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BRAVEONE2 asks: "Wondering if anyone knows what the procedure is for a fracture toe (back leg) on a Rottie? The vet wants to put in a cast, but my trainer is a bit skeptical about this!"


September 26, 2006 at 7:07 am
(1) Jim says:

Have a small Tibetian Terrier/Poodle mix, 7 years old, 13 pounds that suffered a broken toe. Vet put him in a full length leg cast that they say should be re-wrapped ever 7 – 10 days. Our little guy is miserable. I keep worring that the cast is wrapped too tight or theat the paw is rubbing. he is having trouble walking and doing his business. Very lethargic and not a happy puppy. I am looking for information and feedback.

October 3, 2006 at 2:43 am
(2) Marcy says:

I have a 1 year old heeler at the moment who has a broken toe so I know what’s going on for sure.My vet said He could send us to a specailist or we could just wrap it…not cast it wrap it. We change it every week.We use a cushiny under wrap matterial, then vet wrap, and tape the foot part and the top, sometimes we tape around the whole thing, I bought a splint on the enternet too, she wears it for a few hours then we take it off, depends how much she’s outside.Our dog acts like do big deal she’s a happy camper, to personality changes at all.

May 12, 2007 at 4:24 pm
(3) Sabine says:

You do not need a cast for a non weight bearing toe. My dog recently had a broken toe–non weight bearing (one of the side toes). I went VCA Animal Hospitals who completely took me to the cleaners on this. (K-Ching) They put a full length cast on him, and the dog was completely miserable; He was in a lot of pain with the cast, hated going to the vet to put it on and take it off, developed dermatitis under the bandage, and could not walk on the foot. The whole run around was horrible. I started wondering what dogs do in the wild….and then I remembered that my mother, who lives in a different state, has a friend who has had a very successful veterinary practice for many years, (friend of the family). I called this vet and she said she never wraps toes if it is non weight bearing (important), and that this proceedure and “run around” that VCA was putting me through, and the stess on my animal was ridiculas and counterproductive. She told me to cut the cast off, and just make sure he takes it easy. I took the cast off, my dog walked on all four feet, limped a little at first, but it gets better every day. He is sooooooo much happier. My advice to everyone is this: use your critical thinking skills in dealing with these vets. Though there are good vets out there, frequently it is more about lining their pockets with over the top treatments than doing what’s really best for your dog. With all the X rays office visits, etc…they soaked me for about 700 bucks, but the worst thing of all was what they put my dog through. I will avoid them in the future. Hope this info helps if your dog should have a broken toe. —But please make sure that it is a non weight bearing toe—side toe—since since this is what my dog had and I can’t attest to a weight bearing toe or middle toe.

July 4, 2007 at 3:11 pm
(4) Chris says:

We just took our boxer to the vet last night for xrays and found she had a broken outside toe on her front foot. Fortunately, we had an honest vet who told us pretty much exactly as the previous comments by Sabine. No wrapping, no splint…just pain meds (Rimadyl) and leash walking for weeks (don’t know how many weeks…)

July 16, 2007 at 1:02 pm
(5) Lorissa says:

I wish I would have researched this BEFORE I took my dog to the vet! I have a 9 year old pit bull who just fractured her front pinky toe. I took her to the vet and put my trust in him that he would do what is best for all of us but instead I feel like I totally wasted my money. After 10 days he took the cast off to let it air out for 3 days before rewrapping it and my dogs foot isn’t even swollen or causing her any pain. My fiance and I were considering just leaving it off and having her take it easy and using the leash when we take her out-just like everyone says to do! I’m glad I found this site-my instincts were right on!!

September 7, 2007 at 8:21 pm
(6) Judi says:

My mastiff just broke her left hind middle toe. They say it’s her walking toe and needs to be casted and changed weekly. This cost me around 700 for the intitial and they want me to come in weekly so they can rebandage…I did that last week and it was 30 bucks… I can’t pay 30 bucks weekly for approx 4 or more months (yes, they said 12 weeks or longer due to her age…she’s 10). I think I am going to just start wrapping it myself?!

September 11, 2007 at 11:22 am
(7) Michael says:

I wish I would’ve taken Sabine’s advice from May 12, 2007. I have a 9 year-old, 70 pound, choc lab. She broke her front index toe and the vet put a splint on her and a full leg cast. She was miserable. She hated the cast and detested the bonnet. I came across this site and actually decided to cut off her cast after a week or so. Afterall, humans don’t wear a cast when they have a broken toe. Because we were travelling, my partner insisted we have it recast so her toe wouldn’t get bumped or injured more. We did, and had it changed each week. One thing the vet didn’t tell us was that moisture collects under the cast causing the skin to become smelly and very soft. By the 4th or 5th week, one of her toe nails dug into her skin and caused an infection to the foot. They showed us how bad it was and said she could possibly loose her foot to the infection! We were furious and upset. After spending nearly $800 on the cast and follow-up visits, the vet soaked us for another $425 for a culture and anti-biotics ($210 for 2 week supply). The cast finally came off for good yesterday. We clean the foot daily with an anitbacterial soap, put neosporin and a footpowder on the infected part and between her toes. We’ll continue to give her the anitbiotics until they’re gone, and she’ll weat the bonnet for a few more days until the foot is completely healed. She wouldn’t walk on her foot while she had the cast, but she’s walking on all four without the cast. I’m sick about what we had to put our dog through, but want to believe we were looking out for her best interest. Future pet problems I will research first and go with my instinct.

September 22, 2007 at 11:21 am
(8) Allison says:

We just took our dog to the vet yesterday for a broken toe. They put a splint up his whole leg that is wrapped and told us not to get it wet and that he would have to wear it for 6 weeks. He is getting around fine with it, but you can tell he is miserable. He is doing nothing but chewing on it and I have a strong feeling he will get it off very soon. He is an 8 month old puppy and I am wondering if it won’t just heal on its own after a few weeks. Anybody have advice for me?

September 26, 2007 at 10:46 pm
(9) Melissa says:

I took my 2 year old St. Bernard/Lab mix to the vet a month ago with a broken (inside) toe. The vet did x-rays and put a full cast on her. He did NOT tell us that casts should be changed weekly ($100 for the cast) but he did warn us about infection. She has been on antibiotics the whole time. Today my son came home from school and she had ripper her cast off (yes she had a cone on) and now there is a huge gapping sore on her leg. The vet said it was from tearing the cast off, but we feel differently. He was kind enough (ha ha) to say that when we bring her back in 2 days he won’t charge us. So far this has set us back $1500.00. He should have charged me for todays bill of $300.00I thought taking my dog to the vet was the best thing for her but I guess I will think again next time. The vet told us she has to wear the wrap from today for another 2-4 weeks.

October 29, 2007 at 9:01 am
(10) michelle says:

My brittany just broken (I think) his outside toe on the rear left. He’s hobbling around, obviously in discomfort, cries when I touch the area. My theory was to give him a few days to see how he does then if not improvin gto take him to the vet (afterall, they don’t usually cast broken human toes sometimes just splint it). After ready all of the above, I think I’ll continue to follow my gut feelings and not go to the vet for bandaging or casting., but will ask for pain meds.
Thanks Everyone!

December 10, 2007 at 1:35 pm
(11) Marie says:

My Shepherd was initially diagnosed as tearing a tendon or whatever. I saw the xrays after the 2nd visit and I swear my poor girls inside back leg toe is broke. Yes, I paid big $ only to learn the real problem. Rimadyl only hides the pain and gives them false courage to run around! Tramadol doesn’t work either. I have her on baby non-aspirin and Glucosomine now (besides lots of prayers). Thanks for letting me know about the $ I could of spent!

December 23, 2007 at 4:11 pm
(12) carley says:

hi guys, i just wanted to say that my french bulldog broke his back inside toe about 3 breaks actually i got to see the xray….. he couldnt put it on the ground although he tried as they are a tough little dog…id have to say my vet was amazing he actually operated and removed the broken bones in his toe and he has stitches and a bandage…. well after the removal of the bone you would never know he broke his toe he was running around with the bandage on ( i wouldnt let him of course) we have had no troubles at all, his had one bandage change which only cost me $6.00 and the operation cost $650 including all medication… his stitches come out next week i think his going to wear a cone this week … he has been the most active dog since taking out the broken bone (removal of the toe) i can highly recommend as he has had no trouble now putting his foot on the ground —— one happy little dog minus the toe!!!!

December 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm
(13) Renae says:

I have a 3 year rottie that I compete with in agility and she has a broken toe as well. Not sure when or how she did it but I took her to an Orthopedic vet. He indicated the best course of action is to leave it alone and let it heal on its own which takes 4 to 6 weeks. I my case it is on the 6 week side because of where the brake is. He also indicated that to do any kind of surgery or what not would cause more damage. Just leash walk and endevour to keep your dog as calm as possible so it does not aggrivate the toe.

January 16, 2008 at 11:32 pm
(14) Marla says:

My Siberian Husky managed to get her back right rear paw caught in the bottom of my door as I was taking her out to do her business. She let out a yelp, limped a bit, then was walking ok. I had to go out for about two hours later on, but when I came home she was screaming in pain so I believe she did brake her toe. I’m not sure which toe though. I put ice on the paw for five minutes and gave her some baby aspirin. I also wrapped her paw and leg in an ace bandage which seemed to help and which gave her some support. I’m going to try to wrap it either in gauze or just keep the ace bandage on and continue with the baby aspirins and see how she does. After reading these comments, the vet visit will be the last resort.

March 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm
(15) larry G says:

Thanks for the advice- should have used my common sense. Quality care costs less.
My Weim just fractured his rt front rt toe. He limps on it and is ok with touching it. I went to Alameda East.Aurora/ Denver, CO area. I did the X ray, saw the fracture and they told me they would wrap it., No big deal right. Ka Ching- extra $100-He came out with a full leg splint wrapped nearly to the socket. This could easily cause major joint / socket damage. They told me I needed to come in every 10-15 days for bandage changes,KaChing -Extra $200. He could no longer use the dog door and go outside. They could have provided quality vet service for less. but couldn’t have justified the extra profit that way. Beware!

March 19, 2008 at 6:24 pm
(16) Gail T says:

Our 7 year old golden retriever broke a middle toe 3 and a half wks ago. First, they put a hard splint on her, but within a wk, she was limping and licking the splint- bottom line: back to the vet, where it was dx that she had developed pressure sores and infection from the splint. The vet gave us antibiotics, changed from a hard splint to a soft cloth splint, and we come back for weekly splint checks and changing of the splint. Next week will be 4 wks, and they will re-x-ray the paw. If all goes well, the vet said that that might be the end of our pup’s splinting, and activity restrictions period. We have had to limit activity to just walking her on the leash to do her business, and otherwise, no jumping, playing, etc, which has made her and her sister golden miserable, (as well as us)! What I think is interesting is that no one has commented on the necessity of giving the dog sedatives during their activity restrictions. As much as I hated the idea, I agreed that we needed to give our very active, lively pup sedatives to help keep her immobile, not knock-out secatives, just something to help quelch her desire to run and jump. The vet gave us Valium, which caused a terrible, idiosynchratic reaction of over-stimulation, anxiety, aggression, which some dogs have with this drug. We stopped that and were switched to acepromazine, 1 tab 2x day. This has been fine. We have radically changed our lifestyle for these 3+ wks, sleeping on a mattress on the floor next to our dog, so she won’t jump on the bed, taking her everywhere we go in the car, never leaving her alone. The alternative would to crate her, and that would make her miserable. All in all, this has been a major undertaking, but for our dog, will are willing to do it. Vet bills have totalled so far about $1500

April 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm
(17) Suzie Vickery says:

My 18 mnth old Boxer is hopping lame after chasing deer in the woods. The pain is from her inside front toe and I decided to leave it a few days and see how it progressed as I’d decided it was either a fracture or a ligament/tendon sprain and in both cases 6 weeks restricted exercise/rest would most likely be the answer. There’s no swelling or heat. I was feeling guilty about not going to the vet with her but I feel better now I’ve read all this and 3 days on she is weightbearing and improving and staying calm and quiet. I will stick to the lead rest for 6 weeks though even if she is sound. Thanks

April 23, 2008 at 7:15 pm
(18) Jeff W says:

My 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback is 115 lbs. She broke her front left index toe playing in the yard. We took her to the vet – we got the X-ray and the splint and were told to bring her back in every 2 weeks for a change (only $260 so far). She is limping – won’t even put weight on it. I’m pretty sure that this is a weight bearing toe, even though it’s on the outside of the foot, between the dew claw and the middle toe. She’s just so big and active. It was helpful to hear about the sedatives, thanks. What I would like to hear is how it worked out for the people who didn’t take the dogs to the vet. Also, what was the extent (it seems like most dogs were just limping and not completely staying off of the hurt paw). If anyone has a large heavy dog and their results, that would also be helpful. Thanks.

April 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm
(19) Adry says:

My rottie, a 6 month old pup I believe broke his toe on April 7th. It is either his last toe or the one before that. I have wrapped it up and given him aspirin on his worse days. The first 2 days he was not putting weight on it but then he started to walk on all 4. I am reluctant to take him to the vet because of many horror stories I have heard and because I have seen improvements. He is particularly sore in the morning but then gets better in mid morning. He has ups and downs but has not gone back to keeping his leg up which should be a good sign. If he will not put weight I will immediately take him to the vet. I am restricting his activity but boy is it challenging with his sister wanting to play. I had to separate them becasue i think she accidentally stepped on his toe yesterday but he is till putting it down so I hope she did not do any damage. I will keep updated on his condition. I am hoping he will heal totally by week 6. I am at 2 weeks and a half right now. Keeping fngers crossed!

