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Broken Toes Concern

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I have a 3 year old grey that broke the two middle toes on his rear left foot.  He went to the vet the same day and the vet took X-rays to confirm.   The vet we saw was not our unusual vet he was filling in for the week.  The vet presented three options Surgery and pins,  splint and wrap, or just wrap.   I asked what he would do if it were his dog and he said splint and wrap.   They located a splint in the office and trimmed it down to fit the dogs leg.  Keep in mind we are in the back of the office to view this.  We watched as they splinted and wrapped his leg/foot.   Our dog seemed to take to the splint well and was on his feet and limping and negotiating his new apparatus as well as could be expected.   He slept most of the day and was put on Pain meds, and anti inflammatory meds.   Let me also add I am a life long horse owner and I no stranger to wrapping of injured legs.  I would also never dream of putting vet wrap or any other tight wrap over a tendon or nerve with out cushion under neath as to not cause nerve damage.   Perhaps my prior wrapping knowledge is a detriment in this situation.  After the first day I wonder how my dog walk on toe like a ballerina would help in the heeling process.  I also wonder if the splint slips or moves wont his toes be crammed into the front of the splint.   I also feared we made the wrong decision to ad the splint and should have opted for a basic wrap and tapping of the toes so he could move his Hock which was tightly ensconced in vet wrap with no cushion.  Upon further investigation it appeared only after one day the upper portion of the splint was cutting into his leg.  Using my bandage scissors  I cut a slit in the top portion to free up his hock and the pressure which seemed to work.  But I still wondered about the Ballerina on point splint and his walking with the pressure on his broken toes.   I found a different splint online that had an more natural bend and ordered it.  It took 3 days to arrive and following the vets institutions I left the ballerina splint on.  Friday the new splint arrived.   I could not help myself.  I removed the splint applied by the vet and found all four toes were squished together bloody and smelled terrible.  And my fear of his broken toes being crammed to the tip of the spoon cast was true.  His broken toes now look like Chinese foot bounding victim.   I re-wrapped his leg and applied the new natural shaped splint.   I have a follow up appointment this week with my normal vet.   Before I go into the office and voice my concern I would like to know if I am over reacting or straight up wrong!   Perhaps the spoon splint is correct and his toes need to be pushed together.  Maybe he should be walking on his toes rather then the balls of his feet.   I understand pressure sore are common and will also heel.  I don't want to go to my vet appointment assuming the worst.  If anyone has any advise on my decision to change the bandage early and change the splint I will glady take it.  Even if I am wrong and He should be bake in the spoon splint.  Thank you in advance for educating me or setting me straight or supporting my decision.   I am posting several photos of the straight spoon splint i refer to as a ballerina on toe splint.  as well as the black natural shaped splint.  I did not have photos of his squished bloody toes but used my hands in a photo to show the before and after effect of his Waring the splint for 4 days.  I am attaching photos to follow

Edited by ChristyNoel
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Broken toes - really any foot injury - are tough for greyhounds.  How you end up treating them depends a lot on your own level of comfort with dealing with injuries, and how bad the breaks are.

The "spoon splints" I've always seen are similar to what you show, but they are usually bent at the bottom so the "cup" part supports the bottom of the foot.  I don't even understand how the one you picture would help for the exact reason you posted.  And, as you discovered, any sort of hard material that rubs against any skin will create a pressure sore within about 24 hours.

I've dealt with quite a few broken toes with my greyhounds, and my "go-to" treatment is only a supportive wrap.  I don't even tape the toes together because they can rub and create their own sores.  Some rolled up gauze around the bottom pad and in between the toes to hold them in place, then more gauze and wrapping up the leg, then vet wrap to keep it all in place.  I also insist on (and pay for the vet to) change the wrapping every three to four days to insure there aren't any developing sores underneath.   

If the toes are badly broken - open fractures and skin breaks - I would probably opt for amputation rather than trying to fix them with pins and plates.  Greyhounds do just fine without a toe or two and the amp surgery is shorter, with only a two week healing time after (with every four day bandage changes), as opposed to 6-8 weeks.

Good luck!

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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A friend of mine has champion agility dogs who occasionally hurt their feet. She's gotten very experienced in bandaging, especially bandaging feet, after one of her husband's dogs was harmed by bad bandaging at the vet's. She's posted her bandaging techniques and warnings on her blog: http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com/search/label/Bandaging

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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 This is a bit tricky since your boy broke the two weight bearing toes on that foot. One toe and I’d say depending on the severity of the break that doing an amp would be the way to go. Bea broke a weight bearing toe on a front foot and our vet wanted to splint it but Bea was having none of that. We went with wrapping for a short time and while the toe has healed flat, it hasn’t affected her getting around whatsoever. Depending on how bad they are and the location of the breaks, *I* would be tempted to wrap to stabilize the digits until they heal. 

You were right to listen to your gut. Please keep us posted. Good luck! 

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Buck broke just one weight bearing toe and my vet adamantly refused to splint it.  He said the pressue would go uo his leg bone and cause worse issues.  We wrapped and had very limited activity...used the Ex pen tied with bungee cords to make a small potty area from the porch.


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I've had a splint on my hound a few times for a dislocated toe. He had pressure sores within 2 days, so I always removed it. So, I'm not a fan of them and they are stupidly expensive. I work at a veterinary supply co. and the $5 splint ends up costing you $80 to $100. Also, the tippy toe walking is not great for the spine. 

Hope your pup has a easy recovery.

Mom to Ranger (PB's Long Ranger), Esso (Kiowa Stay Over) and Cookie the rattie mix

Missing Kahn (Gil's Khan) 10-29-03 - 11-7-16  Belle (Regall Belooow) 8-9-07 - 3-12-17  Star (Greyt Star) 1-19-07 - 3-13-2020  Pitch (Emerald Pitch) 4-1-08 - 6-3-2020

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