago
your welcome :)
GracieJean5 years ago
Great sock idea, and more than that, so happy to hear Zorro's test results came back with such great news! I have another idea, that we used with our lab who was three months old at the time when she was spayed and dew claws removed at the same time (and for the record, I will NEVER again remove dew claws from a dog other than a new born puppy). Instead of trying to keep the sock "up" on Zorro's arm, try putting on an adult sized turtle neck shirt with long arms. The neck portion keeps the shirt from hanging down, the long arms only need to be turned up, and a few basting stitches taken to keep them rolled up. Then, around the stomach area, pull the bottom of the shirt up to the back, tie in a knot. They cannot get the shirt off, the sleeves protect the dog's arms, and the waist portion will protect any stitches from being spayed (if that were the case with Zorro). You won't have to tie up the sock to keep it "up" because the sleeves are held down by gravity. See the picture of her in the shirt so you can get a better idea of what I'm talking about. Try it, it worked great for our lab, and I hate those e-collars as well!
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chaitanyak (author)  GracieJean5 years ago
thanks for the excellent idea! hope i never have to try it though :)
talty5 years ago
I this is really useful, although I really hope I will never have to use it :( I really hope Zorry is fine and will continue to recover!
chaitanyak (author)  talty5 years ago
he biopsy result from the tumor came in yesterday. its not malignant! He's going to be OK! thanks for the concern.
Oh it's so good to hear that :D Congratulations you two!
omnibot5 years ago
Great job. Our cat had an abscess on his leg about the same place as your tumour, we had a funnel on him for a couple of weeks and he hated it. This will be used if there's a next time.
chaitanyak (author)  omnibot5 years ago
hope you don't have to.
Me to but he's adventurous.
beegirl705 years ago
Wow... what a smart idea and just in time! My poor greyhound has been wearing a cone/sattelite dish for three weeks and was ready to play in traffic just to end her misery:) Now with her fashionable new sock bandage... she's cone free and her will to live has returned! Thank you!!!
chaitanyak (author)  beegirl705 years ago
he he he AWESOME! post a pic of your happy dog!
cool instructable, although i'm glad i dont have to use it! give your doggy a treat on my behalf! :D
chaitanyak (author)  watermelonhead5 years ago
done!! :D
i wonder if an e-collar would stop him from licking his arm
chaitanyak (author)  thematthatter5 years ago
definitely will, but i find those collars, just make the animal feel even more miserable :( wanted to create something that he'd be comfy in
Would be nice with an elastic band.
chaitanyak (author)  fungus amungus5 years ago
i tried it, but he was'nt very comfy with that, so i figured he might decide to gnaw at it.