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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21649
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My boarder collie has broken his elbow, he has had it pinned

Resolved Question:

My boarder collie has broken his elbow, he has had it pinned at the rspca, he had it done on a friday and came home on wednesday just gone, it has a splint on but you can't see his toes and is finding it difficult to have a wee has it is his front leg, will the splint be made shorter? and how long will it be on for?, he is caged apart from toilet time and if we are sat at side of him on the floor
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now since our doggie patients will not follow doctor's orders when it comes to resting and staying off a recently fractured and repaired leg, we do tend to use much more robust casts then would be used in human medicine. This is why your lad has a full cast down to his toes, as this cast will ensure that he keeps the whole leg in the rigid position it has been fixed to prevent disruption of healing. In regards ***** ***** casts and splints these are not likely to be options as there would be increased risk of slippage with smaller casts (thus increased risk of surgery failure) and the RSPCA likely only has access to the standard splints (where state of the art orthopedic specialists may have more option). So, this type of splint/cast is appropriate here and will likely be your only option here for the next 4-6 weeks that it will be on.

This means that you will need to try and make his toilet trips as easy as possible via supportive care. To do so, consider making sure his dog crate is near to garden access, consider carrying him out to do his business, and consider using a towel/thin blanket as a sling under that leg's armpit to let you hold some of his weight while he is doing his business. As well, using a harness instead of a collar would allow you the ability to again hold some of his weight when he needs to go. And just to note in case his aim is off and he may be weeing on the cast, you can cover this with a bin bag when taking him out to do his business.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** been helpful, due to the cast being full length and upto his elbow and wrap round the top part of his body he looks uncomfortable when lying down unless he is on his side, but if that the way it has to be, what does it mean when the vet said that there is a bit of lateral movement there.

Catherine

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome, Catherine.

It will understandably take a wee bit of getting used to for him, as dogs often don't appreciate a restriction of movement of this nature (but again he won't understand that he needs to keep that elbow as still as possible for the weeks to come which is why we have to practice a bit of tough love to ensure healing). You will find that as he grows used to the cast, he will learn to manage and tolerate it better. The main thing is to keep an eye that you don't see any pressure sores or rubbed areas of skin at the top edge of the cast, as this would mean he might need increased padding at that site.

In regards ***** ***** movement, this means that the elbow may be able to move to side to side a wee bit. Any movement isn't ideal but as long as the vet doesn't think it is a significant volume of movement (since they'd have like altered their pinning or put a firmer cast on) then as long as we limit his activities then that wee bit of movement shouldn't impede healing.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )








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