June 25, 2008 at 11:57 am
(20) Stephanie says:

My 10 month old female lab broke her back right pinky toe. Just got back from the vet…no cast, no surgery, no wrap just previcox for pain and it will heal on its own. Its never a good idea to give a dog especially a puppy aspirin without talking to your vet. It can cause stomach ulcerations and make them quite sick and queasy.

July 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm
(21) Charlotte says:

Hi, My husband and I have been dog sitting our daughter’s 4 month old Lab/mix. She got her toe caught in cage (big wire). My husband said because she has LARGE paws she probably slipped and pushed foot into bottom of cage. Thank God we have her at our house and we were in the next room. I had a grooming business for ten years and I never had a customer’s dog get it’s foot or anything else caught in a cage.

Well we waited a day and she was limping a little and was trying to play with our toy poodle who will have nothing to do with her.
My husband decided we should take her to vet.

They x-rayED and showed us where she fractured her middle toe and said it should be splinted. We just picked her up and paid $139. which I guess isn’t bad after reviewing all the comments on this site. They do want us to bring her back every week to check the bandage. We have to keep her quiet and leash walk her and watch she doesn’t chew bandages.
Also, she is wearing a collar which she doesn’t like. We are going to let our daughter decide if additional vet visits are needed. My husband and I both agree we probably could have left it and it would have healed on it’s own (like people have to do).
We would think twice about a vet visit if
something like this every happened again.
We are certainly at the vets’ mercy.
Hope everyone’s dog is well soon. Charlotte

July 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm
(22) Rose Marie says:

My beautiful white long-haired dachshund, which I show, got out and got bitten in back feet by coyote hiding in huge blackberry bushes and brambles. I could not get her out, but finally she limped out, bleeding all over. following vet x-rays, she has lost a toe and toenail but not a weight bearing one thank god! Vet was excellent, took some xrays suggested carrying her everywhere which we do (my husband is at home), she is allowed to lick it, which she does, and which seems to be healing, she is on antibiotic. Both feet have breaks in the small outer toe, but he said NO CAST. She is miserable anyway, and possibly 14 days pregnant so there is concern about the antibiotic… but I would prefer she learns to walk on this again naturally as a dog would in the wild, and it will take at least 3 weeks of us carrying her so she can do her business outside. She sleeps most of the time in a kennel and is very peaceful and does not bite herself so far. It has been 6 days. I give extra vitamins, and excellent food, high quality Innova, and home cooked meals too.
Hope this helps.

July 10, 2008 at 8:50 am
(23) Jim Adams says:

When my wifw broke her toe the Dr. looked at the xrays and said,”Yep, it’s broke. Don’t kick anyone.” and sent her home.
My Weim broke her toe jumping out of the car window so I am going to the Vet to get some pain meds for her and that is it.

July 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm
(24) Amy says:

Hello all,

Your comments have been quite reassuring. I have a 12 week old whippet puppy with a broken right index toe (front leg/weight bearing.) this was confirmed today at our vet with xrays. The vet wanted to splint it. I called the breeder (this is a show pup) she said absolutely do NOT spint it. I have been keeping it wrapped with vet wrap and keeping him quiet (no jumping or runing in yard with other dogs) he puts weight on it, but limps.

This is a potential show pup. Its been 5 days… I hope witin the next 4 weeks he is healed!

July 23, 2008 at 4:47 pm
(25) Annie says:

My 5 month old Boxer puppy (show pup) just broke his toe. (Front foot middle toe) It has been wrapped for nearly two weeks, but this has caused terrible pressure sores on his foot so the wraps have come off. As from tomorrow he will be wearing a collar and there will be nothing on his foot! He will be lead-toileted only and rested for the next two weeks. After reading your comments, I will ask for a sedative for him, but can’t give him ace – thats a no-no for Boxers. Thanks to everyone who has given their experience on this – it has really helped give me confidence to follow my own intuition! Annie

July 27, 2008 at 7:24 pm
(26) Amy says:


After 2 weeks wrapped with vet wrap, I took off the bandages to a pretty cruddy foot and toes with no shape to them. He wasnt limping so I cleaned his foot and left the bandages off. he is doing great and much happier. Im just letting him run and jump and his foot looks fine. I will have another xray in 2 weeks for peace of mind, otherwise im leaving it alone.

2 days post no bandage his toes are getting shape again (whew!) and im certain he will be fine.

After seeing what vet wrap can do to toes, I would absolutely NEVER splint a foot of a show pup for a broken toe. his foot would have been RUINED and probably would have had multiple infected pressure sores.

August 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(27) Annie says:

It’s been nearly two weeks since our puppy’s wraps came off, and the pressure sores are healing slowly. We’ve used wound powder to heal them rather than the liquid wash the Vet gave us. I’m now using Camrosa Ointment as well, which acts as a healant and barrier and allows the healing skin to be flexible. It’s brilliant stuff, and I hope that by this weekend all the sores will be healed. I agree with Amy – never again would I have a broken toe ‘wrapped’ or ‘splinted’ – it makes more trouble than you started with. I just hope my puppy’s foot regains it’s shape. When the wrap came off it resembled a chicken’s foot – flat with splayed toes. I just hope it recovers it’s original shape. My breed is supposed to have tight-toed ‘cat-like’ feet!

August 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm
(28) Amy says:


my whippets feet were exactly the same as your boxers after 2 weeks of being wrapped with vet wrap. flat and splayed. when i took the wrap off I called the breeder in a panic, and even sent her photos.

after that day he wasnt limping and the swelling was down so i just let him be. its been 4 weeks since the toe was broken and it looks totally normal. i plan on having it xray next week tuesday for my peace of mind. his foot is now arched and beautiful again. i feel i had age on my side since he is almost 4 months and growing rapidly.

August 10, 2008 at 1:04 am
(29) Kip says:

It just blows me away that in the first or second line is a comment about how much money it costs to treat their canine friend and everyone is looking for a short cut.
Next time you injure a part of your body you depend on, why not just take the cheap way out and treat it yourself. Let’s see how that works for you in a few years when you have arthritis. Amazing how friends and the internet can replace 7 years of vet school. And no, I’m not a vet.

August 10, 2008 at 9:38 am
(30) Amy says:


You obviously have never had a dog with a broken toe. Do you know the hazards of splinting a foot for 6 weeks? pressure sores, flat toes (which means the dog will NEVER walk right), and infection. To put a dog though that for a broken toe – which mine was walking on his with no limp and no pain = is cruel.

I would never deny vet care to any of my dogs, and I have been involved with breeding and showing dogs for over 15 years. My puppys toe healed with 2 weeks of light wrapping with vet wrap and minimal jumping / running. i did keep him separated from my other dogs while they were outside to prevent playing.

This is a blog for people to post their experiences, not get harassed.

August 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm
(31) curisa says:

Give the flames a rest…I will never take another dog to a vet for anything as trivial as a broken foot. I buried my beloved ACD mix because of a broken foot. I ended up paying over $800 and ended up with a dead dog.

The short story is the vet used a splint and cast. It was too tight on her ankle, and she would not walk on the cast, where she had been doing it previous to the change. I did complain when I saw she couldn’t walk on it; and later in the week when she still wouldn’t walk on it. My complaints were blown off…they would look at it when she came in to have it changed. I’m an idiot for ignoring my suspicions and not hacking the cast off of her myself.

She ended up chewing off her own foot, cast and all. The cast was so tight that she didn’t even bleed…we had no clue that she had performed her own surgery.

She was 13 yrs old, too old to adapt to removal of the entire leg up to the hip (since the remainder of the leg developed necrosis). I loved her too much to see her suffer, so we made the decision to put her down while she was still sedated from the exam. I am still heartbroken.

Y’know, it doesn’t matter “how many times could that happen”…the fact that it happened one time, to my speckled pup, is too many times.

August 25, 2008 at 12:27 pm
(32) ez88uc says:

My Italian Greyhound broke her front left middle toe… I am sure it broken. She is not in too much pain and jumps and walks fine… still there is a little swelling after one week. My vet just said to watch it so I am wondering if I should take her to the vet for this or just let it heal…again from what I have read there is little that a vet can do for a broken toe like this. I am opposed to meds since she is not wimpering or in pain. Advice on getting swelling in toe down?

August 30, 2008 at 8:39 am
(33) derek hamilton says:

I took my dog to the vet to get advice on a suspected broken outside left paw the vet informed me it was broke and that intead of complicating the matter with a casts it will just need rest which i was toatally happy with,my partner however being overly concearned took her back for a second opinion a few days later, seeing a diffirent vet at the surgery who was actually the owner of the surgery, this so called expierienced vet recommended expensive xrays should be done and a cast applied all at a hefty charge even tho it was not a weight bearing toe,this was done and my dog a 2 year old staffordshire bull terrier bich was in a lot of discomfort but we were asured she was in no pain because if she were she would chew the cast,a week past with the cast on and we took her back for a check up to be told she was fine, but they didnt remove the cast to check.After another week she was taken back again and the paw checked only to find a her paw and lower leg had died inside the cast and she had a massive infection ,she is now sadly going to lose her whole leg ,with the vet claiming no responsibility for this happening, she now has to see a specialist at a massive cost to try and save what they can of the leg, leaving me and my partner devestated financialy and emotionally.

September 6, 2008 at 8:43 am
(34) Jacquelyn says:

This blog is a god send. I have a 10 month old English Mastiff Pup. She has a broken rear middle toe. She has been splinted for the past 5 weeks now. My current expense is at $1300.00. I confronted the Vet about this cost. They told me it is the only way. I felt differently. I am going to cut off her splint/wrap today and let it heal on its own. She has been misirable! All this for a broken toe! Thanks to everyone who has posted comments. This info has been wonderful.

September 7, 2008 at 10:12 am
(35) Kathleen says:

I have a 4 1/2 year old beagle/border collie mix who broke her right rear pinky toe. The vet has splinted it because of the displacement of the fracture. There was a good bit of swelling and she couldn’t walk on the foot. However, the vet wanted to put her on Rimadyl, but readily accepted my alternative of DGP instead. The vet also wants her in the splint for 4 weeks before a follow up x-ray, but I think I may put her in an open splint or possibly nothing after the first week to allow the bones to set. A non-canine friend of mine just broke her ankle rather severely and she was in a brace and walking on it (gingerly) after one week. So, I think I may follow this example. She’s an agility dog and can’t afford to create back or leg problems by having her leg immobile for too long. Wish me luck! :)

September 7, 2008 at 12:13 pm
(36) Amy says:

Just an update on my whippet puppy, now 4 months. His toe was broken at 10 weeks (front right index) after only lightly wrapping it with vet wrap and not letting him run outside with our other dogs (inside he was not seperated and did run and play) his toe is completely healed.

he is a show pup, and his breeder has been in whippets for over 10 years. she shows and lure courses. her vet also has whippets. both have dealt with broken toes and both would NEVER splint a leg for a broken toe. my vet of course wanted 6 weeks of splinting. thank god i called the breeder first. i have been involved with showing dogs for 20 years but this is my first broken toe. my vet still argues with me about it but i know splinting is a disaster waiting to happen. this blog is not the only horror stories i have heard with splinting.

thanks to everyone!

September 7, 2008 at 7:23 pm
(37) Amanda says:

I have a 10 YO Labrador whom I suspect has broken his inside front toe. He will walk on it (limping) and occassionally if he’s bounded up to me will lift it for a few minutes. It happened four days ago and I’ve been contemplating taking him to the vet. However, with the complications I’ve read about here with casting/wrapping I’m reluctant to now and will probably just ensure he has significant rest and does not run around at all.

September 8, 2008 at 11:09 pm
(38) kate says:

To D. Hamilton, I am so sad to read your story, I am not a sue happy person, but responsibilty is needed to be taken and obviously the cast was applied to tightly.

I have been in the field for 10 yrs as a cvt and the most common problem we see are clients/owners who are not compliant. When your vet say. Very restricted activity, then they mean restrict activity. leash walk, cage rest etc…. So for ez88uc, if your dog has a broken toe DONT let her jump and run, that will help keep the swelling at bay….

Every dr is going to have a different plan of attack. No I do not think that a cast, in most cases, is ness for a broken toe, nor is plating ( waste of time and money). However it is case dependent. Most often a soft splint, cast padding some kling and a litte vet wrap goes a long way, again with restricted activity.
So to Kathleen, the agility dog owner, if there is a broken toe by not letting it heal properly with time, a callous needs to form before the bone can set and a week does not provide enough time. YOU are creating the back leg issues. and six wks of quiet is not going to end her career.

Finally, re pain medication. a dog is not a human, he or she will not tell you because as much as we have domesticated them, to show sickness or injuries while in a pack can cause more trouble for them. However, their pain receptors are the same as us and if you have a broken toe and have to walk on it,or better yet it is non weight bearing because of the pain, are you going to suck it up or take something. DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING FROM YOU MEDICINE CABINET UNLESS DIRECTED BY YOU VET> NO TYLENOL, ALEVE, ADVIL (ibuprofen). aspirin is ok for dogs however you need a correct dose. also you cannot mix medications. If you give you dog something at home you need to tell your vet, incase they decided to perscribe something. Ex. Aspirin, you need to wait 2-3 wks before giving any other type of nsaid. Most often a phone call costs nothing.

September 9, 2008 at 9:28 am
(39) Sharnay says:

Thank you everyone. My Basset Puppet seems to have a broken toe, I was planning to take her to the vet, however will hang in there for another 4 weeks and hope it heals. My heart goes out to all the owners who took their dogs to the VET just to cause more damage / infection to the leg.

