Vet Wrap – Rhodes 2 Safety

Vet Wrap – Rhodes 2 Safety

Vet Wrap – In an ideal world, I would love for every single one of you have a well stocked first aid box.
Obviously, its not normal to carry everything but the kitchen sink around with us on our walks though, so if you only have ONE piece of first aid equipment, make it a roll of vetwrap.  It is so versatile and can be used for so many purposes including application of a pressure dressing to stop a severe bleed, a support bandage for a sprain/strain, a dressing on an awkward shaped part of the body due to its adherance to itself, a muzzle for a fearful/dangerous dog, a spare lead should you come across a stray or injured animal or should you lose your own lead on a walk – not to mention the fact that you can use it on yourself if you need it too.
A small roll of vetwrap in your back pocket has saved many a scary moment!  In a 3 month period, I used mine as a lead for a stray dog, to bandage Axl’s paw when he got a freezer burn to his pad on a walk in the ice and also as a  bandage on Rain’s stopper pad when he sliced it on a thorn in the undergrowth a mile from home.  If I had not had it with me on any of these three occasions, things would have been decidedly more tricky to deal with.
If you don’t know what vetwrap is, its a stretchy bandage that has a kind of light rubbery coating on it so that although it is not actually sticky, it will grip and adhere to itself when applied so that you have no need for tape or safety pins or knots or anything.
Here’s a picture – it comes in many different colours and these are the ones we stock at £3 per roll:-
Always carry a roll of vetwrap because its so versatile you never know when you might need it! Great for doggy first aid, and first aid in general, as a pressure dressing, for a strain or sprain or even an impromptu muzzle. Canine first aid techniques use it so often!
Vetwrap – always carry a roll!

Remember when using vetwrap on a limb, due to its stretchy nature, each time you wrap it round it will get tighter and tighter so it’s vital not to pull too hard or you will cut off the blood supply to the limb beyond where you’re bandaging.

A good tip is to unroll as much as you think it is going to take you to bandage the area and then roll it back on to the rest of the roll LOOSELY.  This will mean as you come to apply it to the dog, you will not have to pull so hard to get it off the roll which, in turn, means you are less likely to wrap it too tightly on the dog.

When you are finished, make sure you can get your finger EASILY under the top and bottom of the dressing and that pressure is only being applied directly to the injury itself.  Its incredibly easy to apply vetwrap too tightly.  I would much rather your dressing was slightly too loose than even remotely too tight, so please look at the dressing you’ve done and if you are at all unsure of yourself, ALWAYS release it slightly to err on the side of caution.

Remember to keep checking the dressing because as an injured limb swells up, the dressing will become tighter, even though it may well have started off perfect.

Remember also that vetwrap does get a little tighter when it gets wet so if you have used it and then walked about in a wet environment, please keep a close eye on the pressure and release it if it does increase too far.

Apart from sliding your finger under the dressing, you can also squeeze the limb where the vetwrap is.  It should have some give in it:-
* If it feels very firm under your hand then it is too tight.
* If the skin above or below the dressing is bulging, it is too tight.
* If the paw or limb beyond the dressing is swelling, it is too tight
* If the limb feels colder than the other comparable limb, it is too tight.

If you are using the vetwrap to stem a severe bleed, any colour other than black is a good choice – with the black dressing the blood won’t show through so clearly should the bleed not be controlled and you may be unaware that your dressing needs changing or altering.

Another point worth noting is that for reasons I’m not quite sure of, the black vetwrap does not adhere to itself nearly as well as all the other colours in cold weather.  Therefore, if you are considering using it as I did to fashion a make-shift bootie for your dog if it gets a freezer burn, any of the other colours are much more efficient for doing the job. The black will tend to unravel and fall off in cold temperatures!

The vetwrap can be applied directly over a bleeding injury in a first aid situation although it is better if you can apply a wound dressing first.  That said, if you are in the middle of nowhere with no first aid kit, a roll of vetwrap alone will definitely save the day.