How Long Does it Take for Dog Stitches to Dissolve?

How Long Does It Take for Dog Stitches to Dissolve

Here’s a detailed guide on how dog stitches heal, managing them for faster recovery, and when to expect them to dissolve.

How Dog Stitches Heal

Stitches, or sutures, help close wounds or incisions after surgery. As your dog heals:

  • Inflammation (Days 1-3): The area is swollen, red, and might be warm. This is normal as the body begins healing.
  • Debridement (Days 3-5): White blood cells clean the wound, and pus may form.
  • Repair (Days 5-14): New tissue grows, closing the wound and shrinking the scar.
  • Maturation (Weeks to Months): The scar continues to strengthen and fade.

Types of Stitches

  • Absorbable Stitches:
    • Dissolve internally within 10-14 days.
    • Often used for internal incisions.
    • May have external ends needing removal.
  • Non-Absorbable Stitches:
    • Do NOT dissolve, requiring vet removal (usually in 10-14 days).
    • More commonly used for external skin incisions

How to Help Your Dog’s Stitches Heal Faster

  • Prevent Licking and Chewing:
    • Use an E-collar (cone) if needed.
    • Provide toys and mental stimulation as distractions.
  • Keep the Area Clean:
    • Follow your vet’s cleaning instructions, usually with a gentle saline solution.
    • Avoid soaps or ointments unless specifically recommended.
  • Restrict Activity:
    • Minimize running, jumping, and excessive play to avoid straining the wound.
    • Short leash walks for bathroom breaks might be needed.
  • Healthy Diet: Supports the immune system.
  • Monitor for Problems:
    • Excessive redness, swelling, discharge, or odor should be reported to your vet.

Signs Your Dog’s Stitches Are Healing

  • Reduced Redness: Indicates inflammation is subsiding.
  • No Swelling: Shows fluid buildup has decreased.
  • Decreased Tenderness: A healing wound is less sensitive.
  • Dry & Intact: No open areas or discharge
  • Hardened Scab: Suggests new tissue formation is strong.

Key Takeaway

Managing your dog’s recovery after surgery is crucial. Understanding the healing process, how to care for stitches, and when they should dissolve will help you spot any complications early. Always consult your veterinarian with any concerns or questions. With proper care, most dogs make a full recovery from surgery and their stitches heal without issue.

Important Reminders:

  • Vet Instructions: Always follow your veterinarian’s specific instructions for post-surgical care.
  • E-Collar Frustration: The cone is usually the biggest challenge. Be patient and provide your dog extra love and attention. Try alternatives to a cone, like surgical recovery suits, if recommended by your vet.
  • Don’t Skip Checkups: Follow-up appointments ensure your dog is healing properly.

How Long Does It Take for Dog Stitches to Dissolve?

The time it takes for dog stitches to dissolve depends on the type of suture material used. Absorbable stitches, which aremade from materials like nylon or gut, typically dissolve within 1014 days. Nonabsorbable stitches, which are made frommaterials like silk or metal, need to be removed by a veterinarian.

Everything that will help the dog owner obtain knowledge regarding the time taken by the sutures to get healed will be discussed in this article. So if you are willing to know more then, please be with us till the end of the article to get the information.

Why Do Dogs Get Stitches in their Body?

We all know that just like human beings, our lovable canines also have to undergo many types of surgeries when they get affected by a serious disease or get spayed or neutered.

Most of the time, we, the dog owners, go spaying or neutering our dogs as we don’t want them to reproduce for the production of younger ones or just to stop them from getting attracted by the opposite genders at the time of puberty.

During spaying or neutering the dogs, the ovaries and uterus in the case of females and the testicles from the scrotum in males get completely removed. For this removal, the vets must cut the epidermal layer of the skin to insert the necessary instruments.

Similarly, in this way, if the dog suffers from bladder stones, he also has to undergo surgery which leads to stitches in his skin.

This is not all, there are many more such reasons why do dogs get stitches. But whatever the reason might be, stitches do take quite a lot of time to heal, much to your pet’s dismay.

How Do a Dog’s Stitches Heal?

Stitches are usually referred to as sutures in dogs, and these are made in the dog’s skin with the help of nylon threads when a particular surgery is done.

The stitches on the dog’s skin work as a pathway for the blood corpuscles to travel through the wound after the surgery to develop the dead cells at the site of the wound so that the cut in the skin can get healed.

Whenever a dog gets a cut, the blood starts to get clot at the wound place after the bleeding of the site stops, thus forming a scab over the affected area so that the tissues stay protected from the germs outside.

