Hot Packing Wound Instructions for Pets

Your pet has sustained an injury and/or infectious process, which require hot packing or soaking to facilitate its resolution. This handout describes the hot packing procedure in an attempt to ensure its proper application to your pet’s injury. Please follow these instructions carefully.

  1. Fill a bucket or sink with hot water (hot to the touch but not scalding or painful).
  2. Dip a clean washcloth or towel into the hot water and wring it out so that it is still somewhat moist
  3. Apply the moistened towel to the injury and apply gentle pressure
  4. Remove the cloth when it no longer feels warm and repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Continue this procedure for 5 minutes and repeat it 2-4 times per day.
  6. If your pet has drains (plastic or cloth wicks) placed in the wound, be sure to remove any scabs and/or debris that tend to accumulate at the exit holes. This is best accomplished after the hot packing procedure is completed as the process softens the debris.
  7. Once the drains are removed, it is still VERY IMPORTANT to continue the hot packing procedure. Failure to do so may result in the formation of an abscess or serum pocket (seroma). It is particularly important to keep the drain exit holes open as long as possible after the drains are removed to promote drainage of residual fluid. Therefore, continue to remove scabs and/or debris with each hot packing.
  8. If your veterinarian has prescribed an antiseptic solution such as Betadine or Nolvasan to be used in the hot packing procedure, simply add it to the hot packing water at the dilution prescribed. If Epsom salts are suggested, be sure to rinse the area with fresh water after hot packing to remove the excess salts.

Please remember that the successful healing of your pet’s wound is dependent on your following these instructions carefully.

If, after reading this handout, you have any questions, Please feel free to contact our veterinary clinic at (909) 980-3575 or any of our well trained staff for assistance.