September 17, 2008 at 10:54 pm
(40) Seth says:

18 month old golden. Two toe breaks, both weight bearing on the front right paw. 390.00 for the soft cast splint, pain meds, x rays, etc etc. Cast has to be checked every week but the cost of this is included in the money we paid today for his “urgent care treatment”. Here’s hoping.

September 27, 2008 at 2:05 am
(41) Marco says:

1 week ago, after playing at the dog park, my dog (50 lbs, mix adopted from the pound) was slightly limping in his front left leg. I couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from since he wasn’t reacting while me touching/pressing his leg. I made him rest for a couple of days and he wasn’t limping anymore, so I took him again to the dog park. Same situation: he was limping, I made him rest for a couple of days and today I took him to the dog park again. Unfortunately, he is limping again. Today though he is limping more and he’s showing tenderness on the leftmost toe of his left leg. The correspondent toenail and pad look fine, so my guess is a broken toe. I’m a student and I’m on a pretty tight budget so I’d prefer not to waste money for a useless vet visit. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not being cheap with my dog’s health but from what I read it seems that the intervention of a vet for a broken toe is not needed. But I want to make sure that my “diagnosis” is correct. If my dog has a broken toe, is it possible that he wasn’t in pain anymore only after three days of rest? And, is it possible that the broken toe wasn’t swollen at all?
Thank you for your help

October 3, 2008 at 11:11 am
(42) Jeremy says:

My story with my boxer is almost the same. Broken rear middle toe, the vet wanted to put a splint on for 6 weeks changing it out every two weeks. I had to have the splint changed after only one week. There were already pressure sores and I’m guessing this was also from rubbing. The vet left the splint off for one week to let it air out and see if swelling goes down. I’ve actually seen great improvement but he wants to see my dog again at the end of the week to sedate him and splint his foot for the 2nd time. I cant keep paying that much for a splint that’s only going to be worn for a week at a time and give my dog more pain.I also have a feeling that I’m being taken advantage of. I have seen more improvement without the splint so I’m thinking I’ll just monitor it myself and wrap it when it needs to be. I’m not paying that guy for crappy service ever again. Thanks for your stories. Thay all help!

October 8, 2008 at 12:28 pm
(43) alan greene says:

If it is a weight bearing toe, i.e. middle toe, not treating the toe can lead to permanent lameness and arthritis. All outside toes can be left to heal on their own. But in any case when your dog is injured you should have a diagnosis and not rely on a board opinions to guide treatment.

I’m really appauled that people think they can treat their pet based on perceptions about how you’d treat yourself. Animals are a commitment and if you can’t afford or aren’t willing to get the proper medical attention when injuries occur, don’t adopt!

Would you just let your child suffer with a broken toe and not seek help? Hopefully none of the animals not being treated won’t have long term complications.

October 8, 2008 at 4:58 pm
(44) Shadow says:

I made the mistake of letting my vet splint my dog’s broken toe. The edge of the hard, plastic splint ended up rubbing and digging into my dog’s leg. After just one week in the splint, he had a horrible sore, about one and a half inches by one inch in size. The vet wanted me to leave him in a splint for 4 weeks, checking it and rewrapping it every week, then re-xray. After one week I removed the bandage and splint and the dog is fine, not even limping on the foot, except for the damage that the vet did by splinting his leg.

October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm
(45) Cassie says:

My 6 year old pit bull broke her outside toe on her rear leg. It was sticking out at a right angle to the foot. My vet put on a full-leg splint and wrapped it. I have to go back in 2 weeks to have it checked and re-wrapped. He strongly cautioned me to watch her and if she starts really chewing at her leg to bring her in immediately since occasionally rocks get in the top and cause massive damage to the leg. She’s not thrilled, but in typical pit bull fashion, she’s making the best of it. I, too, was suprised at the size of the splint, but I have an excellent vet and so am hoping she will be ok.

October 17, 2008 at 11:06 pm
(46) Tiffany says:

This blog was just the reassurance I needed. My 10 week old belgian malinois puppy broke his left front pinkie toe. (non weight bearing) We took him in, got x-rays, and got a hard splint up to the shoulder. $300 No big deal to me, as long as this is the right thing for my puppy. it was not.

However, the splinting was obviously very traumatic for a 10 week old puppy in the crucial socialization period being held down and splinted by unfamiliar people. The vet said leave it on for 3 weeks. Did not mention ANYTHING about limiting exercise, weekly changes, possible infection, sores, growth restriction in that leg, or the possibility he would outgrow it and damage the leg. I found this all out on my own. All he said was keep it dry and cut it off after 3 weeks….uh…okay?

I got a copy of the x-rays, clean break on the pinkie. Vet didn’t even have to set it. and was contemplating removing the splint after a week or two. I saw him hobbling around on our tile and couldn’t help but think that if he slipped, he could easily dislocate his shoulder. And if i crated him, he might chew it, damaging his leg in the process…I saw alot of potential problems here… over a pinkie toe?

After 4 days, he got it all wet, so we had to cut it off. Good riddens. Before, he was scraping it along, and chewing it, totally miserable. Now that it is off, he is getting along just fine. We are leash walking, no jumping etc. I looked at his armpit, there are two blisters from the splint and some broken blood vessels, and his pads were already getting pink from the pressure.. AFTER 4 days in the splint?!? I am SO relieved that it got wet, or what would have happened if I had left it on?

Without the splint, he has a slight limp, and puts moderate pressure on it, but is improving rapidly, and can run, walk, jump…(we don’t let him run or jump, but he tries anyway) No sedatives or pain meds, he is as happy go lucky as before. I talked to my breeder, she agreed with me. Splinting was a BAD idea in this case.

HOWEVER, I would definitely recommend taking them in for X-rays and a thorough exam! Don’t try to self- diagnose unless you are an experienced orthopedic specialist. Also, this was a clean break on a non weight bearing toe. So I cannot attest to more serious injuries.

But I will say this. My vet could have caused some serious problems here, just to make a quick buck. So I say, if you are unsure, get a 2nd opinion, and use your head, before you splint.

I will post an update after 2-4 weeks! Good luck!

October 21, 2008 at 11:36 am
(47) liz says:

Hey everyone,
I have a 16 week old Amer bulldog with a fracture of proximal phalangy on the right front fifth digit. As a veterinary technician I know what can happen if they are not splinted and because she is growing I change the bandage every 48 hours. She wears a spoon splint that she can run and play and be a puppy in. It has been on now for going on 4 weeks, and if wrapped properly with cast padding, cling wrap, splint, tape, vet wrap you will not have pressure sores. The problem of not splinting the toes is they always have downward pressure on their feet and a fractured toe could heal forming what is known as a dis-union, not good for puppies who are growing and they now have two bones instead of one. Spoon splints are the way to go, have the technician teach you how to change the bandage at home and save yourself 30 bucks, trust me we like owners that want to learn.
P.S. Breeders are not vets, talk to your vet about your options, pros and cons of both sides and listen.

November 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm
(48) Maria says:

Our 3 year old pit broke a weight bearing toe about 4 days ago. He also had some bad cuts that needed sutered* on this toe. I’m worried about the splint and the damage it may cause. He’s a very good dog, licks it every once in a while but no chewing and has been getting around ok. Is it better to keep the splint on because of the lacerations (one on top and pad underneath is cut, ouch)or will the splint cause more problems? I love my dog so much I don’t want to do anything to make this harder on him. The vet knows we are trying to watch the budget, we told him that before he decided it’d be best to do the splint and we have gone to him before so I don’t feel like he’s trying to get one over on us I just don’t want something little like this to turn into a huge problem. Has anyone heard of just having that toe removed?

November 4, 2008 at 8:01 pm
(49) ryan says:

Thank you for all this great information.
My wife and I returned home the other night to find our (approx 7 yr) husky sheppard mix all cut up and limping. It turned out he had been in a fight with a racoon. I treated all of his wounds after cleaning with a vet perscription for open deep wounds i had recently bought for another animal. It appears he may have one or more broken toes. I have kept it wraped and cautios not to let him walk on it. financially, i cannot afford (another) large vet bill. So, I have taken everyones recommendations and caring for his foot on my own. I know if things get worse, then i will deff take him in but for now it seems it just will take time and care.

November 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm
(50) Eva says:

My 130 lb Great Dane broke his inside toe on his right hind foot. It actually looks like he got his nail caught on something and jerked the toe sideways, because his nail is at a slight right angle to his toe. There is swelling at the joint where it meets the leg along with some bruising. I went to the vet, he manipulated the toe but couldn’t quite find out whether it was a break or dislocation of the joint. We are taking the dog back for an xray in 2 days (8 days after the injury occurred) to see what is wrong. After reading all the comments, I know that I will not allow Bailey’s toe to be cast or splinted, but we will be more careful in not letting him run (almost impossible with a large dog). He walks on the foot, the toe is still swollen, but not as bad as before. MY CONCERN is – will it be OK if it’s dislocated – or does he need an operation to repair it?

December 6, 2008 at 11:02 am
(51) Darlene McFarling says:

Our little shih-tzu had his toe broken two weeks ago tomorrow – on her left foot – the longest toe that takes the brunt/stability of her getting around easily. Her vet (well-trusted) – sedated Swisha and then x-rayed her foot – while she was still sedated her put a “stiff” cast on her left and wrapped it around her body – this is to remain on her leg for the next 6 weeks. She is on medication for arthritis – (previcox and tramnadol – 50 mg but she only takes a 1/4 pill x 2 daily) -she is getting around very well.
We trust our vet and pray that Swisha will be fine SOON

January 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm
(52) Saders says:

I have a seven year old bullmastiff and I think she may have broken her toe. It is a front paw middle toe. She limps for a couple days and I have given her baby asprin and glucosamine and she seems to get better. I took her for a good walk in the snow today and she is limping again. Not a money problem but I do not like taking her to the vet, its like a walk in clinic, she will come home with some new ailment and since I really do beleive its either a toe (one looks a little distended but not swollen) or she rolled on her ankle, can I wrap her paw with a tensor bandage just to keep it stable? I would take her to a vet if she seemed in discomfort but she doesn’t, just a limp…no whimper or even a slow-down (well, she is a mastiff…pretty slow as it is..lol)

January 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm
(53) Abby says:

I have a chihuahua that we got from the shelter a few days ago and took her to the vet and the vet said that she has 3 broken toes, They were broken at the middle section of her foot. What the vet did was replace the bones to where they are supposed to be (re-break them) and then put a cast on and hopefully they will fuse back together. The ideal situation was to place pins in each of her toes for full recovery but we will have to see if the cast alone just helps. It was about 450 for the replacement and cast and it would have been about another 500 for the pins if I had put those in.

January 20, 2009 at 9:46 am
(54) Jon says:

Just got back from the vet…

My 4 month old pound puppy (which we’ve had for 2 days) fractured his right front index at P1 (the first joint from the “paw”/metacarsals. The vet recommends full blown surgury, with anesthesia and everything. Seems a little excessive based on posts here. Now what? 2nd opinions?

January 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm
(55) Stacey says:

I read these posts and still had 4 vets and 3 breeders that recommended splinting. One breeder did not.

One month later I have been through hell. I did splint, with changes every 4 days or so. Had a pressure sore that needed emergency surgery. The splint was only on for a bit over 3 weeks. Enough damage was done. This 6 month show dog had a rehab vet do a double take yesterday. The vet is not optimistic. The foot is flat, pasterns down extremely bad.

We are rehabing with underwater treadmill and swimming in the tank. We will see if this promising dog can be saved.

January 31, 2009 at 12:13 pm
(56) Jen says:

My 4 month old lab broke his 4th front toe on his crate. It was displaced so they reduced the fracture and splinted the entire leg. The first two weeks went fine and the second xray looked great. They changed the splint at this point and then it all went down hill. About 4 days into the 2nd splint it became loose. We had two days to go to out next appt and that night, the dog got the splint off in the middle of the night. (with e-collar on). he had sores on his pads and mid leg. We took him to ER vet that night and they gave us antibiotics and told us how to clean the sores daily. they did not resplint as the toe was 3 weeks into healing. At our regular vet appt 2 days later the vet did an xray because the dog was holding his paw up and it looked very floppy (lame?). The toe was still healed nice but now there is a lucency( dark spot) in his ulna which the vet doesnt know what it is. possibly and infection or atrophy from disuse. she Re-splinted over the sores for fear of a new break in this weakend area. this was 5 days ago, the dog got the splint off again this morning. the sores look better and I think his foot is just ichy, but still he wont bear weight. when taking him to the vet this am, they just resplinted to get him back to status quo and will rexray at his tueday appt. I’m thinking that I dont want the splint anymore and he needs to start using the leg or he’s going to lose it. does anyone have advice or opinions? I dont know what the right thing to do is .

February 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm
(57) Claire says:

Thanks for sharing all your stories. They have however left me more uncertain about the current treatment my vet is prescribing. Two weeks ago my gorgeous show english springer was injured and broke her back hind outside toe.
An xray revealed a break and a small piece of bone splintered. The dog was able to walk without any pain we were concerned because it was also bleeding.

The operated at a cost of £600. This although expensive I am more than happy to pay this for my dog to be happy.

When I collected her we were told that the bandage would have to be changed twice a week at an additional cost of £50 per change. At first I trusted the vets judgement but got concerned because after the operation I was told they may have to remove her toe but will first try to encourage it to set on its own (with a soft splint). I didnt understand why I would put my dog through this if it could be removed without any further discomfort to the dog (its not weight bearing).

She has been incredibly good and has not attacked her bandage. She has however struggled with the restriction of the bandage. The way it is bandaged restricts her achilles tendon movement. I raised this with the Vets and they advised they need to bandage this far up the leg as it allows them to be more supportive. I did ask if this would affect her in the future and they were a little vague putting the onerous on us – if we follow there advice their should not be any future problems.

