A sling serves the purpose of immobilising a dog's foreleg, preventing the dog from placing weight on the limb after an injury or fracture. A Velpeau sling is one of the most common types of veterinary slings used for dogs, according to the "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians." Speak with a licensed veterinary medical professional to ensure that a Velpeau sling is suitable to the type and severity of injury your dog acquires--injuries of the joints or shoulder blades can actually be worsened by the use of a sling.
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Things you need
- Cotton padding
- Combine wrap
- Veterinary bandaging tape
Arrange and hold the dog so it is standing. Make sure you have access to the injured front leg. Enlist the help of a friend if you cannot hold and restrain the dog while wrapping the sling.
Position cotton padding at the crux of the dog's leg, where the leg meets the body. Use as much cotton padding as it takes to ensure that the dog's leg and body do not touch.
Bend the dog's foreleg, flexing both the ankle and elbow joints. The angle of the leg will resemble a sideways "Z" shape. Bend the leg just enough to keep the leg positioned next to the dog's body. Do not flex the dog's leg any more than necessary.
Cut a length of combine wrap three and a half times the circumference of the dog's thorax.
Begin at the dog's chest and layer the combine wrap around the dog's body, starting on the side of the body with the injury. Secure the dog's leg to the body, wrapping over the leg, so the injured leg will stay close to the dog's body. Wrap around the dog's ankle or wrist and up over the dog's shoulder, overlapping the previous wrap completely.
Wrap the combine roll over the dog's shoulders and beneath the crux of the opposite leg, continuing across the flexed limb again.
Make two more passes with the combine wrap around the dog's body.
Stabilise the wrap with veterinary bandaging. Veterinary bandaging is an elasticated, water-resistant tape known by the brand name "Vet Wrap."
Tips and warnings
- Examine the dog's paw daily for signs of swelling and discolouration. Examine the wrap daily to ensure the dog hasn't slipped or removed it.
- Do not leave the sling in place for more than ten days.
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- "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
- "Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats"; Etienne Cote DVM; 2006
- "Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff"; Lila Miller, Stephen Zawistowski; 2004
- "Merck Veterinary Manual"; Cynthia Kahn; 2005
- "The American Red Cross and The Humane Society of the United States - Pet First Aid"; Bobbie Mammato, DVM; 1997