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Broken Toe - Heal Time, Surgery


Guest jtavants
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Guest jtavants

Hello all.

 

Tucson broke his right rear outer toe a little over 4 weeks ago (see x-ray). Despite all the advice that I should have listened to on this forum, I allowed the vet to put a spoon splint and wrap on Tucson's leg. D'oh! After four weeks in the splint and minimal activity, Tucson's latest x-rays show that the toe has not healed much and his leg is covered with scrapes and sores from the splint/wrap despite weekly wrap changes.

 

Now the splint is off and I've been given the option of either surgery (requiring a plate to connect the two pieces of broken bone) or amputation.

 

Here's my question... I've read a lot about amputation on this forum and the vast majority of people/greys have had positive experiences with it. Has anyone opted for the plate & pins surgery? Recovery time seems long (and poor Tucson hasn't been able to run for a month as it is!). Plus there's a chance that it may not work or could lead to an infection (which could need amputation anyway). Any thoughts?

 

Also, it has only been 4 weeks. For those of you whose greyhound's toes have healed, how long did it take? Should I just try to buddy wrap the toe and give it a few more weeks to heal before opting for either of the above options?

 

I appreciate any advice y'all might have. Thanks in advance! :)

 

 

-Justin

 

brokentoe.jpg

The top toe is the toe that is broken.

Edited by jtavants
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Have no experience with it but I think it would be easier to do the amputation. If Tucson has the plate and pinning and even after it is healed he starts running and putting pressure on that toe, it could get damaged again.

 

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Guest kydie

Yikes! is he a young pup?, normal healing time can be 6 to 8 weeks, for me if there is no other option, as I think I'd talk to another vet, just me, I would do amputation of a toe before I'd do the pin and plate route, I can see my boy had a brokedn toe, before he came to me, and it healed funny , but is still there

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My Dude broke his toe - bad, so no option of plating, it had to come off. Healing time was two weeks and he's had no problems since.

 

I don't think I would ever opt for surgery on a greyhound toe. High risk surgery vs low return of healing. Many geys break toes and heal fine with only taping or buddy bandaging, and no activity. But again, with amputation your hound will be able to at least leash walk an play a little after 3-4 weeks, whereas with taping you need to keep them quiet 6-8 weeks. I know which option my greys would want! Though they don't have to go under for surgery with the taping option.

 

Good luck and keep us informed!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Guest jtavants

Thanks for the quick responses everyone!

 

Yikes! is he a young pup?

 

Tucson is 3 going on 4 so he's not exactly a pup, but he isn't a senior by any means either. I was originally told the heal process would likely take the better part of 8 weeks, but after only 4 with no sign of healing the vet seems to have given up on the idea that the toe will heal on its own.

 

 

I also wanted to know about anesthesia. I understand that the quantity given for greyhounds should be less than a dog of a different breed, same size. What should I tell the vet? I would like to trust their expertise, but given the last month I don't want to take any chances.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest jtavants

Just a quick follow up.

 

It's been a little over 6 weeks since Tucson broke his toe. He's been out of his splint for about two weeks now and all splint related injuries have healed up. I decided not to consider amputation or surgery until I've given the toe a few more weeks to heal up on its own without the "aid" of a splint. I just felt that the vet gave up prematurely when I was told that those were the only options after after giving the toe only 4 weeks.

 

So far things seem to be doing a lot better. Tucson is getting around normally (not favoring one foot over the other) and just aching to get outside to run laps in the backyard (I am still limiting his activity - although it's increasingly becoming more and more difficult to do so). The toe itself feels much stiffer now (as opposed to being very loose and "dangly" after the break first happened). I plan on waiting another two weeks before having the vet take another set of x-rays. Once I get the verdict I'll update again!

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Our Larry (8 years old at the time) dislocated an outside toe on his rear left foot. Our vet wrapped it, we restricted movement etc and after a couple weeks, no improvement. He had his toe removed, (vet who did surgery said that it was "a mess")weeks later he was leash walking and has not had any more troubles since. This is just our experience but I do not see any signs that Larry misses his toe. He runs, catches rabbits and does not show any change in mobility. Best of luck as Tuscon's toe heals.

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Our Bullitt broke two toes when he was 6 months old and even at that age, I think he was wrapped up for several weeks (I'm thinking 6). They healed up well and other than being a little flat footed on that foot, it doesn't bother him at all.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

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