I ignored my instinct and have continued to take her twice a week.

Today however I am so furious at what I see as inflicting unnecessary pain to her. We have done everything the vet has asked of us. We have tried our uttermost to keep an incredibly lively springer calm. Our dog has gone from an extremely active lifestyle to “loo” walks only.
In the UK we are currently in a heavy snow period and it has been olympian to keep the bandages dry to prevent infection. We have also been giving her antibiotics twice a day in accordance with the advice.

Today our vet removed the stitches and the toe looked normal size no longer swollen. The vet indicated that this was a good thing and that the wound was healing well. The vet also said that if it wasnt such appalling weather she would leave it uncovered to fully heal.
The vet then proceeded to remove a scab which covered the wound that the stitches held together to check for any signs of infection. This then reopened the wound. The vet then soaked the wound in iodine dabbed down and redressed. Advising us to continue to keep this dry!!!!
I am now really worried my poor dog is now in pain again due to the open wound. This all seems like a lot of pain for a toe that could be removed but seems to be fine. My dog has only limped since being at the vets.
I have also thought that a scab is a bodys way of naturally protecting a wound from foreign antibodies that can cause infection.

What should I do? My instinct is screaming stop this fallacy but my head is thinking these people are professionals surely they wouldnt put a dog or an animal through unnecessary pain……


February 12, 2009 at 7:50 pm
(58) Amy says:

all broken bones are different, and the age of the dog plays a role in the healing process. my whippet puppy broke his toe at 10 weeks (posts about this are above…) i still say i would NEVER splint for a broken toe! every splint story ends badly… from infected sores to loss of circulation and amputation.

just my 2 cents.

February 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(59) Chris says:

My son’s dog broke two toes, one on the front outside and one on the rear inside. The vet recommeneded amputation because they rarely heal. He amputated the front toe (only shows three toes there) and then on the back foot he amputated the wrong toe. Yikes! The vet felt bad and didn’t charge us but we had to come back in 6 weeks to have the actual broken toe amputated. He sent him home in a cast with no direction on changing it. After two weeks I left the dog alone for 45 minutes and came in the house and the smell knocked me over. He had chewed off his cast and ripped out all the stitches. I don’t know what would have happened if I had left him alone for any longer. (So sorry Curisa for the loss of your beloved pet). He was very sick and infected. Bandage changes every 2-3 days and antibiotics. Very scary and lots of money. That was several years ago. He is completely missing 3 toes and has since broken two more. I’m taking him to the vet this week. He needs vitamins, calcium or something. He’s an 8 yo weim and very muscular and active. He lives in the mountains with my son and hikes a lot. Bottom line, we never should have allowed the initial surgeries (ignorance).

February 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm
(60) blyths1 says:

Our 3 yr. old blue pit appears to have broken her front outside toe running through the forest about 5 days ago. While she is not holding it up she is limping and has cried when it was accidentally pressed on. She sustained a similar injury about 8 mos ago and we watched her closely instead of running to the vet (as we have done over the last 25 yrs w/ our other dogs). She was walking normally within 2 weeks and we believe the toe healed completely although we never confirmed with an xray that there was a fracture. This injury seems more severe but again since she isn’t holding it up and walks gingerly on it (it is a non weight bearing toe) we will monitor her and only allow leased walks till she appears to walk normally again. I think I have a wonderful vet but have spent many thousands of dollars in the past on our animals (far more than in 20 yrs of raising 2 active sports-minded boys to manhood!). I have found that common sense and close observation is a good start unless the animal is in chronic pain or there is an wound that needs immediate attention.
This blog has been extremely helpful, allowing us to gain some insight and I will post a follow up on our sweet girl’s condition even though I acknowledge every situation is unique.

February 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm
(61) Jen says:

Well here we are 3 weeks later, the lucency turned out to be ostemyelitis, a bone infection. He’s been on antibiotics and still in a splint (6 weeks now). The infection is improving but still there so doggie has at least 2 more weeks in splint. He hates it, his sores aren’t really healing because we can’t take the stupid splint off. I don’t know how he got this bone infection but I really wish we never splinted to begin with. My dog is unhappy and has to wear his e-collar 24/7 other wise he is at his leg. What a horrible expierience

February 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm
(62) Colleen says:

Hi, this is my first visit to this site and all your comments have been very helpful. My 1 yr old pit mix has had an intermittent limp ever since I found him on the side of the road 6 months ago near death. He was a stray that I found on my way home from work. What a good boy he is. The limping was mild and seldom. Seemed to be only after he would be very active and playing outside, but a days rest would remedy the problem for several weeks again. So I attributed it to muscle strain or possible tendonitis. My vet said to just watch it. Well a couple weeks ago it got worse and he was limping every day. I had him x-rayed and it seems he may have two broken toes on his inner right front paw. The vet seemed unsure however but put him in a splint anyway and sent him home on rimadyl. He was miserable. The splint was the full length of his leg and had been cut off jagged with sharp corners on either side. The thin layer of foam over this had worn through by the time I got him home the same day. When he tried to lay down the top part of the splint pushed into his shoulder and started to wear the hair off by that evening. Also, this happy go lucky pup started to snap and snarl at our other dogs when they tried to approach him to sniff his splint or try to get him to play. This was very much out of character for him. He couln’t sleep that night and was up turning and spinning, getting his splinted foot caught in the bedding. By 2 AM I had the scissors out and that splint was history. He slept like a rock the rest of the night. After reading you folk’s comments I think I will just leash walk him, keep him quiet and give the rimadyl for the next 6 weeks and see how things go.
I just wanted to add that I know there are injuries that require casting and splinting, but please don’t be afraid to listen to your gut instinct that tells you the treatment is being counterproductive or causing even more harm and pain to your pet, such as pressure sores or misshapen toes. Talk to your vet and if he/she can’t work with you to find an appropriate solution, well there are many vets out there.
And, one more comment, however belated, to Kip from Oct, 2008 and anyone else who feels the way he does about people commenting on what their pet care has cost them. I know I have spent a ton of money on my pets, especially this one and by saying that I’m not complaining and am happy to spend whatever I need to keep them happy, healthy and pain free. The thing of it is, is that we just expect better service and our pets not to be in misery because of that service we spend so much on. That’s all.
Oh, and a treat filled Kong will help keep them quiet and at least stimulate their minds even if you can’t exercise them for awhile.

March 1, 2009 at 1:27 am
(63) la says:

My 10 yr old golden retriever Duke broke his back leg weight bearing toe 3 weeks ago. Though I read this blog, I still believed it was best for him to go see a vet. Xrays confirmed broken toe. Splint installed. First week goes ok, second week back to vet for rewrap- still ok. by end of third week I notice that Duke is limping more and NEVER putting his foot down. I take off splint. HUGE raw sores on both sides of his paw. Don’t have any antibiotics. I will take him back for that, but never, never again for a broken toe. Wish Duke well!

March 29, 2009 at 4:00 pm
(64) Jamie says:

I have a 3.5 year old boxer who has a hairline fracture in her middle right front toe. My vet gave us anitbotics, Rimedyl, and told us to soak her foot for 5 minutes each day in epsom salts. (sorry I’m a terrible speller). First anitbiotic was Cephilexan (I take that for sinus infections– gave her terrible diahria, so switched to amoxacilin and was fine. No bandaging or anything like that. She will not let me soak her foot, but its not swollen. I think it would feel good if she’d only let me do it- she hates water and weighs almost as much as me so she wins the fight. Gave her pain meds for a couple days, but make her act funny- Its been about two weeks and she occasionally licks her foot. I don’t know if this is a sign she’s in pain??? We were playing fetch in the yard and she stopped short and held her paw up so I made her come in the house. She’s so bored, but I can’t have her hurt her foot more. Not sure what else I can do for her- vet says to rest…. poor doggy- Hope everyone else is getting along ok!!!!

April 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm
(65) blyths1 says:

This is a follow up to my post on 2/18/09—Our pup has healed extremely well, although her broken outside toe is still larger than the others and her foot appears to be a somewhat flatter shape. She has no residual pain and I can fully manipulate it w/out her pulling away or acting as if it is still sensitive. We kept her on leash for nearly a month (to avoid her from running after squirrels/birds) and made sure to walk her every day once she was able to walk with out too much difficulty. I started using her backpack which has about 3-4 lbs of weight in it by the 3rd week to drain some of her excess youthful dog energy since we weren’t allowing her to run free in our wooded backyard.
I am grateful for all the blog entries that gave me some insight on others’ experiences.

April 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(66) Carol says:

this is such a useful site. My seven and half year old rescued greyhound broke one of her outside toes two weeks ago – she has a dressing for cushioned support, which has been changed three times. Will probably leave the toe undressed when we go back to the vet in a few days time. We go for leash walks and she seems to be doing fine – biggest difficulty is making sure she doesn’t over exert herself. Time and common sense seem to be the best approach to healing.

April 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm
(67) Diane says:

My 8 year old Pembroke Corgi broke his toe two weeks ago while competing in an agility match.
My vet soft splinted his foot (soft padding gauze, covered with vet-wrap, taped on the bottom and the top of the bandage with Elastikon. I was a vet-tech many years ago, so I purchased ample supplies of vetwrap, elastikon, and gauze wrap. I remove his bandage daily or every other day, make sure it is clean and dry, sprinkle it with ample amounts of Gold Bond powder, and re-wrap it.
There are no sores at all, and he seems to be healing nicely. He gets leash-walked only and it sequestered in his own room away from my other dogs to keep him quiet. He is also on Rimadyl to minimize swellig and pain.
He is a crazy agility dog with a very high work drive, so we have to make sure this heals properly before he can go back to competition. I’m thinking that at minimum it will be 6 weeks before we even dare to begin a mild exercise program again, but we want to do this right. So far, so good!
we have to keep him quiet

May 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm
(68) equiluv says:

About 20 years ago, my smooth fox terrier broke his toe playing. My vet said to keep him quiet (right;-)but did not splint it. The dog healed and even finished his championship with a barely noticiable slightly askew front toe. Last week my Jack Russell broke his toe and my vet (different state than first time)put his leg in a splint. The dog is depressed…I think I might remove it and keep him quiet.

May 21, 2009 at 8:44 pm
(69) Michelle says:

My active dog (whippet) dislocated his toe and tore his ligaments & tendons. I took him to a general vet and to an orthopedic vet for a 2nd opinion. After an xray, they both advised the exact same treatment: immobilize the area by wrapping the toe/bottom part of the leg with heavy padding (gauze/cottony bandages), secure with a spoon splint, and wrap the split with sticky bandages to keep it in place. Keep it dry and keep the dog as inactive as possible. They recommend that I not wrap it on my own. Here is what I’ve learned:

1. Do NOT self diagnose an issue with your pet. Always see a vet for a proper diagnosis. Even an assumed disclocated or broken toe can really be tendon and/or ligament damage. The wrong diagnosis can result in further injury and permanent damage costing more time, money, and pain for you and your pet in the long run. These injuries need immediate attention.

2. Do not assume any injury has a one time, short term fix. Bandages/splints and injuries need to be monitored regularly and frequently. My dog’s splint has to be checked and changed every 5 – 9 days. He will be in one for up to 8 weeks.

Yes, he was very uncomfortable for the first few days, which was heartbreaking, but he got very used it after that.

3. Be an active participant in your pet’s care. Ask questions, monitor your pet closely, and LISTEN and follow the vet’s instructions. I insist that I see the injury during every visit so that I can also monitor progress, sores, etc. If you don’t trust your vet, find another one or simply get a second opinion.

5. Pain meds and sedatives can mask the pain which may result in further injury. Never self prescribe medications!

4. Pets cost money and require a lot of patience and committment. Unfortunately they get injured. Accept this fact. Shortcuts are not an option!

I hope this helps!

May 25, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(70) emma says:

My current dog weighs 75 pounds and is extremely active, similar to Rhodesian Ridgeback, about 3 yrs old. She injured her left front foot and was limping for a day, 2 days later the middle front toe has swollen. I am walking her on a leash for a couple weeks and watching the toe, which I think may be broken. She picks it up when standing and seems to know she needs to slow down. I am not giving her aspirin as any pain will do more to keep her off it than pain prevention. I also have a broken toe and am limping so we are simpatico.
About expensive and intrusive Vet care: When I was young I adopted a Mastiff who my country vet guessed had fallen from the back of a pick up truck, broken all 4 feet, and had her belly flesh scraped away on the pavement. He said there was no point in splinting any foot as all 4 feet had broken toes. She was able to walk in 2 weeks after resting, an odd gait at first, later able to run and play normally and she lived another 7 years. Her feet were deformed but she had no pain once bones knitted with nature’s healing.
I don’t understand how the vets I went to 45 years ago treated my animals with observation and common sense and why the new vets seem to need xrays, surgery, splints and so on. They seem to have lost (or never have gotten) confidence in their own judgment and are deprived of experience without machinery.
My beloved dog of 10 years died of sudden liver failure after having his teeth cleaned under anesthetic and being given 4 inoculations at the same time. I had never had a dog’s teeth cleaned before but the current vet insisted it would prolong his life. Well, maybe the obvious connection is wrong but I am very suspect of the enormous bills and seemingly bad advice being given to dog owners these days.
As for the guilt of not spending money on animals, I refuse to buy it.
I do everything to stay out of a human hospital or go to a doctor and try all natural things first. I am not ignorant but aware people have treated themselves and their animals for thousands of years without going bankrupt over the costs, or nowadays, dying from the treatment.
I thank god for the old time vets who encouraged me to let nature heal what it can. I do all I am able for my animals welfare but refuse to put them through pain and suffering, at great cost (or not), in order to not feel guilty because somebody else thinks the amount of testing and procedures and money spent indicates my ability to care for my animal or nurtures that living being’s life. Killing with kindness is some version of this.
I learned to have vets see my animals healed without spending and doing all they wanted me to do for simple injuries or problems so they can understand natural healing. A good dog food, proper exercise, friends, comfortable shelter and living their breed’s purpose – life is much simpler than some would want us to think.
I trust my instincts, know my animals, and will challenge a vet’s opinion if it doesn’t meet common sense, and I stop treatment that is causing damage.
If my Lassie does not seem to be healing up within a week I will call for an opinion and go in if it feels right at the time and post the results when all is resolved. As for now, she is hunting and running in her dreams.

