A sprained foot in a dog is typically treated with a splint or a wrap that a veterinarian applies to the dog's leg. Find out how to avoid abrasions when fitting a dog with a splint with help from a veterinarian in this free video on dog health and first aid.
Hello, I'm Dr. Greg McDonald. I'm a Veterinarian in Southern California and I own McDonald Animal Hospital in Sta. Barbara. I want to talk a little bit about things you can do if your dog sprains a foot or a leg. Again, usually the most important part of a sprain is to allow the animal to rest so that the sprain can heal. First of all a sprain really is just a stretch tendon or muscle or torn tendon or a muscle and so sometimes even sprains and strains can take longer to heal than if there was a fracture. So rest is one of the single most important things; but it's also really important I think to be sure and check with your Veterinarian and be sure there's not a fracture. If there's a fracture of the bone, it's handle a lot differently than if it's just a sprain. Oftentimes owners see this happen; their dogs running and they pick their foot up and cry and they know that's something's wrong. Usually with a sprain, animal will be putting some weight down on the limb, but limping quite severely. These are some of the kind of things that you're Veterinarian maybe using to put a splint or a wrap on your dog's leg. One of the things that we need to consider when we're doing a dog; this is what we call a Spoon Splint and a Spoon Splint is specifically design to fit the animal's leg and it's rigid, it gives them support. But when it's rigid it also can cause a problem with abrasions on the dog's leg. So when you're wrapping the dog's leg first, you're going to want to start to put some cotton down and then the cotton is wrapped over in a kind of a fairly tight fashion with the, a brown gauze or a white gauze that's kind of like this. This is again something that I think a Veterinarian should do 'cause the tension on it is very critical. If you put it on too tight, you can cut off the circulation and make it, a simple sprain even worse where your dog might lose of course another limb to due lack of vasculature. Then we have, go ahead and wrap on top of that either one of these types of wraps. This is called Expand Over; it's a great kind of tape because it's sticky and it sticks to itself and then it also is stretchy so that as the dog moves, it can allow a little bit of movement. But also it's porous so that it can breathe and not create a problem with no air circulation around the dog's limb. This is another type of material that we like and again it comes in a lot of different kinds. This one is called Cat Flex, but this is a type of a material that only sticks to itself so it's especially nice if you're wrapping birds and things like that so the tape doesn't stick to the animal's feather or their hair. You can see that this doesn't stick it all to me, but it sticks to itself; very handy to have for wrapping. So in review, if your dog has a sprain, you want to be sure that it's not a fracture and have your Veterinarian help you diagnose and then your Veterinarian may want to put in a splint or a soft bandage on it to allow some support while the dog is healing. Rest is one of the most important things and if it's a strain, within a month your dog should be running around normal again.
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