1. If possible, place an Elizabethan collar on your pet to prevent any further self-trauma. If there is any bleeding, apply gentle pressure and if possible, especially with herniation of internal organs, wrap up the wound with some bandage material (not too tight) to prevent further trauma and exposure to the environment which can lead to wound contamination and infection.
  2. Contact your veterinarian to determine whether your pet needs to be brought in for a visit. If there is any possibility of infection (swelling, redness, discharge and pain at the wound site) or there is any change of exposure of organs, veterinary attention should be sought immediately.


Stitches, also known as sutures, and surgical staples are used to close wounds while the body heals and the wound edges become strong enough to hold together.
Premature removal of stitches (sutures) or staples may occur before wounds are fully healed.


  • The signs vary depending on the stage of wound healing at the time stitches or staples are removed or come out. If this occurs late in wound healing, the only sign may be the absence of sutures or staples.
  • However, earlier in wound healing signs include:
    • An open wound
    • Appearance of fat, organs or bones if the open wound is large enough
    • Swelling, redness and discharge if the wound becomes infected
    • Bleeding


  • Following an operation, some animals remove their own stitches or staples before the wounds are fully healed.
  • Stitches or staples may pop out due to excessive activity and motion causing tension on the wound.
  • Wound infection or wound breakdown (dehiscence) can also lead to stitches and staples coming out.


Your vet will examine the wound and assess the severity of the situation. Your pet may require repeat surgery to clean up and close the wound. Antibiotics and pain relief may be required.

If the wound edges have already healed up and there is no redness and swelling, the other stitches may also be removed. Otherwise, your pet may have to go home with an E-collar until the remaining stitches can be removed.