May 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm
(71) Kelly says:


I have a 1.5 year old Jack Russell Terrier who we think may have broken a toe yesterday. He was stepped on by our 1 year old Boxer (yes i know, two pups are nuts!) and let out a yelp as they were being let out to do their business. When my JRT came back inside, he was favoring his back right foot and only bearing weight occasionally.

As of today, he is not putting any weight on it except to stand on his hind legs to see what Im cooking on the stove. He doesnt yelp when I squeeze his foot, only when I bend the individual toe. It is noticeably swollen. Also, it is his back, right, third toe.

I’ve read the comments above but am wondering if anyone knows if my JRT has an injury to a weight-bearing toe? If so, should I try my luck with wrapping it or take him to the vet? We’re strapped for cash and obviously want the best for our dog but dont want to be cleaned out either!


June 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm
(72) Samantha says:

My 10 week old boxer mix puppy broke his toe, almost 2 weeks ago. His middle toe on his hind leg. The vet has it in a full hard splint. I had him at the vet yesterday to change it (should be changed 2 times a week). The vet was on vacation so one of the vet techs changed it. Last night he was whinning and chewing at it, which it has never done before. So this morning he was still doing the same thing. So I decided to take it off. Come too his entire leg is covered in sores! I am very pissed (excuse my english) with the vet tech for not informing me about this. She had even taped over all his sores. His leg is pretty raw. I can tell his toe is still broken, but I am leaving it off until Monday when I see the vet. I mean if a human breaks their toe, you just tape it to another toe. A little extreme for a dog to have his leg in a full splint. Plus it cost me $22 every time they change his splint! They just want your money. I should of been a vet! Ha

June 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm
(73) Jennifer says:

My 3 year old Westie is going on 7 weeks of limping when at a medium gate. She seams ok to walk on the back hind leg at a slow pace and on carpet or grass. When she runs full speed she uses it but I think its because the amount of pressure on the foot is minimal. She seams to really avoid pressure on the paw. She will let me massage all over the foot and hip and spine but when I get to the paw she pulls away. We have done two weeks of pain meds and anti inflammatory, 6 weeks of rest and limited jumping. Im not sure how long this is going to take for her to heal. And am I supposed to encourage walking on it to build back the muscle tone? We have been to the vet and he said give it time.

July 4, 2009 at 10:41 pm
(74) Amy says:

UPDATE to original posts July 2008…

My whippet who broke his toe in July 2008 at 10 weeks its doing great. Pointed towards his championship and just lure coursed for the first time. Toe is fine – would never know its broken.

When he broke it, I did take him in, and verified it via xray. Vet wanted to splint for six weeks. My whippet’s breeder and breeders vet (who has whippets) absolutely told me DO NOT SPLINT – i went against my vets advice and took the advice of people who have been in the breed and dealt with broken toes.

everyone has to make their own decision about their dogs… i agree an xray should be done so you know it is broke, but i disagree with following everything the vet says – but i have been involved with breeding and showing dogs for 20 years.

July 5, 2009 at 1:14 pm
(75) Christy O says:

Thank you to everyone for such great feedback and advice. I was visiting a friend and their neighbor was selling Chorkie (Chihuahua & Yorkie mix) puppies. I picked one out and bought one. After about an hour of holding the puppy, I put him down to observe him walk and noticed he was limping. I was told that he fell from a moderate height. The seller told me they had him seen and assured me the puppy was fine but I was skeptical to take him without absolutely knowing what I was getting into. Not sure if the toe is broken or if it’s the whole foot. The seller has a responsibility to confirm with a vet before I proceed to adopt him.

Instead of choosing another puppy I told the seller, have the puppy seen by a vet and follow-up with me. I definitely wanted the puppy and offered to pay half the cost of the vet bill.

I agree that having a pet means you have to be committed to the cause when something goes wrong. However, it doesn’t mean that pet owners need to feel like they’re at the mercy of veterinarian professionals or the industry to go about treatments that may cause more harm than good.

I had an $800 bill for a sick rabbit. I should have gone with my instinct to have him put down because there was no quality of life after everything I had gone through to listen to the vet. Aside from what it did to my son to see it and then bring my pet home, my poor bunny died the following day.

I applaud this site for being a huge resource. We all have our previous stories. Thank you for being such a great resource to have pet owners get together to tell their stories to support a community of pet lovers.

July 8, 2009 at 2:20 pm
(76) PJ says:

Our 9 month old St. Bernard puppy was recently diagnosed with a broken toe (non weight bearing) on her right rear foot. Our vet told us that because it is a non weight bearing toe, a cast or vet wrap was not necessary and would only increase the risk of other problems (infection, etc.). We were instructed to limit activity, apply ice packs and give pain medication. This seems to be working well and our puppy is getting better every day!

July 13, 2009 at 10:56 am
(77) SALLY-ANNE says:

Took my 3 month old whippet puppy to vet this morning as he trapped his front paw in door on Saturday, x-ray confirmed he has broken all four of his toes and has a spoon support and soft wrapping. He is very distressed at the moment and will not settle – vet says he needs to change wrapping in 10 days and re xray – just hope his paw heals quickly but will have to keep him away from my four other fully grown whippets.

July 16, 2009 at 7:53 am
(78) marty says:

4 month bichon with 2 broken (weight-bearing) toes. Vet said opinions differ, but he splints for 2 wks, then removes to allow for bone development. Puppy can do what he feels like doing, except splint must be kept completely DRY. We used sandwich bags with twist ties when ground was wet. He recovered from the anesthesia and started running and playing like nothing wrong with foot. the “no chew” wrap is so bitter that he never chewed it until the very bottom was dragged off. At that point we were nearing the end of 2 wks and we watched him pretty carefully. Splint removed by vet who says he will have a slight limp for 2 more weeks and then a full recovery. He’s running again already! Cost was $115 for x-rays and $45 for splint application, incl removal. $160 well spent. I think many of the horror stories about splinting come from the tape and wrap being soaked through with water or saliva. I got the very same advice from another vet when I asked for opinion on setting the toes…for a full recovery with normal gait, It should be done.

July 16, 2009 at 11:34 am
(79) Madeline says:

I’m sooo happy I ran into this site. My rotty/shepherd cross has what I’m quite sure is a broken toe as well. Either that or a sprain or something near the toe. She still walks on it without complaining at all, she only cries when she gets up or tries to go upstairs or jump on the bed….she’s even fine going downstairs…therefore I think it may be a sprain as it only hurts her in certain positions. Anyway, I am feeling terrible about not taking her to the vet, it’s not that I wouldn’t spend the money on her but I really truly believe most of these things are best healing themselves anyway. Humans do not get leg splints for broken toes! Vets need to make money and my past experience with dogs and cats is that they won’t tell you anything for free, there always needs to be so many unecessary extras. Of course there are many times when you SHOULD take an animal to the vet, but this site is helping ease my confusion about not taking her now…. P.S. with past animals I’ve spend HUNDREDS of dollars on older animals only for them to eventually tell me the animal needs to be put down.

July 22, 2009 at 9:15 am
(80) Debbie says:

I am not going to feel bad for not taking my dog in for xrays for a sprained or broken toe… and to the one wayyyy up on this thread who asked would I not take my kids in for a toe , NO I did not take my kids to the hosptial for broken toes they do not do anything for a broken toe for a human anyway!!!! I have right beside me a ten year old 115 king shepard/husky dog named Buster. He does have the old man lumps and you can tell age is really starting to catch up with him. I refuse to take him to the vet to be hurt by the vet so that they can make a buck. I know its a broken toe, and it will heal, its doing better already and he broke it 3 days ago and he is already starting to put more weight on it. Yes it is important to take care of your doggies and kids but I would not take my kid in for a broken toe and I will not do it for a dog either. By the way I did not coddle my kids, and did not take them to the doctor for every little boo-boo and they are now 21 and 25 and doing just fine…. I am tired of hearing about vets scaring you to death and talking you into doing things that are very painful and I think somewhat hinders healing. Now if his toe was off to the side, or very swollen I would have taken him in, when its sore and slightly swollen, I am a huge believer in give it a few days and see how it goes.

August 5, 2009 at 8:05 pm
(81) Dawn says:

I have 2 Dobie/Rott, Elwood and Jake (brothers). Elwood broke a toe (front left weight bearing toe). First intial exam was told by vet it was a slight fracture, but second set of xrays(2 months later) shows that it is broken and shifted itself above the first digit. Did not splint or cast for it wasn’t recommended by vet, but now they want to amputate the toe for a splint/cast won’t “fix” the toe but cause more medical issues. Any thoughts or comments or websites I can “research” more. Amputate seems so harsh and everything I have researched so far talks about tumors/cancers

August 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm
(82) Chad Reynolds says:

Just think this way. Humans have two feet and never get a cast for a broken toe just maybe pain med and crutches if they’re a wuss. Dogs displace weight over four feet…. soooo why a cast. Get a prescription for Rimadyl for your dogs weight for about 2 weeks longer if your vet will let you (next issue) and keep them moving easy. TA-daaaa. If it’s a bad break on a center toe then vet rap the whole paw up to the writs lightly to let the pad expand with weight and not cut off circulation. Then use a shell of medical tap over that rap high up the forearm to secure it (not tight!!!!). Take it off at night crate the dog to prevent much moving and re apply in morning. Keep very easy for at least two weeks but that’s about it. 5-6 weeks is a joke!

August 12, 2009 at 9:00 am
(83) Buddy says:

I am so thankful for all your comments! Our 7 months old Lab has a broken toe, non weightbaring, on one of his back legs. We were hoping that it was just sprained but the vet did an x-ray during his castration, which was a couple of days ago and it’s definitely broken. He has some padding and a bandage wrapped around it and is walking fine on it. We’re only taking him out into the garden on his lead at the moment and are due back at the vets tomorrow to change the bandage. She was going to speak to a specialist to see if a plate might have to be fitted. With all the advice that has been given here, I really think that this would be a bit over the top. Will still see what she says tomorrow but my mind has been put at ease somewhat through reading these posts! Thanks so much.

August 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm
(84) Jennifer says:

I am sooooo glad I read all these comments before taking my pup to the vet.
I have a 9 year old Chi/beagle mix, who while rough housing with our German Shepherd got his toe broke (back middle). He is still lifting it to walk or run, but will put it down to sit or stand……..I am sure it is broken. It is just slightly swollen around the toe itself. I was contemplating taking him to the vet, but after reading these entries I have decided that I will NOT!
I think baby aspirin and slow recovery………….I am keeping him away from our other dog and making him rest in the laundry room……..

September 8, 2009 at 9:35 pm
(85) Lois says:

I wish I had seen this site a few weeks ago before our 9 week old dane cross english mastiff broke her non weight bearing front toe.took her to the vet xray splint medication $400.00 told to have the splint changed once a week at $20..00 a time for 4-6 weeks after the second week and the third change of splint I decided to take of the splint for good she was cast from her shoulder, the smell was dreadful even with it changed every 4 days.Im sooo glad I took things into my own hands she was getting sores starting to form and her foot is now totally flattered ,no toe definition,Im hoping it will right its self.Its been a week and a half since removing it and she isnt even limping now.We keep her quiet still and continue the medication but Ill never splint another broken toe.will return at the end of 6 weeks for follow up xray.

September 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm
(86) Nancy says:

Bandit, our 7 yr old lab/pitt bull mix (100 lbs) appears to have a broken toe (weight bearing, front paw.) I’ve read comments and none have commented about swelling…his paw has swollen in the past 4 hrs. to a balloon. I have Rimadyl and will give that. But I am wondering if others have seen significant swelling with their dogs’ broken toes?


October 1, 2009 at 10:29 am
(87) Crystal says:

I have a 4 month old boxer puppy. We took her for x-rays yesterday and found out she has a small fracture on her “pinky” (inner) toe of her back right leg. The day after it was fractured her paw swelled up really bad. My fiance and I gave her lots of water and all she wanted to do was lay around, and that was fine with us. The swelling went down a little bit each day. It’s been 5 days and it’s still a bit swollen (the vet squeezing and poking it yesterday didn’t help) but she walks fine, runs and plays. The only thing is it is obviously still tender so if she steps down a certain way she’ll lift her paw.
Her vet wants us to cast her whole leg and return every 2 weeks for xrays and re-casting… I called my family friend who is a champion dog trainer and who specializes in boxers. His recomendation was to keep her rested, give her extra calcium, and if we must wrap it ourselves ($3 for the wrap) to do so, just to keep her from applying pressure on it for a while. He advised to just keep an eye on it and she will be fine. As humans we don’t have to go through all these extensive procedures for a fractured toe, so why should our doggy babies be any different?

