How Long Do Dissolvable Stitches Last In Dogs

If your dog has recently undergone surgery, you are probably wondering how long the dissolvable stitches will last. It is important to understand the purpose of dissolvable stitches and the factors that affect their absorption in dogs. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about dissolvable stitches in dogs, including their types, how they work, and the signs to watch out for when they are failing. We will also provide tips on how to care for your dog’s incision site after dissolvable stitches are placed, when to remove them, and the cost associated with getting them.

Understanding the Purpose of Dissolvable Stitches in Dogs

Dissolvable stitches, also known as absorbable or vicryl sutures, are commonly used in veterinary medicine to close incisions after surgery. The purpose of dissolvable stitches is to hold the tissue together until the wound heals and the stitches are absorbed by the body. This eliminates the need for a second surgery to remove the stitches. Dissolvable stitches can be used on both internal and external wounds and are typically made of materials that can be safely absorbed by the body.

It is important to note that not all wounds are suitable for dissolvable stitches. For example, wounds that are under tension or in areas of high movement may require non-absorbable stitches to ensure proper healing. Additionally, dissolvable stitches may not be appropriate for wounds that are infected or have a high risk of infection, as the body’s immune response may interfere with the absorption process.

While dissolvable stitches can be a convenient option for pet owners, it is still important to monitor the incision site for any signs of complications, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately for further evaluation and treatment.

Different Types of Dissolvable Stitches Used in Veterinary Medicine

There are different types of dissolvable stitches used in veterinary medicine. The most common types are polyglactin and poliglecaprone. Polyglactin stitches are made of a combination of glycolic acid and lactide and can be absorbed by the body in 90 to 120 days. Poliglecaprone stitches are made of caprolactone and glycolide and can be absorbed in 60 to 90 days.

Another type of dissolvable stitch used in veterinary medicine is polydioxanone. These stitches are made of a synthetic polymer and can be absorbed by the body in 180 to 210 days. They are commonly used in surgeries that require a longer healing time, such as orthopedic surgeries.

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It is important to note that dissolvable stitches are not suitable for all types of wounds. In some cases, non-dissolvable stitches may be necessary to ensure proper healing. Your veterinarian will determine the best type of stitch to use based on the location and severity of the wound.

How Do Dissolvable Stitches Work in Dogs?

Dissolvable stitches work by breaking down over time as the body absorbs them. As they break down, the tissue naturally heals around the suture, providing additional strength to the wound. The speed at which the stitches are absorbed by the body depends on several factors.

It is important to note that not all wounds in dogs are suitable for dissolvable stitches. In some cases, non-dissolvable stitches may be necessary to ensure proper healing. Additionally, it is important to monitor the wound closely for any signs of infection or complications, as dissolvable stitches can sometimes cause irritation or inflammation in the surrounding tissue. If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge from the wound, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Factors That Affect Dissolvable Stitches Absorption in Dogs

The speed at which dissolvable stitches are absorbed by the body can vary depending on several factors. The thickness of the suture material can play a role in the absorption time. Thicker suture materials take longer to absorb than thinner ones. The location of the incision can also affect the absorption time. Areas of the body with high blood flow, such as the abdomen, can absorb dissolvable stitches more quickly. Lastly, individual differences in the dog’s body can also impact the speed of absorption.

It is important to note that the type of dissolvable suture material used can also affect absorption time. Some materials, such as polydioxanone, can take up to six months to fully absorb, while others, like polyglactin, may only take a few weeks. It is important for veterinarians to consider these factors when selecting the appropriate suture material for a particular procedure, in order to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

Signs to Watch Out for When Dissolvable Stitches Are Failing in Dogs

It is important to monitor your dog’s incision site after surgery for any signs of complications. If the dissolvable stitches are failing, signs to watch out for include redness, swelling, discharge, and a foul odor. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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In addition to monitoring the incision site, it is also important to prevent your dog from licking or biting at the area. This can cause further irritation and potentially lead to the stitches failing. You can use an Elizabethan collar or other protective device to prevent your dog from accessing the incision site. It is also important to follow any post-operative care instructions provided by your veterinarian to ensure proper healing.

How to Care for Your Dog’s Incision Site After Dissolvable Stitches Are Placed

After your dog receives dissolvable stitches, it is essential to keep the incision site clean to prevent infection. Your veterinarian will provide specific post-operative care instructions that you should follow closely, which may include limiting your dog’s activity and keeping them from licking or chewing on the incision. In addition to following your veterinarian’s instructions, you can also apply a warm compress or use an antiseptic solution to keep the area clean.

It is important to monitor your dog’s incision site for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. They may prescribe antibiotics or recommend additional treatment to prevent the infection from spreading.

As your dog’s incision site heals, you may also need to adjust their diet or provide them with pain medication to keep them comfortable. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on the best way to manage your dog’s pain and ensure they are getting the proper nutrition during their recovery.

When to Remove Dissolvable Stitches in Dogs

Dissolvable stitches do not need to be removed as they are naturally absorbed by the body. However, if you notice any signs of complications, such as redness or discharge, contact your veterinarian immediately.

It is important to note that the time it takes for dissolvable stitches to fully dissolve can vary depending on the type of material used. Some may take a few weeks, while others may take several months. Your veterinarian will be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take for the stitches to dissolve based on the specific type used in your dog’s surgery. It is also important to keep the surgical site clean and dry to prevent any infections or complications during the healing process.

Cost of Getting Dissolvable Stitches for Your Dog

The cost of getting dissolvable stitches for your dog can vary depending on the type and size of the incision, the veterinarian who performs the surgery, and your location. However, dissolvable stitches are generally less expensive than traditional non-dissolvable stitches, as they eliminate the need for a follow-up surgery to remove them.

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It is important to note that dissolvable stitches may not be suitable for all types of incisions. Your veterinarian will determine if dissolvable stitches are appropriate for your dog’s specific needs. Additionally, while dissolvable stitches do not require removal, they still require proper care and monitoring to ensure proper healing and to prevent infection.

If cost is a concern, it is recommended to discuss payment options and potential discounts with your veterinarian. Some veterinary clinics may offer payment plans or discounts for certain procedures. It is also important to consider pet insurance, which can help cover the cost of unexpected medical expenses, including surgery and stitches.

Common Complications Associated with Using Dissolvable Stitches on Dogs

While dissolvable stitches are generally safe and effective, there are some common complications associated with their use in dogs. These complications can include inflammation, infection, and wound breakdown. To minimize the risk of complications, it is essential to keep the incision site clean and monitor it closely for any signs of problems.

Overall, dissolvable stitches last for the duration of the healing time required for the surgical incision to heal. With proper care and monitoring, you can ensure that your dog heals quickly and with minimal complications.

It is important to note that not all dogs are good candidates for dissolvable stitches. Dogs with a history of slow healing or those with compromised immune systems may be at a higher risk for complications. In these cases, your veterinarian may recommend using non-dissolvable stitches or alternative wound closure methods.

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