Case report – therapeutic taping helps a dog recover from a severe bite wound

Take a look at how therapeutic taping helped this golden doodle recover from a severe bite wound on her hind leg.

During Easter of 2019, my husband and I were out walking our golden doodle, Caicos. We were almost home when a neighbor’s dog darted into the street and abruptly bit into our dog’s leg. Caicos was dragged several feet.  She ended up with a huge laceration along her left hind leg.

Caicos had surgery that evening and a drain was put in. She subsequently had more surgery the following Friday; there was so much damage to her hind leg tissue and muscle that the first surgery didn’t work as well as was hoped, and the tissue died. The doctors had to then debride and remove the dead tissue.

The biggest concern was that the tissue wouldn’t hold the second time because so much was removed. The veterinarian had to hold it together extremely tightly, but the incision did gap open. Thanks to my experience with human patients, I am familiar with the positive effects of therapeutic tape on superficial lymphatic drainage. For years, I’ve seen success in using elastic tape to increase interstitial lymphatic fluid flow and facilitate fluid exchange between tissue layers. So once the staples were removed from Caicos’ wound, I began using canine-specific tape on her, following the standard method for edema control, and to promote healing.

As Caicos’ incision healed, I then applied canine tape to the incision to assist with decreasing the scar tissue. I also continued the canine taping method for edema every other day. As her hair started to grow back, each taping application would last about 24 hours. Even though Caicos wasn’t able to tell me where it hurt or how it felt, I knew she was benefiting from the common effects of therapeutic taping: in addition to relieving her pain, the taping visibly worked to reduce the swelling, equalize temperature around the injury, and create channels of low pressure beneath the skin.

I continued to perform this taping strategy for three weeks. At that point, I started using canine taping to address scar tissue for additional two to three weeks.  Applications would typically last about 24 hours, mostly because Caicos tried to remove the tape; for this reason it was applied in the evening.

Now, Caicos’ scar is very flat and her tissue has healed extremely well. I believe canine taping helped improve her overall inflammation, enhanced the healing process, and minimized scar tissue. Caicos has resumed all her running activities and we are very thankful to all who assisted in her recovery!

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