October 5, 2009 at 4:43 am
(88) Tammy says:

I have a 2 yr old Great Dane that has had a broken toe while traveling to the lower 48′s, after spending lots of $$ (in which I didnt mind) it was in WA to where the vet said to let it heal on its own and give pain meds.(such as children tylonol/motrin) keep the activity level down,only when letting her outside. Followed the directions they gave us and it healed.Now I have an 8 month old Great Dane pup with a broken toe (m,ust be from the running around playing and their weight) and I have been giving her the childrens pain meds according to the weight chart, and keeping her off her feet as much as possible, and she is doing great, and it is healing alot faster. When a splin is put on a dog for a broken toe, the toe does not heal right and could cause more damage, as well as the part that is wrapped from sweating,etc. I strongly suggest instead of spending lots of money taking them to a vet to give childrens pain meds according to the dogs weight and keeping them down as mmuch as possible. If this remedy can heal a big “ol” great dane, Im very sure it will be good for any other dog as well!

October 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(89) Mel says:

Just want to mention that NONE OF YOU ARE VETS!! you should not assume that you read on the internet that something was ok therefore its the right thing to do. If your pet has an injury, go to the vet. They are the experts. Ask lots of questions and get a thorough understanding of why the vet is making the decision he/she is making. A broken toe is not always the same in every animal and can lead to long term damage, arthritis, etc if not treated right. I am not a vet and I also have a pup with a broken toe and if you just talk to your vet you will understand why they are making the decisions they make. If you truly think your vet doesn’t care about the animal and just wants to make money then your vet is a quack and you need to get a new one

October 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm
(90) FC says:

My very active WFT (wire fox terrier) began to limp (favoring her back left foot). After calling vet we limited her activitiy for a few days to leash and backyard only– she was happy, eating, etc. and sometimes would bear weight and other times not. It improved within 3-4 days and she was her old self again, using her foot, etc. However a week later, I noticed a lump/bump on the top of her foot when I was bathing her (she’s very fuzzy and the bump had not been evident the week before). I brought her to the vet, they x-rayed, etc. and the bump turned out to be swelling from a broken metatarsal (the second metatarsal bone on left hind foot. They explained that since only one bone was broken, the two healthy ones on either side of the broken one, acted like a natural splint for the broken bone. Because she was NOT in pain, was using her foot completely without hesitation, eating and happy as ever, the vet said to limit her exercize for a few weeks (no jumping, no long walks) to allow it time to heal. He did not recommend wrapping, pain meds or cast and said it would heal well on it’s own. It’s very surprising how many different treatments are recommended for the same type of injury. My vet had indicated that if more than one bone had been broken, a surgery may have been necessary depending upon the severity of the break, etc. I’m just happy that my dog is okay and that she’s eating and healthy–worth the $150 paid for visit, xrays and glucosamine. I have gone to the same vet clinic for 20+ yrs and am very happy with how honestly and professionally they have always been with me.

November 4, 2009 at 9:37 am
(91) Roni says:

I have a 12 weeks old German Shepherd, I took her to the vet yesrterday because she wasnt bearing any weight on her fromt right paw, turns out she has 3 broken toes! Im not sure whether she needs to have those splinted up or not, i was reading all the posts it seems like others only had one toes broken but not 3.

November 29, 2009 at 12:04 am
(92) Bebe says:

Like others have posted, I regret allowing my six-month-old Doberman puppy to be splinted. She has a broken front index toe. I had the wrap checked about twice a week, and she still developed very severe pressure sores. So far, my vet bill is running at just about $2,000. I brought my girl home tonight and am praying that both the toe and the sores heal. Not feeling that great about the whole situation.

In our case, the break was caused by a woman letting her (known-to-be) aggressive dog off-leash along with her three other dogs. The first went after my puppy, and the others quickly followed. She was bitten on the ear and head…and her front toe was broken.

The sores from the splint are so bad, and I’m praying my poor girl will heal properly.

December 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm
(93) June Phillips says:

A year ago my 7 year old Pitbull broke her toe while running in the snow. She had a cast that had to be changed every week for about a month. When she was chewing at the cast before the week was up I took it off and found severe redness and infection that seemed worst than the pain of a broken toe. Meanwhile over a thousand bills later, I wish I would have taken care if it myself. She is doing find, but no running in the ice this winter.

December 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm
(94) Rita says:

I have a chocolate lab who is 13 years old and he’s always been in the best of health and happy and so with age comes problems and this is where I am at a loss. I first noticed some moles and fatty nodes under different parts of his skin in various places on his body, but then he had 1 of his eyes swell up and a 3rd lid is raised 1/2 up his eye and we took him in again, they said that he probably had a growth hitting a nerve in his neck/head area and that older dogs age differently. She took test which revealed 2 lines out of 5 lines that had higher white cells, did a fecal test and got more pain medicine, eye drops and then a few days later he started to cough and I took him in and the vet put him on Tempuril and it helped with it until next we noticed his front left paw sollen and also some clear liquid with blood on top of his paw, so in we go again, this time she found a heart murmur and said there was nothing more to be done if we didn’t want to spend a lot more on x-rays and MRI’s, we have already spent over 600.00 and it hasn’t helped. So now he is on pain medicine and his paw is swelling again, it’s his last toe on the left side and I just don’t know what else to do. He won’t stay off the foot, but yet won’t let me touch it either, so what can anybody suggest? I don’t think he is all that old, 13 isn’t old.

December 23, 2009 at 11:58 pm
(95) Kenny says:

# 43 has GOT to be kidding me…

December 27, 2009 at 12:54 am
(96) amy says:

I have a nine week old poodle that jumped off of the couch and now she is limping. She yelped really loud when it happened but now she is running and playing just not putting pressure on that paw. It is not swollen but it has been three days. Just wondering should I take him to the vet?
Thank you

December 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm
(97) Jay says:

I figured my dog broke a toe day before Christmas Eve. He is a 60lb shepherd cross, and lets me touch his toe, but lets me know its sore. I cannot afford to take him to a vet, so very much appreciate all the comments. He will not walk on paw outside in the snow, but does put weight on it in the house. So for now, I keep him quiet—no long walks, playing with other dogs—but I won’t wrap it and we’ll see what happens….thanks

January 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(98) Helga says:

I can only strongly recommend homeopathy.
If you use low potencies it’s very safe and works wonderful on dogs.
Rita, my advice would be to see a homeopath for animals, because your vet just seems to look at the actual problem, not the overall situation.

January 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm
(99) Denice says:

I have been searching for an hour about treatment for our cat who has a swollen paw and is limping. He was stepped on by my 19 year old son and I think something is broken. I called the vet and the cost for x-ray is more than I can afford. I’m ooncerned. The only place I found that talked about paw injuries is about dogs (I have one of those too – black lab). It seem like from what everyone says, we should just leave it to heal on it’s own. Any comments from those who’ve had a similar injury to their cat?

January 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm
(100) Denice says:

An additional comment to those who feel they have to lecture pet owners who can’t afford vet bills. I have been a pet owner for 40 years and all my animals have had very healthy lives and saw a vet when necessary. Sometimes the bills were steep and sacrifices were made to deal with the responsibility of our pet ownership. However, for some, like myself now, times are difficult. I am unemployed, a senior, on a fixed income. Even medical care for myself has to be put on hold sometimes. Don’t be so quick to judge. People can’t always control their circumstances, we sometimes have to do the best we can. I love,care for and worry about my pets just like everyone else. Using this and other web sites helps me and others who lack resources to fill in the gap until our situations improve. No one adopts a pet with the intention of withholding care and we cannot predict what may happen years down the road. A little less criticism and more empathy along with your personal experience would be helpful and kind.

January 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm
(101) Sue says:

I am so glad I found this column. My 95 pound dog had a broken toe on his front right paw. He is 15 years old and I thought that this would be the end. I took the advice of others and wrapped his foot up before letting him go outside. To make the bandages, I tore strips off of an old sheet. It has been 10 days and he is getting better. Our walks are getting a little longer each day. I had some pain pills leftover from a previous injury, and gave him one a day for the first week. This column saved me big bucks!

January 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm
(102) Ann says:

My 3 1/2 month old toy poodle puppy took a fall yesterday and broke three of the four toes in her back foot, one with a fair amount of displacement. The vet took x-rays, with out permission, of her foot as well as her spine, hips and back legs, just to make sure there were no other issues from the fall. She gave us 4 days of pain pills and said to keep her calm and off her foot, but I asked for a spoon splint because of the fact that three of the toes are broken and I was conerned that, as it felt better, she might start to use the foot too soon. She put a split on with gauze, vet wrap and tape, only up to the hock. Then she sprayed it with bitter apple to keep her from chewing at it. The most important thing she said, given all the advice in this column, was that we should remove the splint and retape it after 2 DAYS to give the leg some air. Then she should only wear it for another couple of days. (She gave us a bag with the retaping supplies.) By then, she should have enough stabilization from the bone healing that she can go without the splint. Since she is a young puppy, she said the toes should heal in two weeks or so. The whole bill was just over $200, including $110 for the x-rays. Puppy seems more comfortable with the splint on because she is not putting any pressure on her foot. Before we went to the vet, even picking her up gently brought on a few whines and whimpers. Now she’s bouncing around on three legs just fine.

January 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm
(103) Ann says:

Typo above – “with out permission” should be “with our permission.” We trust our vets and they always check with us to see how much money and effort we want to put into any given situation. We like that they give us choices between aggressive treatment or something less agressive. Through 8 dogs and cats and various birds and small animals over the years, we have found that with their advice we have spent the appropriate amount of money and effort for most situations. My advice with vets is to find one that consults with you rather than prescribing one treatment without alternatives.

January 10, 2010 at 12:36 am
(104) Bravo says:

I have a 10 week old Pom puppy. A few days ago he fell off the carseat and landed on the pavement. He let out a blood curdling scream and then shrieked for 10 minutes. After he calmed down, I felt around to make sure there was no obvious broken leg or dislocated shoulder and kept him quiet while I took him to the vets. At this point 45 minutes after the incident he was: NOT letting me touch paw, letting me touch leg and shoulder. Paw seemed to be the locus of pain. Paw was NOT SWELLING. Puppy refused to put paw on ground. I could gently move ankle. Puppy screamed bloody murder at any attempt to touch paw.
Saw the vet, vet said wait a few days, gave me an anti inflamatory.
6 hours after incident: Puppy not placing paw on ground. Puppy wagging tail. Puppy eating. Puppy letting me rub shoulder and leg, but not letting me palplate paw. still no obvious inflamation.’
Next day: Puppy lets me touch, but not press on paw. Will not walk on paw. Puppy holds up paw and looks pathetic. (There is nothing that looks as pathetic as a hurt puppy. :P ) Puppy eats fine esp parboiled steak that I fed him. Puppy sleeps, and attempts to play with other dogs (Put the hash on THAT right away)
Two days after incident:Puppy still hobbles on three legs, paw is still no swelling. I keep him under close supervision and discourage activity. Right now is Saturday night. On Monday I bring him in for possible xray.
My question is regarding the swelling or lack of. If there is no swelling, can it still be a broken toe or something like that? It is hard to tell if the paw looks normal, sometimes it looks like it might be off at an angle very slightly and othertimes it looks just like the other front paw. I can gently move the ankle, so it seems to be the bones infront of the ankle.
It did not take the puppy very long to adapt to three legs and otherwise hes doing fine.
The only improvement I can see after two days is now he lies down and lets the paw be on the ground instead of holding it off the ground like he was doing yesterday and allows me to touch it gently.
If the vet tells me to splint, I will, but I will watch it like a hawk, easy because these dogs are never out of my site.
Thanks for any advice.

January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm
(105) Ann says:


It seems like Pom Pup is doing OK, but if it were mine, as you know, I would take it in for the x-ray to be sure what is going on. Unless, of course, he is really improved by Monday. Poodle Pup is running around on three and a half legs. She’s using the end of the splint for balance on her right hind leg. It taps the floor as she runs around. Pretty cute. I changed the splint last night. When it was off, she looked pathetic and whimpered, but started running as soon as it was back on. With the splint only up to the hock, she is using her hip and bending the hock as she moves. Also, the splint is wide enough that her foot is in it’s natural position, not all squished together. We are at work today, so we’ll see if she left it intact while in her crate and playpen.

- Ann

January 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm
(106) Ann says:

Update on poodle pup – Day 7 since puppy’s fall. Third taping of splint came off this morning. At first puppy ran around on three legs setting her broken foot down sporadically for balance while rounding a corner at top speed. Tonight, she is on four legs, but still favoring her broken foot with a slight limp while walking and holding it up while running. We stopped pain mediation this morning too. It looks like she’ll do just fine without the splint for the rest of the healing process.

I talked to a friend at work today. He had a dachshund who broke a toe and the vet put him in a full leg cast for 6 weeks. Besides all the problems listed in this blog, he never fully grew his atrophied muscles back and was never able to jump up on the couch or go upstairs by himself again.

February 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm
(107) thedrummerswifey says:

I have a 2 yr old basset who is very active. about 5 days ago he started limping, I figured maybe it was some sort of stress to his hips (from getting on and off the couch) and restricted him from getting on his (favorite spot) on the couch, and have kept him home from our evening walks. Day 5 here and he’s still limping horribly, I’m fairly sure I have it narrowed down toa weight bearing toe :( but am scared to death of $2000 vet bills. I’m thinking of wrapping it with (an ace bandage then horse tape) for a few weeks to immobilize the toe? And give him a small amount of baby asprin for the pain he has (when he puts a lil weight on the paw) Thats all I can think to do. Maybe after a week or so if its not getting better take him to the vet. I dunno my poor baby, does anyone one else have any ideas on taking care of it at home?

February 26, 2010 at 3:04 am
(108) Eva says:

Wow, I wish everybody had access to good vets. I can’t believe some of the prices people got charged for broken toes!!

Our borzoi puppy broke one of the weight bearing toes in her hind foot. We got charged $160 for the office visit, x-rays, splint, and meds. Then we took her in for a splint change every 7 days, which was only $19. After 4 weeks it came off.

