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.