Bleeding from the Incision Site

Blood streaming from a surgical cut made in skin or flesh. Blood streaming from an incision is does not have to inflict direct danger to your pet. In case of a little blood, make sure the pet does not lick or scratch the wound. In case of the blood streaming continuously from the incision, it is most likely a gap between the stitches. In this case it is advised to consult the veterinarian.

Bleeding from the Incision Site

How to Recognize

If your dog or cat has undergone a surgical procedure, monitoring the incision is essential to ensuring your pet’s recovery. Bleeding from the incision warrants an immediate examination by your veterinarian. When your dog or cat is discharged from the hospital following a surgical procedure, make a close inspection of the incision. The hospital is sending your pet home with an incision that looks exactly as it should. The area is clean, and there is a neat row of sutures or staples to hold the incision closed as the tissues heal back together. For the duration of your pet’s recovery, you will need to inspect the incision at least two to three times a day to ensure that no changes in its appearance have occurred.

Causes

Bleeding from the incision may occur when your dog or cat licks and chews at the sutures. In your pet’s mind, those sutures do not belong there. Your furry friend can be persistent in attempting to remove these foreign objects. As the incision heals, it can become itchy. Once this sets in, your cat or dog will lick and chew at the incision to relieve the itch. Excessive physical activity during recovery, internal bleeding or inadequate suturing can also cause bleeding from the incision.

Diagnosis

A quick look at your pet’s incision area is usually all it takes for your veterinarian to determine what is going on. If your pet has been chewing at the incision, the reddened area and missing suture will be the telltale signs. If your exuberant retriever bounds into the examination room to exhibit a swollen incision area, a seroma will be obvious.

Similar Symptoms

Hemorrhagic blood is pure blood, which is thick and dark red in color. Sanguineous fluid is fluid that contains blood. It is thinner than pure blood, and the color is a lighter shade of red. Purulent discharge, better known as pus, may be cream, yellow or greenish, and it is often accompanied by an odor that is characteristic of an infection. Other signs to watch for when monitoring your pet’s healing incision are excessive redness, bruising, excessive swelling, reopening of the incision or missing sutures. If you observe any of these, you will need to schedule a prompt examination by your veterinarian.

Possible Conditions

Seromas are sanguineous fluid filled pockets that appear as swelling at the incision area, and they are caused by activity. When your veterinarian recommends an activity restriction for your pet during recovery, he or she means it. Running, jumping or roughhousing results in a seroma. Hemorrhagic bleeding can present if the incision reopens or if internal bleeding occurs. If your dog or cat was spayed in a low cost facility, the available suture material used may be inadequate for your particularly active pet. The result is row of breaking sutures and an incision that reopens. If dissolvable sutures are used to close your pet’s incision, keep in mind that they can dissolve away prematurely. Any case of an incision that reopens before it has healed is a veterinary emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Treatments

Treatment for bleeding from your pet’s incision will depend on the cause and on the amount of bleeding. In the case of a suture that has been chewed away, your veterinarian may simply apply a single staple to replace the suture and send your pet home with an Elizabethan collar to prevent access for further chewing. If your pet has developed a small seroma, the veterinarian will likely confirm the diagnosis and advise keeping your pet in a crate for the duration of recovery. Small seromas typically reabsorb into the body without consequence. If the seroma is large, the veterinarian will extract the excess fluid with a syringe. If your pet has been rushed into the hospital with a gaping incision, expect the veterinarian to admit your pet so that the incision can be sutured once again. If no obvious cause is determined for your pet’s bleeding incision, exploratory surgery may be necessary to find and repair the source of a potential internal hemorrhage.

Bleeding from the Incision Site Affects

  • Dogs
  • Cats

Similar Symptoms

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