When you see your cute puppy or little cat running around with a tiny cast or cotter pin prosthesis, you can't help but exclaim, “My poor baby!!” Fluctuate. and “My, she's so cute!” The good news is that pets bounce back from broken or fractured bones. If they are in an occupation, the traumatic part is over, you have addressed the problem, and your pet is on its way to a smooth recovery.
Home care is provided by you, the parent, and accounts for about half of the rehabilitation. It is your responsibility to keep your pet's injuries clean and dry and to prevent accidents while you nurse your cat or dog to health.
How to keep a pet cast or splint clean.
Follow your veterinarian's advice on how to properly care for the cast or splint. Every animal, wound and litter is different, so a personalized approach is key to a successful recovery. That is, there are some steadfast rules that apply to any situation.
- Keep the area dry: avoid puddles, baths and even your pet licking area. Although casts are usually water resistant, they are hardly waterproof, so large amounts of water can cause damage. The cast and surrounding area should be dry at all times, as moist casts are a breeding ground for bacteria and infection.
- Clean carefully when necessary: If absolutely necessary, you may use a slightly damp, sudsy washcloth to clean the exterior of the cast.
- Don't trim: It may be tempting to ease your pet's discomfort by trimming the cast, but your vet made it this big for a reason! If you see a rough or sharp edge, you can use a nail file to soften it. If it seems really bad, ask the veterinarian to adjust it.
- Don't stuff or poke yourself: don't put anything in the cast, including cotton balls, your fingers, a scratching stick or anything else. Sharp objects could damage the wound, and filling it could make it too tight and cut off blood circulation. Check circulation: check your pet's toes regularly to make sure they are circulating well. If your toes are cold, consult your vet as soon as possible.
- Take a taster test: Yes, it has come to this. A foul odor is one of the biggest signs that an infection is developing. Call the vet immediately if the cast begins to smell.
- Call your vet: We've said it before, but we'll say it again: throughout recovery, call your veterinarian and update him/her on progress and ask questions you may have.
How to prevent your pet from destroying the cast
Even though you've done your part to keep the cast clean and dry, your pet may have other plans! You know what it's like to have a terrible itch and all you want to do is scratch it away? Your pet may have the same impression of their occupation, only they don't realize how much damage their scratching can cause.
You will need to use a few tricks to keep your pet from biting, scratching and licking the area, especially in the early days when they are particularly disturbed and confused by his presence.
- Whip out the cone: It's all fun and games until they have to wear the cone of shame! But seriously, a cone prevents your pet from licking, chewing or biting the wound or cast, keeping the cast intact and protecting the wound.
- Wrap a plastic bag over the cast when you are outside: This keeps the area clean, dry and protected from the elements. Use duct tape or thin rubber bands and remove the plastic bag when you get back.
- Cover other feet: if your pet has a habit of scratching, place a thick sock over their other feet and secure them carefully. Your pet will not be amused, but it is for the best!
- Book a sitter: if you have the option of booking a pet sitter while you are away, you can worry about your pet chewing off the cast once you are gone. We love Rover because it's local and because it's so easy to use.
Don't hesitate to call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns. They will be able to help you while your sweet ball of fluff is on the road to recovery.