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Bandaging Notes for Veterinary Instructors

We know that there many, many different ways to bandage paws, ears, and tails.  These are generally both the most difficult and the most common, so we focus mostly on these.

It’s best when students learn consistently and so we have adopted the following methods as our primary curriculum.  

A few differences for prehospital vs in-hospital care:

  •  Materials:  neither medics nor handlers typically carry cast padding and so we omit this layer in the prehospital environment.
  • Open vs Closed Toe:  depending on the injury profile, in many cases K9s will be walking out or have at least some type of field transportation.  As a result, while we keep the toe open when using the inner roll gauze layer, we close the toe when using the outer vetwrap layer.  For the same reason, we will sometimes make the paw pad layer extra thick if the dog will be walking out.

Key Curriculum points:

  •  We intentionally separate the teaching of pressure dressings to stop massive bleeding from the teaching of these ‘boo-boo” (i.e. non massive bleeding) wounds.  These two interventions have many similarities which often creates erroneous learning cross-overs.  So we drill in muscle memory aids for each skill separately. 

    For this station the repetitive phrase regarding the vet wrap is “Stretch, Release, Place”  (In contrast we use the term “Get Tension, Keep Tension” when discussing pressure dressings).