About a week and a half ago, my corgi Leia broke her toe playing. We had it x-rayed and wrapped. She did not lick the wrapping until day 3. Since we were home during the week (my husband worked at home) we did not put the cone on her, but instead stopped her from licking. On Day 4 we noticed that there was a blister at the top of the wrapping in the front part of her elbow. She had not been licking this spot. The blister opened and was very uncomfortable for her. We trimmed a small section off the wrap to provide some relief from the rubbing. It helped, but she did begin licking it periodically. We put the cone on her and began training her to associate the cone with positive praise and treats. She's fine with the cone now, but the blister has turned into an open sore even though we prevented her from licking it.
We took her in early Saturday morning to have the leg re-wrapped with more padding and slightly lower to allow the blister spot to heal. The vet said to give it a few days and the sore would heal. We promised to be stricter with the cone and went home. We kept the cone on her all day, so she had no access to the leg.
As soon as the vet was closed (they close at noon on Saturday and are not open on Sunday) Leia's leg began to appear infected. We put some anti-bacterial ointment on it (but not where the wrap is) and that seemed to help. However, she has been behaving as if it is driving her crazy. It also looks redder and seems to be oozing more. Should we have not put the ointment on her? I'm not sure if that was a good decision.
Since the vet is not open until Monday, I'm looking for suggestions on providing itch/pain relief along with anyone who might know a way to treat the infection (ointment or no ointment?). Any suggestions anyone can provide would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!
Lindsey and Leia
Does your vet have an emergency number? Also, I found a soft cone at Petco for Sparty after his recent bout with a bad toe (ended up being cancer and the toe amputated) which was way more comfortable for him. Don't put any more ointment on it and if it smells bad, I would find an after hours clinic.
No, they don't have an emergency number other than the animal hospital. It's not bad enough to seek immediate attention. I am trying to treat it (or leave it alone) until tomorrow, when I can call the vet. It's red and oozing just a bit. She's very comfortable in her cone and only occasionally behaves like her leg is bothering her. She wimpers and runs around our legs or jumps in our laps and shakes for a few minutes. Then she is fine for several hours.
It's obviously infected, but it's not hot, bright red, or swollen. It's right at the point where her elbow bends, in the front, just above where the cast begins. Yesterday when we took her, it was pink and raw, but not infected. The Dr. was not concerned and told us that it would heal shortly if we kept her from licking it.
Then, yesterday afternoon it began to get red and started oozing even though she had not licked it at all \ since she wore the cone all day. She acted like she was a little uncomfortable at times, but we were not really concerned at that point. This morning at 1:30 am, she yelped and woke us up. She was unwilling to straighten the leg out at the point where the sore is. She hopped around frantically and we tried to calm her down. She finally calmed down again and I went to post this discussion before going back to sleep.
She's only had one instance where it seemed to bother her again like that about an hour ago. She is fine otherwise. I hope we are treating it properly...at this point, we are not putting anything on it. We're afraid to wash or clean it since it's so close to her cast and we don't want to get it wet.
My only advice on this is trust your gut. When Franklin broke is toe last year he had the cast on for a few days and just started acting weird like it was bothering him. The vet said if I don't notice any swelling on top and if the bandage isn't wet just to leave it but my gut was telling me there was something wrong. I took him in to a different vet and they removed the bandage and found that his foot was necrotic. The bandage had been put on too tight and was cutting off circulation to his toes. In just a few days he had developed ulcers on his toes, all the hair had come off and his food pads where white with black in places where the tissue was completely dead. The vet said if I had waited until the original vet told me to go in Franklin would have lost his foot. As it was, he lost all of the pads on that paw and it took a VERY long time for the tissue to grown back and for him to be able to walk on that foot without tenderness or pain. So trust your instincts, if you think it looks raw and infected, get it checked out.
I 2nd Melissa. You know what's best for your dog. You're the one that is around them for as close to 24-7 as your life will allow. If you think she is uncofortable or hurting, and the vet disagrees, go to another vet.
Hi - Update:
Thanks for the input everyone. Melissa - I totally agree with you! I read your post a long time ago about Franklin's toe. Luckily, I am a big fan of our vet. My family has been taking our pets there since I was about 6. The owner is a long time family friend and the vet is located on the same street as my dad's work, so it's very convenient. I tend to be a little over- protective of my pets (maybe because I have no kids yet or maybe it's the teacher in me) so I always ask one hundred questions. They are really patient and always cater to me without letting me overreact. I thought it may have been wrapped wrong the first time since I'd already read other broken toe posts on the site. I was definitely worried. We saw the weekend Dr. on Saturday. When he re-wrapped it, he said that it was looking great, but that she still refused to put any weight on it. It is very obvious that Leia is happier with this new wrap. It seems to be a lot more comfortable for her. It was the same vet tech that wrapped it the first time.
When I called the vet today, they told us that we should do exactly what we were already doing (ointment and saltwater) and gave us some signs to look for that would tell us the sore was seriously infected. I was so concerned about doing that because I was scared that we might get the cast wet.
It's still red and gross, but it's not serious. We haven't got the cast wet either. I think we'll be fine until our follow up this Saturday. I can't wait for her to get better - I am missing walks and our daily ball throwing routine!