Surgical Sutures for Animals

Surgical sutures are a foundation of modern medicine, and facilitate the rapid healing and retention of a surgery when used properly. By reading up on the different types of sutures, you can be prepared to take care of your pet as it recovers from surgery.

Strong Sutures for Quick Recovery
Veterinary surgeries require the same amount of tensile strength and appropriate choice of suture as surgeries for humans, and may in fact require a greater amount of strength due to the habits that animals have of chewing or clawing at the sight of a surgery. The right suture can help to greatly reduce the amount of time needed for recovery, and will inhibit the possibility of infection or reoccurrence at the site of the surgery.

Different Surgical Sutures Serve Different Roles
Surgical sutures differ by the material used in their production. They are generally divided among categories of absorbable and non-absorbable surgical sutures, each of which will have their own appropriate uses. Low tensile strength sutures may be appropriate for sites where there are particularly dense nerve bundles, such as in the mouth. High strength sutures, conversely, may offer security for the closing of wounds, or for gastrointestinal tract surgery. The type of surgical sutures used will have an impact on the regeneration of the tissue at the site of surgery, as well as the long term efficiency that the suture itself will hold.

Cleaning and Care of Surgical Sutures
Keeping the animal from damaging or removing the surgical sutures placed will be one of the highest priorities of their caretaker. This can be achieved with a dog cone collar, or slip covers which can be placed over the nails of the animal without need for declawing. Reducing the amount of damage an animal can do to the suture sight is crucial in ensuring the long term recovery and efficiency of the product, and will also reduce the chance of the suture site becoming infected due to irritation or disturbance. Cleaning the site of the suture with warm water, or a veterinarian-approved pet cleaning product may decrease the discomfort experienced by the animal.

Removing the Surgical Sutures
Once the surgical sutures have allowed for proper tissue regeneration, there will be the issue of removal. Absorbable sutures have the advantage of being literally absorbed by the body, completely eliminating the need for a removal procedure. Non-absorbable surgical sutures, however, will need to be properly inspected and removed by a veterinarian during a return visit. Never attempt to remove sutures yourself, as you may expose your pet to a reoccurrence at the site of surgery.

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