Cast and Splint Care
Casts and Splints can be a good way to manage certain fractures, but they can cause some problems of their own as well
Sometimes casts or splints are a good alternative to surgery for certain fractures
However, you can’t just out one on and forget about it. Casts and splints take daily care, or cast sores can develop. These sores can be quite severe, sometimes almost as bad as the original fracture, if they are not detected in time.
When an animal wears a cast or splint, two things happen.
- The limb gets smaller as the initial swelling subsides as healing progresses, as well as from muscle atrophy from non-use.
- The cast or splint gets bigger as the padding compacts down.
Both of these things make the cast or splint fit worse as time goes by. This can lead to rub sores, and these sores can become quite severe if they are not detected in time.
Life is full of rules
Here are the rules for patients wearing casts or splints:
- They must be confined. No free roaming. We need to limit their activity to decrease the chances of cast sores. That means that:
- They need to be confined to a cage or kennel except when being directly supervised.
- When they go out to potty, they must be on a leash.
- They can come out of the cage if there is someone there to supervise them so they don’t run around.
- You need to check the cast/splint every day, looking for any of the following problems:
- Swelling at the toes
- Sores at the top
- Stains where fluid is oozing out of the cast/splint, especially at the elbow
- Chewing or other signs of discomfort, such as limping worse than the day before.
- You must keep the cast/splint dry. When they go out, if there is dew, rain, snow, or frost, put a baggie over the foot with a rubber band, removing the baggie when they come back in.
- I need to see them personally every 10 days or so, less frequently at first and more frequently as time passes and the cast/splint loosens up. There are no additional charges for this (unless we change the cast/splint), it only takes a minute, and it lets me sleep much better at night.
If you notice any problems, contact us IMMEDIATELY