My dog’s dewclaws were removed and he went swimming and got his bandages wet

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – Our male black lab, Windsor, just had his dewclaws removed, and not even 3 hours after picking him up from the vet office, he got out the front door and went into the river with his bandages. We cannot afford to go to the emergency clinic to have his bandages changed. What should we do? Help!


Holli Everson


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your black lab just had his dewclaws removed and went swimming/got wet and you want to know what to do.

I’m sure your veterinarian told you to keep the bandages clean and dry and that if the bandages got wet – that you should return to the clinic immediately. The best thing is to call your veterinarian that did the surgery and have the bandages changed immediately.

If you just absolutely can’t go to your vet – and the bandages are wet – I’d recommend removing the bandages and rebandaging the areas if possible. Make sure the area is dry (use a towel to dry the hair so the new bandage does not get wet) before you place a bandage back on. Make sure your dog does not lick at the areas. Use an e-collar if necessary.

Here is an article about bandage care that might be helpful. Go to Basic Bandage Care for Dogs. Also, it is important to look for signs of infection such as redness, swelling and discharge. Make sure you don’t place the bandage on too tight.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra