How to Remove Surgical Staples on Dogs

Surgical staples are often used to close incisions on dogs after surgery or to close wounds the dog may have sustained from an injury. Unlike dissolvable sutures, surgical staples will need to be removed within a week or two after surgery to prevent the skin surrounding the staple from growing around the foreign object. Surgical staples on dogs are very easy to remove, though some care and caution must be practiced to prevent complications.

Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before handling the tools you will use to remove the surgical staples. Alternately, you can also wear a pair of surgical gloves to prevent dirt and bacteria that may be present on your hands from getting near the incision site.

Clean and sterilize the tools that you will be using to remove the staples using isopropyl alcohol.

Wipe the incision area with a piece of gauze soaked in isopropyl alcohol to help remove dirt and debris from the area.

Place the dog in your assistant's lap so that she can firmly hold the dog but also allow you easy access to the incision site.

Place your cutting pliers in the center of the surgical staple, and carefully snip the staple into two pieces.

Using your needle nose pliers, grasp one side of the surgical staple and carefully pull it out in a straight upward motion to free it from the skin. Do not yank the staple from the skin quickly, rather pull the staple out slowly until it is free. Place the removed staple to the side and remove the second piece of the surgical staple.

Repeat this process to remove each staple, working on only one staple at a time until they have all been removed.

Wipe the incision site with gauzed soaked in isopropyl alcohol again, and then apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment to the small holes left behind from the surgical staple removal.