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Home Care of Splints and Bandages
Splints, casts, and bandages are designed to protect and immobilize
injured body parts and prevent self-mutilation from licking or
chewing. A splint or cast actually bears the animal's weight.
Your pet cannot understand the function of a splint, cast,
or bandage, and may attempt to get the device off in any way possible.
It may shake, bite, pull, and push on the splint to try to remove
it. Fortunately, most pets eventually accept such appliances.
Follow these steps to help preserve the splint, cast, or
- Confine your pet to a small area and go out on leash walks
only when your pet needs to urinate or defecate. Confining your
pet to a crate when you go out may be recommended.
- Keep the device or bandage dry. Place plastic wrap or a plastic
bag over the bandaged part if it is raining. Remove the plastic
as soon as you return home.
- Discourage your pet from licking and chewing the device.
Check your pet carefully three times a day:
- Is your pet bright and alert?
- Are the body temperature, appetite, bowel movements, and
- Compare the affected limb with a normal limb. Toes should
be visible and close together. If toes are spread apart, excessive
swelling has occurred.
Notify your veterinarian if any of the following occur:
- The bandage gets wet. It must be replaced immediately.
- Your pet is lethargic, has a fever, or looses his appetite.
- The position or shape of a splint changes.
- The splint, cast, or bandage loosens or comes off.
- The exposed toes of an injured limb are swollen, sore, wet,
or smell bad.
- Your pet is unwilling to walk on the injured limb or cries
when it is touched.
- Your pet is unwilling to walk on the healthy limbs.
- The injured limb is swollen above the splint.
- Your pet keeps licking and chewing the bandage or splint
despite your discouragement.
- Your pet might need to wear an Elizabethan collar. Sudden,
incessant attempts at licking or chewing might indicate discomfort.