After the scab formation, the wound turns pinkish, and a fluid substance comes out from the wound, which helps to clean it. The blood vessels of the site get opened for a smooth entry of the nutrients in the wound. The oxygen then works with the white blood cells to repair the wound.

The same mechanism applies when a dog gets stitches, and the healing of the stitches also occurs in this way.

How Long Does it Take for Dog Stitches to Dissolve?

As per the research done by the cynologists on the dogs of different breeds, information is obtained that if the dog gets the proper medication and the proper care after the completion of the surgery, then it takes almost two to three weeks for the sutures on the canine’s skin to get healed.

Whereas if the incision is critical and the dog’s immune system is also low, it can take some more time for the canine to properly heal the stitches.

When the dog has a weak immune system, the energy in the body becomes low, due to which the blood can’t carry enough white blood cells from the actual site. As a result, healing in such cases gets slower.

Now we will discuss some of the signs a dog owner can notice on the sutures of the canine to determine if the canine’s stitches are getting healed. The signs a dog owner can notice on its canine are mentioned below.

No Redness in the Area

When the dog gets stitches on its skin, the skin surrounding the sutures appears red as the blood starts to clot for the repairing of the wound. When the stitches get completely healed, the blood flow in the area becomes normal, and the redness of the skin also disappears.

So whenever you notice that the area near the sutures is not red anymore, then it means that the stitches are almost healed.

No Tenderness in the Area

As we have also discussed above, a fluid substance gets released in the affected site whenever the stitches are healing to clean the area. This substance makes the site tender and swollen, so when you notice that the tenderness in the area has disappeared, then it means that the stitches are healed.

Free of Discharge

When the fluid substance that keeps on releasing from the surface of the wound gets stopped, then it signifies that the stitches are almost in a way to heal.

Cooling of the Affected Area

The dog owners might have noticed the fact that when the dog gets stitches, the affected site of the skin appears a bit hotter than the other portion of the skin.

So when the stitches get healed, the temperature in that affected site will get normal. So cooling of the affected area also denotes that the stitches of the canine are getting healed.

Hardening of the Scab Formed Over the Area

If you notice that the scab formed over the affected area of the wound has become hardened, then it signifies that the stitches of the canine have healed.

What are the Stages of the Healing of Dog Stitches?

Now let’s discuss the different stages that the sutures on the dog skin go through to get healed properly. The different stages of healing dog stitches are mentioned below.


The first stage that a dog goes through after successfully having surgery is the inflammation of the site. The site where the dog has stitches gets swollen and appears red, and also causes severe pain and heat in the area.

During this stage, the site of the affected area of the body also becomes functionless. This all happens with the dog during the first stage of healing and is termed inflammation.


This is the second stage that a dog goes through when its sutures are going through the healing process. Debridement is a process that begins after a few hours of surgery has passed.

When it begins, it is used to kill the bacteria and germs of the site and also leads to the formation of pus over the affected area. During this stage, the damaged tissues of the site get removed without harming others.


After the debridement of the site occurs, repairing the tissues of the affected site begins. The cells will begin to grow at the affected site to replace the tissues or modify the tissues that were harmed during the incision process.

The skin on another site of the margin will start to become close to the site of the incision, thus proceeding forward in repairing the sutures.

Maturation of the Affected Site

After reaching this last stage, the sutures are almost in a way to get healed, but it’s still not completely healed. Plenty of collagens get deposited on the affected site during the time of the repair phase, which appears lumpy and disorganized after completing its function.

The disorganized collagen at the site will now slowly start reorganizing itself from the site as the body will absorb the abundance of water in the affected area. This is the maturation phase of the affected site, and it might take 1- 2 months for its completion.

How Can You Make Your Dog’s Wound Heal Quickly?

Now let’s discuss some steps to make your dog’s stitches heal quickly. The steps a dog owner can follow to properly treat the dog’s stitches for faster healing are discussed below.

Proper Management of the Wound

Various types of bacteria get into the affected site at the time of the healing process. For proper wound management, the dog owner can clean the area almost three times a day using a nontoxic antimicrobial wound cleanser.

Use an Antimicrobial Hydrogel

After properly cleaning the wound, the next step that the dog owner has to follow is the use of an antimicrobial hydrogel. Antimicrobial hydrogel over the affected area keeps the area hydrated and facilitates cellular immunological activity for a faster healing process.

As dog owners, we all know how many difficulties our lovable canine faces when it gets fresh sutures. Of course, about the fact that they face many types of difficulties while fulfilling the daily needs of dogs when they get surgery.

Hence, if someone is on the way to learning about how long does it take for dog stitches to dissolve, then they should strictly follow all the factors mentioned above to get perfect knowledge.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

Know More

Recommended For You