It’s not broken any more. I’m glad it was splinted because it was really hurting her and the way it fractured was pretty messed up so they were able to set it.

Also, I’m glad Amy posted her experiences with her whippet from 2008. I was pretty freaked out at the bone loss and flat foot, but her breeder said that it will come back with exercise. It was reassuring to hear that Amy’s whippet’s foot went back to a normal shape, so I’m looking forward to the same with my girl.

Also, I put her on a supplement that the breeder used when another puppy she had destroyed his knee. He’s and old dog now, and has no arthritis or limp where the doctor said he would have a permanent limp. It’s called Liquid Health Level 5000 Equine/ Canine. It has glucosamine, MSM, perna mussel, shark cartiledge, and some vitamins, herbs, and enzymes. It is really good for broken bones.

March 17, 2010 at 3:26 am
(109) shanda says:

well i have a 7 month old teacup workie she broke three of her toes… and i paid 500 the first time around x/rays/cast .. and yes they have made me come back once a week to re wrap it …it has cost me 250 a week… and its been 6 weeks,.. they want me to come in and RE Xray it but i really feel like i just want to take the thing off her … im goin broke over this crap.. what should i do!!

March 17, 2010 at 3:30 am
(110) shanda says:

Yorkie* my bad haha

March 30, 2010 at 6:08 pm
(111) Karen H. says:

My Swissie broke the outer toe on her right hind leg rough-housing with the other dogs in our house.

I believe Western medicine is counterproductive (for both dogs and humans) unless stitches are required or a fracture is a compound fracture, so we let her body heal itself.

The first day the toe was quite swollen and she wouldn’t touch the foot to the ground. There was no wound. She let us touch the rest of her leg, ankle and foot, but let us know not to touch the toe.

She was active on three legs, ate normally, got herself outside to relieve herself, and smiled as usual. She continued to ask to go on walks, so we took her on short walks.

By the third day she was beginning to touch the foot to the ground while standing still, though still not using it for walking. The swelling was pretty much gone. She was clearly in good health and good spirits otherwise.

By the fifth day she was using it for short easy steps, but still holding it up off the ground when she wanted to move fast.

By roughly two weeks she was walking normally.

I would let your dog heal itself unless you see signs of problems–fever, not eating, worsening spirits, or no signs of progress in starting to use the foot.

April 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm
(112) Steffenney says:

My Pomeranian Levi’ broke his outer toe on his left leg I have no clue what to do. I know it’s broken cause it’s facing inward please help. My vets closed on weekends.

April 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm
(113) Eve Yerks says:

I broke up a fight between my dogs, and in the process dropped the one I managed to lift out of range of the other. Once I had the fight broken up, I took them all inside and everyone was relaxing. I noticed the dog I dropped licking her paw, so I checked on it and saw there was a little blood and that her “index” digit was pointing in the wrong direction. My stomach dropped- I feel terrible.
After reading some of the things here, I feel confident it will be ok with the taping we did, however… I’m not sure if the entire digit was torn on the inside or if it’s a fracture- I’m also concerned about the cut on the top of the digit. I’m kind of worried it’s indicative of a compound fracture and/or that it could result in an infection that could spread to the bone or joint. It kind of seems like the digit’s been severed on the inside just because of how pliable it is. Again- I don’t really know for sure.
She doesn’t seem to be in pain, other than concerned about the small cut, but she’s like the Hulk of dogs. Or Claire Bennet from heroes. Don’t know if you’ll get the nerd references- but she’s been through A LOT. I adopted her after she had been hit by a car, and she sat through painful procedures without as much as a whimper. She’s also a very patient dog, so that coupled with the fact animals in general tend to mask when they’re in pain might be fooling me.

Should I bring her to the vet? I WANT to, but if it’s unnecessary or they’ll want to do something to her that won’t benefit her, I’d rather not waste the time and the little bit of money I have. I don’t have credit cards, either.

April 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm
(114) Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM says:

As evidenced by this thread, there are a lot of opinions about broken toes. Depending on what toe is involved and how severe the damage is, the treatment options vary. A wound with blood/broken skin does indicate more damage and risk of infection. For all injuries, I recommend checking in with your vet, especially with lots of swelling, toe displacement and/or bleeding.

April 15, 2010 at 11:07 pm
(115) Eve says:

thanks Janet… she started limping a while ago and is being uncharacteristically grumpy towards her sister, so I already called out of work (based on her mood, the fact if it gets worse it’ll be the weekend, and of course that there’s broken skin involved). I appreciate the professional nudge! I’m definitely going to see if they’ll take a look at her tomorrow.

April 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(116) kristen says:

we have a 7 month old weimeraner who broke his left back middle toe a few weeks ago. the vet put a splint on and casted it above the ankle. it started rubbing him raw on his skin, so when we took him back for the follow the vet re wrapped it with the slpint but below his ankle. Now it looks awful and even more infected because he constantly is licking it. we have even put one of those funny cone things on and he can still get to it (we bought the biggest one by the way). He is at the vet now and we are waiting to hear back.

April 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm
(117) Linda says:

I brought my 3 1/2 yr old Rotten Boxer to our “Vet” for a broken front left, not weight bearing toe. Our vet sedated her and splinted her and said he needed to check her every week. First week went fine. However, after the 1st check up, and we are not sure what he did for the check-up other than sedating her again, her leg was bugging her, started licking the top of her splint…Anyway, we brought her in for her 2nd check up and her upper pad was all bloody and icky and the splint had rubbed her leg raw and her foot looked distorted due to the wrapping. We have paid over $1500.00. It’s been 3 weeks now, my dog is healing, still limping and her foot still looks distorted. Everytime we ask the “Vet” something, he says “I am not a specialist” and then asks us to sign something to say that we have declined a specialist? I am at a loss. What should we do? Anyone know of a good vet in the Rancho Penasquitos area in San Diego?

May 15, 2010 at 8:05 pm
(118) Cindi says:

I just had my 6 month old Brussels Griffon to my vet this AM and sure enough, 3 broken toes! They were going to splint and cone him for 155.00 but thought they wanted him to see a surgeon just in case he needed surgery so off to the surgeon we went and it was my lucky day for sure as the DR. was free consultation for the month and since puppies she explained had no ” bone” yet he needed a splint wrap for the next 4 weeks, no running around and it needs to be changed every week. It was 57.00 splint and cone…I cannot afford 50.00 a week but it is better then 142.00 a week! The splint must stay dry and actually within a few hours he adjusted great,I took the cone off and he has no interest YET though I will put it on at bedtime. He’s done all his business and tried to chase our cat and just wants to run and play but I will be doing my best to keep him calm..

May 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm
(119) Mike says:

Our 3 year old Aussie was hit by a car and one of her outside front toes was broken. We took her to VCA emergency and they say that in order to fix the toe she needs surgery and a plate must be put in. Originally the doctor said that it might not need a plate or pin but the toe could be hard to set because at was broken clean in half. After the other doctor came in he said that because it’s an active breed we should have a plate put on the toe because it would bare weight. We just decided to go through with the surgery because we are not experts on this ourselves. I’m wondering what you think about this situation. Also I feel like the cost is a bit over the top. The original X-rays and blood test to see if there was anything else wrong from the accident totaled $1300. The surgery will be $2600. Then I’m guessing they charge us when we come in to get the cast changed and her leg checked (God only knows what they’ll charge for that). It’s looking like the total could be upwards of $5000 for a broken toe? Are we getting taken advantage of? Something doesn’t seem right.

May 18, 2010 at 12:28 am
(120) JJ says:

You may want to take your dog to an empathetic pastor and have him pray over the dog. Also,I think you should get advice from at least two other vets.
My dog broke her pinky toe and the first vet put a splint on her for a couple of weeks. When I went to another vet, they noticed the splint was causing an injury, a bloody toe where the splint was rubbing against. They took the splint off, and she was in way less pain the moment they took it off.
I have had expensive procedures suggested for my dog, such as saving a tooth, which would cost $1,000.00 or so. When I went to another vet, he suggested I just have it pulled, so I did, and she doesn’t have any problems.

May 18, 2010 at 9:48 am
(121) Carrie says:

I have a four and a half year old black labrador bitch and we’re now in our sixth week following her breaking a right hind middle toe. For the first four weeks our vet had the paw bandaged tightly and we were told to limit her exercise to short lead walks only. The toe was x-rayed again and to our disappointment it had not healed at all – in fact it seemed to be slightly worse. The next step was to bind the broken toe with the other toes on that paw and put a plastic splint under her paw and up the back of her leg and bandage firmly. She’s getting almost no walking and fingers crossed it seems to be working – our vet felt there was little movement between the bones now. I’m keen to follow this through and hopefully end up with the bone well healed as I believe that if the break is left to heal on it’s own there is more risk of arthritis and pain in the joint in the future.

May 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm
(122) Casey says:

hi my name is Casey and i have a lab german short hair
my lab toe is is flat on one of his paws do you have any info to what to do?

May 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(123) Alyssa says:

I have a German Shephard puppy and her right pinky toe is all swelled up and i dont know why? On Friday she was playin outside and all of a sudden she started too cry n yelp loudly. I am not sure whether its broken, fractured, or what it is? I just know she goes down the stairs, runs n walks like normal, but when you touch it she cries. I would like to know what it is? I have been tryin too put ice on it!!

May 27, 2010 at 3:13 am
(124) jjump says:

I have a 3 month old Jack russell that got her foot cought in the door. She has a slight limp but does not seem to be in any sort of discomfort. Her foot is not swollen at all but if you manipulate the outside toe at all it pops where it should not pop… I want to bring her to the vet but I do not want it splinted she is a jack puppy and has way to much energy as it is.
I also had a golden who is now 6 that was born with her 2 inside toes (weight bearing) completly crushed. With in 4 days of buying her her nails completly flipped upside down and twisted. We took her to 3 different vets on said to just tape her good leg up and force her to walk on it. I did that one time and she just flopped on the ground like a fish, the next vet removed the toe nails and splinted just her foot and said to keep it dry for a few days and hopefully the nails would grow back normal (they didnt) the 3rd vet took xrays and decided the toes needed to be amputated. At that point we were all for it they said she would most likely walk normally and she would have no issues with it. After the surgery she was splinted for a week with just a small foot splint that went to her ankle and that was able to come off within a week. She was about 4 months old when all of this happened and is now 6 years and still to this day will not walk on her foot. She isnt in pain from it she just learned to stop using it and gets around perfectly fine with her 3 good legs! a second third and forth opinion never hurt.

May 31, 2010 at 11:03 pm
(125) jb says:

We had a Black lab get her foot caught in a trap for coyotes and she was stuck for 36 hours like that. When she was found, her foot looked like the cartoons, very swollen. Seeing the Xrays it was like a train wreck of the meta-tarsels (Sp?). Anyway, all they could do was place them near each other and wait for nature to re-heal her foot. It was amazing what took place on its own. The cast and the wires inside her foot really weren’t responsible for the most part. It was nature doing it’s work.

Her case was severe, not like we’re discussing here. But the point is that when my other lab broke his back inside toe, we thought twice about getting it xrayed even. There was no swelling at all, and he was placing about 40-50% of the usual weight on the foot.

I wasn’t sure we were doing the right thing 100% until I’ve read some of the terror stories on here. Thanks for sharing!

June 24, 2010 at 1:30 am
(126) robert says:

I own a golden retriever and she was suffering from a broken toe on her rear leg, its like the pinky one, the vet said that they would be able to cast it and what not but my dog would suffer arthritus in the future and would be misserable. so he suggested to amputate it. it is fractured in 3 differnt places.so i am gonna get it amputated :(

June 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm
(127) LAJ says:

My almost 2 year old 50 lb mixed breed dog broke his middle finger on his front paw almost 2 weeks ago. Vet applied a spoon splint and casted his whole leg. He has been very limited in activity. He has been putting weight on that foot for the first week & a half but in the last couple days I have noticed him holding it up more when he walks. I’m not sure if its because its easier for him to get around that way or there are problems developing. He does not lick or chew it at all. Occasionally whines when he is inside the house but not sure if that’s pain or boredom. I’m very nervous now. He is scheduled to go back to the vet four days from now. I hope he has not developed any new problems!

June 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm
(128) nancy says:

I have 11 month lab who has a broken back left pinky toe. The vet wrapped his foot and leg. Bottom of foot has a something hard under the bandages. Has to where this for 3 to 4 weeks. The e collar he has on is driving him and us crazy. Tried one of those collars that inflate but he popped it in 5 min. Jusst bought soft cone collar to try. I love our vet and trust him. We will see what happens. Goes back for check up next week.

July 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm
(129) barbara says:

thanks for all the comments. after 3 weeks and 800.00 for a cast for a broken toe (rear outside toe) my 1 yr. old dobie got the cast off and has a very badly infected leg, due to moisture getting in under the cast.
If I had this info. before, she would not have been so miserable, chewed the cast off 3 times and hurt her neck from the collar.
Hope she will be o.k. and after putting my other dobie down, we will have her for a long time. thank you all.

August 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm
(130) Veronica says:

Unfortunately I just discovered this today. My weimeraner has had a splint on for four weeks for a broken outside toe. We noticed a foul odor and bleeding on the bandage this am. Needless to say, he has sores on both sides of the paw. He has an appointment today at the vet. I don’t think it will be very pleasant.

