Dog Dissolvable Stitches Not Dissolving [Reasons]

If your dog is going to have surgery, like getting spayed or neutered, it will most likely get stitches. And depending on the procedure that they’re having done, those sutures could be able to dissolve on their own. However, the question that has to be answered today is: why are my dog’s dissolvable stitches not dissolving?

dog with cone around his head

The response to this question will depend on several different things. The first aspect is the kind of sutures your veterinarian chooses to use. If they used stitches that come out independently, you won’t have to take your furry pal back for another visit. Your veterinarian will simply inform you when it is okay for your pup to go outdoors and interact with other dogs.

What Type of Sutures Does My Dog Have?

Closing up an incision in a dog can be done in a few different ways. A needle, along with thread, can be used to suture a dog’s skin in the same way they are used to sew together pieces of fabric. The thread is normally synthetic; however, non-synthetic sutures exist. There are two kinds of stitches: dissolvable and non-dissolvable. In the event of dissolvable sutures, the suture material will be broken down and absorbed by the dog’s body in a natural process over time. For a more in-depth guide about suture sizes – click here

It all depends on the cut that was made; the sutures might only seal the skin or go through many layers of tissue. If serious surgery is required, the veterinarian might have to sew the muscles, the subcutaneous layer composed of fat and connective tissue, and then ultimately the skin; this means that there will be many rows of sutures within a single incision site.

How Long Will It Take for a Dog’s Stitches to Heal?

In most cases, the dissolvable sutures are removed after a period of about three to four weeks. These sutures are intended to be as non-invasive as possible, and they will only be left in place for the minimum level of time necessary for the two sections of skin to start growing back together and healing on their own.

Generally, a dog’s wound can stand up to tension and stretch after 10 to 14 days. The standard spay recovery period is 10-14 days, and although activity should be resumed slowly, the incision site should be checked until the next vet appointment.

dog with stiches on her face

The length of time needed for healing is determined by the surgical method, the type of suture used, the amount of time needed for the suture to be absorbed, as well as your dog’s age and overall health. In most cases, the duration of stitches is sufficient to facilitate tissue healing. You will need to take careful care of the region while it is healing, regardless of whether your dog has staples, dissolvable sutures, or non-dissolvable stitches.

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Different types, brands, and thicknesses of stitches will dissolve at different rates. Talking to your veterinarian is your best choice if you want to find out exactly what signs to watch for and when you should estimate the sutures to begin dissolving. There are several distinct types of dissolvable stitches, each constructed from a unique substance that dissolves at varying rates from the others.

What Causes Dissolvable Sutures Not To Dissolve?

There are various reasons why your dog’s sutures may not be dissolving as expected.

  • The surgeon used the wrong type of suture, which can cause skin reactions that stop the stitches from dissolving properly.
  • Dissolving each type of stitch might take a few minutes to many hours. Some stitches, for example, will dissolve in two weeks, while others may take four weeks, six weeks, or even longer — and this pattern will continue.
  • Some types of sutures disintegrate in a couple of weeks, whilst others are intended to remain in place for much longer and may take several months to dissolve completely. Therefore, you should first discuss with your veterinarian how long you may wait before becoming concerned about the sutures not dissolving. 
  • The vet used stitches that do not dissolve. This occurs more frequently than you may expect it does. If your veterinarian chooses to use non-dissolvable sutures, your pet must return to the clinic to remove them. Because of this, you must have a solid understanding of the post-treatment plan for your pal.
  • The sutures were either put too close together or too far apart. When a veterinarian uses dissolvable stitches on an animal’s body, they have to leave a sufficient amount of space between each one so that the sutures don’t become wrapped up in each other and create a large knot as they dissolve over the next several days.
  • Because of the depth of the incision, the stitches will not be able to effectively integrate into it. The greater the depth of the cut, the greater the likelihood that there may be difficulties. For instance, if your pet were run over by a car and had a severe laceration that went all the way down to its bone, it would be far more difficult for them to heal than if it had only suffered a superficial cut where there was no damage to their muscles or other tissues.
  • Your vet should talk to you about the procedure and ensure you know what will happen. The conversation should include how long it will take to dissolve them and the sort of sutures used, so you’re prepared.
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What Is a Suture Reaction?

When dissolvable sutures are used, the body can absorb them instead of having them fall out. Suture reactions occur when a dog’s body rejects the foreign material, which causes an immunological response such as inflammation. Your pet’s body will subsequently make an effort to eliminate the sutures by pushing them out, dissolving them, or breaking them down, which may result in a lump (or bumps) forming around the incision site. This is normal and should be expected.

If you suspect your dog has experienced a suture response, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that the veterinarian may remove the sutures if necessary.

How to Keep Dog Sutures Clean and Infection-Free? 

Maintaining a Dry and Clean Environment 

You may feel prompted to bathe your dog if he has an infection that needs to heal. This also ensures that your pup’s incision stays dry if it starts to pour. If your veterinarian has not instructed you to do so, you should not apply any lotions, ointments, or disinfectants. Because alcohol and peroxides are toxic substances that cause harm to tissue, their usage is restricted here. You may maintain your dog’s cleanliness by wiping its body with natural baby wipes or wipes designed specifically for dogs.

Prevent Scratching

Using a cone can help prevent the dog from licking and biting, but it has little effect on its tendency to scratch. Scratching can cause significant harm; therefore, taking precautions to avoid it is essential. The itching will begin in the region surrounding the incision as the wound starts to heal and your dog’s fur begins to grow back in.

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If the cut is between your dog’s front legs, it can scratch its back legs. In this particular situation, you need to be particularly vigilant. Use a command that your dog is familiar with, such as “leave it” or one that is comparable, to prevent your dog from scratching. However, discuss this with your veterinarian since there are specific treatments in which it is essential to expose the wound to air.

Surgical Glue or Adhesives

Your veterinarian may choose to employ surgical adhesives in some instances to seal the wound successfully. Applying suture glue near the eyes is unsafe, and it should not be used on seeping or polluted wounds. Additionally, if an incision closed with adhesives becomes moist, it has a greater chance of becoming open again. Adhesives seal tiny wounds or strengthen a top stitch layer. On average, it takes the body ten days to eliminate surgical adhesive from its system completely.

Keep Your Pup Indoors

To prevent your dog’s paws from being dirty or contaminated with other substances, you should try to confine them indoors as much as possible. If they do go outside, you should ensure they have proximity to grassy areas where they can run about and exercise without touching potentially contaminated materials such as dirt or sand.

Use Elizabethan collar

Your vet gave you an Elizabethan collar (or “cone” or “cone of shame”) to prevent excessive licking. Your dog’s tendency to lick excessively may cause the sutures to come loose or even introduce germs to the surgical site, leading to an infection. You may take various approaches to stop your pup from licking things.

Monitor the Incision Site

Check the incision frequently to look for signs of infection, such as heat, stiffness, pus, and discharge. These symptoms may indicate that an infection has developed. Keep an eye out for any alterations, and get in touch with your vet if any problems appear.