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To Splint Or Not To Splint


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My Mia dislocated her outside toe on her back right foot. We had it x-rayed, so we know it is not broken. The vet was able to put it back into place and then just put her on a pain/inflammation med. Within two days after her injury, her toe and has diplaced four times and I was able to pop it back each time. The vet said if it keeps doing that, they will need to splint it or that I should NOT put it back in place and let it heal as is. (I thought the latter was not good advice). So, I was trying to decide if I should try to "splint" it myself by wrapping it, or have a vet splint put on that they said will stay on for 6 weeks. Thoughts??

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Outside toe is not weight bearing, so if it heals crooked, not such a big deal. That said, if it heals crooked, it is more likely to get caught on things and break. Sallie had an outside toe that she kept dislocating, and we did finally splint it for about 6 weeks. That gives the ligaments time to heal so it stays in place. I did unwrap the foot and check it weekly to be sure nothing was rubbing. It worked, that toe finally quit popping out.

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Teague once had a dislocated toe that kept popping out. I found that wrapping helped to keep it in place to heal. I put some cotton between the toes (to avoid chaffing) and put vet wrap around it for a couple of weeks (no splint, just wrap to keep the toes together). It worked well for us and the toe has completely healed.

 

One other suggestion is to keep the toenails as short as you can. If you have a toenail that keeps touching the ground, it is more likely to pop the toe out. :)

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our Rainey dislocated a back outside toe and then proceeded to KEEP dislocating it. Once it's done the first time, the tendon is stretched and it's far easier for it to keep happening. We didn't split, but kept it wrapped snuggly so that it kept in place and leash walked for several weeks (maybe 4-5?? been many years now). It never popped out again.

 

good luck with your pup! it's a pain!

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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Literally, we just went through this! Truman broke his toe last week and had to get two screws put in it. FWIW, the orthopedic vet we used (Dr. John Brajkovich, who frequently works with greyhounds and even guest-lectures with Dr. Couto) said not to bother with splits. He thinks they're more trouble than they're worth. The bandages can get too tight if the area still has swelling, which causes circulation/healing problems. There's also the likelihood of the wrapping getting dirty or wet and creating pressure sores, as Tracy mentioned. I think the best thing you can do is really restrict activity for 6-8 weeks. Give it time to heal, then you can do some PT type exercises later down the line to help with flexibility and mobility. Just my two cents!

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Literally, we just went through this! The vet we used said not to bother with splits. He thinks they're more trouble than they're worth. The bandages can get too tight if the area still has swelling, which causes circulation/healing problems. There's also the likelihood of the wrapping getting dirty or wet and creating pressure sores, as Tracy mentioned. I think the best thing you can do is really restrict activity for 6-8 weeks. Give it time to heal, then you can do some PT type exercises later down the line to help with flexibility and mobility. Just my two cents!

Exactly what I was told.

Edited by Hubcitypam
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Thank you! These are all helpful! I think I am going to try the cotton and vet wrap and keep her on low activity for a few weeks! It will be so hard not to walk her! Not only a greyt part of her day...but of mine too! And to walk her sister without her knowing it...oh boy! Just going to have to increase belly rubs for now! :)

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