This information is provided by
Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your
veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the
diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Casts or splints are often applied to
animal patients , but the support needs to be looked after.
made from Plaster of Paris, or a more modern material) and splints are often
applied to veterinary patients for the treatment of bone fractures,
dislocations or other injuries, or following surgical repair of an orthopaedic
problem. It is important that the external support is looked after properly
- Healing may be delayed
- Healing may not occur
- Blood supply to the leg can be cut off
Owners should ensure the following :
- The support is kept dry - a plastic bag can be tied over the support to
protect it when the animal goes outside
- The support is kept clean - again a plastic bag is useful to protect it
when the animal goes outside
- Exercise should be restricted to a cage, run or lead walks until the
injury has healed properly - otherwise excess movement may delay healing.
- The support should be protected from damage (eg chewing) by the animal -
an elizabethan collar may be needed for this
- The support should be checked 6 times a day (every 4 hours) to make sure
that it has not loosened and slipped.
- If the top of the support rubs on the skin talcum powder can be used to
help prevent friction sores
The following abnormal signs should be looked for and reported to your
veterinarian immediately :
- Swelling of the leg above the support
- Swelling of the toes
- Pinch the toes - the animal should pull back it's foot in response
- Excessive discomfort from the support
- A foul smell from the cast or splint
- Discolouration of the cast or splint
- Severe friction sores in the skin
- If the animal goes off it's food
- If the animal is generally very quiet and depressed
- If the animal develops a high body temperature
It is important to have the cast or splint examined by your veterinarian if
any of the above changes occur, because blood supply to the leg can be
affected and , in the worst cases, gangrene can occur.
Updated October 2013