August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm
(131) Hannah says:

I read some of these posts over the weekend when I suspected my 10 week old Great Pyrenees puppy broke his toe after a potted plant fell on it. When I took him to the vet it was confirmed that he broke one of the weight bearing toes on his front paw. The vet initially said it should be splinted for 4-6 weeks,would have to be changed weekly and my puppy would have to wear a surgical collar so he wouldn’t chew off the splint. I expressed my concerns to the vet about possible infection and sores from a splint as well as the trauma of having the splint and wearing the surgical collar on our puppy. I requested the vet tell me about any other options I had besides splinting. She gave me the option of not doing anything to it and just making sure he does not run or go up or down stairs for 4 weeks. She said that puppies heal fast and the bone should knit itself back together in 3-4 weeks. I am much more comfortable with this option and think it will be less traumatic for both of us. I am glad I requested she give me other options besides splinting and hope he heals soon. I know this isn’t an option for all types of breaks but I feel like its always worth asking the vet for other options so you can make an educated choice of whats right for your pet

September 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm
(132) beth says:

I need to know how people were aware that their dogs had a broken toe. I have a Catahoula (almost 9 years old). She has always been stiff in her back legs after exercise, especially in the last few years. Recently, she has started to hold one leg up a lot, but doesn;t seem to be in a lot of pain. Catahoulas are known for a high pain tolerance…I have never heard her yelp or whimper. When she does put it down, she stands on her tip toes. Sometimes she uses it , but limps wuite a bit. I initially thought it was her hip, but that doesn;t seem to be the problem. What were the broken toe symptoms?

September 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm
(133) polly says:

my std poodle had a lovely run on the beach sunday, as she does most days,jumped in the van to come home. didn’t notice anything when she jumped out but soon realized she was on 3 legs holding front foot up. must have done it jumping out of van. thought she may have sprained it, gave her homeopathic arnica. still not using it by the evening and middle toes starting to swell. guess probably broken. she’s very good to handle but toes too swollen to put cotton wool pad between. I have Bioflow magnets with valcro on back. bandaged these one on top, one under her foot. not tightly, no pressure. she’s ok in herself and I have unwrapped and re-wrapped couple of times. tonight swelling gone down enough to re-wrap with a little cotton wool cushion between toes. keeping magnets in place and still giving arnica for any bruising. she’s seems more comfortable and just touches it to ground when standing, off the ground to move. at the moment laying on futon head on cushion, starting to enjoy the attention. started her on homeopathic calc phos to promote bones healing. think this blog is fantabulous.

October 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm
(134) Jamie Johnson says:

Took my 6 month old Rot/Lab mix to vet yesterday and found one rear middle broken toe. He wrapped it and splinted it. His personality and activity changed immediately. I kept checking to make sure it wasn’t too tight. I even cut the wrap in places to relieve possible pressure. Today, after he wouldn’t really move around I got suspicious. After investigating, his foot is incredibly swollen. Immediately cut the whole wrap/splint off. There was little to no swelling before and he was happy and hopping around. Now it’s all worse. Will investigate a toe wrap on my own after reading this site.

October 9, 2010 at 1:45 am
(135) SP says:

My 2 year old pit bull mix just broke his “pinky” toe on his back foot. I took him to the vet and they decided it was absolutly necessary to put a splint on him. After 2 weeks, I took him back to get it changed, as per protocol, and he developed a massive wound!! So yes, now he is without a splint (which is what I should have decided in the first place) and i’m spending more time and money to heal his new wound that was created from the splint!! After spending a whopping $1000.00, I’m really wishing I did some more research!! By all means, I am not a vet…but I suggest, if this unfortanate situation happens to you, get a second or third opinion!

November 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm
(136) Barb says:

Hi. After reading about some of your bad experiences, I feel fortunate that my vet chose to do minimal for my pup’s broken toe. It happened two weeks ago. I was very surprised to find out it was actually broken. She limped for a few days, but put weight on it and never cried. A 4 1/2 month great dane is pretty heavy! It did swell quite a bit. I agreed with my vets(2 doctors in the office saw her). Think about it: when a human breaks a toe or finger, the doctor can’t really do anything. Maybe tape the finger to the ones beside it, if that. Some people find out through x-rays later in life that a finger or toe was broken at on point. They didn’t realize it was actually broken when it happened, just swollen. If the bone is splintered or shattered, you and your dog would both know it, and surgery would be necessary. I recommend x-rays to confirm there’s nothing more serious, rest, and maybe pain meds if deemed necessary. Tough keeping a puppy calm though! Did most of you have success with your dogs foot healing correctly and still looking normal? Can they walk later in life without it bothering them in the future? Those are some of my concerns.

December 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm
(137) Jacqueline says:

My 6 month old german shephered broke his toe a week ago. He displayed no signs other than a slight limp, but an xray confirmed a broken metatarsal(toe)? Vet put splint on it and told us to keep it dry and come back in one week for splint change. We kept it dry-bagged it everytime we walked him out back to do his business – and kept him from chewing on it – elizabethan collar. Even with being extra careful, just 6 days after having splint put on I noticed all his toes were swollen really big. I rushed him back to vet and they just re-splinted it. Told me to come back in two days if the swelling doesn’t go down. That was yesterday, and the swelling has not gone down. He is also acting very different, laying around a lot, and acting depressed. So I just took the splint off myself, I can’t but to think the splint is making matters worse. After taking it off, I noticed, in addition to swollen toes, he also already has a sore about halfway up his leg that is swollen and tender and has been obviously oozing something because there is a pinkish red stain on the inside of the splint. Six days in a splint, kept it dry, but still caused a sore on his leg. Now I don’t know what to do, what is causing his toes to be so swollen and does he need antiobiotics for this sore.
Was it the splint that caused the swelling, since he didn’t have any swelling before the splint was placed? Or could it be the sore on his leg causing the swelling to his toes?

December 25, 2010 at 12:01 am
(138) Angela says:

I work as an AHT (vet nurse), my 90lb dog broke her toe when she tripped in a gopher hole while running hard. It’s a weight bearing toe, front index finger equivalent (lol), the last bone basically rammed into the middle of the middle bone, xrays showed no joints are affected so no replacing needed (this is important otherwise your dog will develop arthritis or even fused joints if healed incorrectly), Metacam (safe NSAID for dogs….do NOT use tylenol or aspirin….TOXIC) and rest for a few weeks, then leash walks for a few weeks up to that for about 8 weeks total. Casts can be problematic but are sometimes essential. My advice, question your veterinarian as to whether or not a cast is ESSENTIAL. Express your concerns but if they say it is you’re best to trust them.

December 25, 2010 at 11:34 pm
(139) Jon says:

Great site and comments..thx
I have a 6 yr old border collie that has a broken rear toe..happened while playing frisbee. I believe after this incident that it is very important to keep your dogs nails short to prevent it from snagging on the grass etc. Anyhow, brought him to the vet and it was a VCA hospital. She was very nice and said the only thing to do for him is to give him rest and some pain meds for the swelling. She said since it is a non-weight bearing toe that it would not require a cast and that there was no need for an x ray as it wouldn’t make a difference in the determination of treatment.. the whole visit did not cost me much money. It has only been a couple of days and my dog seems to be in a lot of pain as he tries not to put any weight on his foot, The poor guy still wants to play fetch and can’t even walk! Gotta love border collies.. anyhow waiting to see how long this takes to heal..hopefully it will only be a couple of wks..i will write on here later when he is healed :)

January 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm
(140) Mark says:

I want to thank everyone for all the information My heeler has a broken outside toe I wrapped it for the first week she hated it. It’s seems we have all been taken to the cleaners, what is wrong with those vets, ???????

February 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm
(141) CAS says:

If it’s not severe enough for a splint, etc. be sure you keep an eye on the toe for skin infection from your dog licking the booboo… My 6 y/o Lab/Pointer has a slightly swollen outside back toe that only bugs him if he runs around etc. But he’s given himself a bit of a nail bed infection licking it (before I realized there was a problem). Vet couldn’t feel an obvious fracture so gave me a soak for the infection & Metacam for inflammation, but no wrap. I just gotta keep him from using that foot too much for a couple/few weeks. Not easy w/such an athlete!

February 25, 2011 at 11:46 am
(142) Mel says:

My 6 yr old golden retriever (i think) just broke her outside toe on her right paw. She is limping around, but will still walk on it, she isnt crying out in pain and still trys to play with her brother. I was going to take her to the vet but after reading the other posting my husband and I decided to wait. Does anyone think that wrapping her foot up myself will help any. I dont think she need pain medication, it just seems like some minor discomfort.

March 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm
(143) Jennifer says:

I hav a 10 week old bullmastiff puppy. I know this is about broken toes, but was wondering if anyone had any information they could give me to help ease my mind. My puppy needs to have her two middle toes amputated due to the fact they are disformed and the nail on middle toe is growing sideways and through her pad which is not fully developed, and the other toe never fully grown and nail could start growing like the other toe. I am getting conflicting stories from vets one stating she will be fine with walking especially since she is only 10 weeks old, but other vet say she will have problems walking her whole life. She is in pain and is limping around. This is my first bullmastiff puppy, and I am going to make an appt with an ortho specialist but they are not open until Tuesday. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am so distraught about this whole situation

March 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm
(144) Fiona says:

Our 4 month old Great Dane broke her front inner toe today (no idea how, as she is always up to something) when we took her to our vet, he said he recommends leaving broken toes alone, but because of her being a giant breed and the toe being a weight-bearing one he wrapped it up all nicely in a bandage and gave her some pain-killers to take. Bandage to stay on for a week or so. NICE VET … not out to rip us off !!!

March 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(145) Fiona says:

To Jennifer

What about just having the nails surgically removed ?? Must be better than having toes amputated??

March 30, 2011 at 8:14 am
(146) Sandy says:

My 13 yr old Yorkie began limping after I left home two days ago. I thought my home made splint was working quite well. She rested and limped about pretty well in my homemade splint until I got her to the vet. The x-rays revealed 3 maybe 4 broken toes. Now, the splint and wrap and pain meds seem to be causing her more discomfort and I have been referred to a surgeon. I have already spent $300 on top of other meds for her each month, I can’t afford surgery, and I feel that she was doing well with my home made splinting that even the vet said was pretty good! I haven’t read any comments yet about elderly toy dog treatment. She is only 5.8 lbs. and while slowing down, still quite active in the good weather. Advice?

April 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm
(147) Jeff S says:

Our Rottweiler (female, about 85 lbs) broke her front outside toe. Not sure how, but when we’re not around to stop her, she likes to stomp (standard rottie behavior) and to “double punch” the front window. I’m guessing one of those activities may have done it.

Anyhow, no vet visit yet, but its definitely a break not a sprain (we have doc and nurse friends to help us confirm with no x-ray.) Based on what I’ve read here, we’re wrapping it, and she’s keeping herself rather tame because she doesn’t like to walk on it, especially with it wrapped. Like most rotties, she’s a big baby, so its really easy to take care of her when she’s hurt. I’m planning on updating with her condition as the days go by. My guess is that in a week she’ll feel fine, but we should continue to treat it tenderly for a few weeks.

April 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm
(148) andy says:

just leash walk your dog short walks enough for him/her to toilet, and make sure he/she has lots of rest. should heal with in 4-6wks

April 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm
(149) scott says:

On Easter sunday my 5 year old red nose pitbull named titan had his first broken toe it was the third toe on his back left leg, I took him to the vet today tuesday april 26 the doctor examined him played with the toe and told us that he felt a little crunch in the to so he wanted to x-ray so after x-ray the doc took us back and showed us the picture, the break happened to be a spiral fracture of the third toe. THANK YOU EVERYONE for all of these posts because they all lead me to ask many questions about splints and casting both of wich my doc was sort of against which made me feel great I was very worried about all the horror stories I heard so he gave my boy a perscription of remadyl (sorry cant spell it right) and sent on our way he said just make sure that he is easy on it and no rough housing and the toe will heal fine once again thank you all for the advice now im at ease. Oh and the bill from my hospital was not to bad I guess not that i care i will sell my house to take care of my dog i love him very much any way it came to 224.12 that was for remadyl, x-rays and exam.

April 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm
(150) Breanna says:

My 6 month puppy has what i think is a broken rear outside toe.. possibly middle also… she isnt putting ANY wieght on it, and ive tried to wrap it with gause and medical tape but she still refused to put wieght on it.. clould it be something more? maybe a dislocation?

May 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm
(151) Mike says:

Liking my vet even more now that I have read these posts
Have a 3 year old German Shepherd with a healed broken toe–My vet prescribed Previcox for the pain and Acepromazine as a sedative to keep him from getting too rambunctious while he is healing–Same advise–leash walks and no playing-Sounds like I got off easier than a lot of people–$25 for the vet visit,$20 for the X-ray and $40 for the Medication–after 5 weeks a dog that doesn’t limp—priceless

May 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm
(152) Jake says:

Our extremely active Ridgeback broke her inside toe on her right front paw. It was very swollen and she held it up most of the time. An ex-ray revealed a badly broken toe. And yes, now she is in a splint. Bottom line, paying a vet $300 is not fun, but due to the severity of her break, there was a good chance the bone wouldn’t have fused at all if left untreated (it was pretty obvious). My wife and I would have felt pretty bad if we cheaped-out and let our dog power through in such a state. Me personally, I’ll always seek the opinion of a vet rather than self diagnosing something. Whether or not I accept the vets recommendation is up to me.

May 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm
(153) LOUISE says:

I am so glad i looked this up before i took my 4 yr old chocolate lab to the vets as, i believe she has broken her front side too. Thanks for the advice.

June 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm
(154) Barbara says:

Our 7 year old, super active Australian Shepperd broke his back right, big toe. We took him to the vet – thank goodness, he’s honest – he x-rayed it and said it’s a fairly clean break and he could cast it but it would be a huge pain in the rear for the doggie and for us and the best thing would be not to allow too much activity – in and out for potty breaks. Gave him some meds and sent us on our way – he said it’ll fuse on it’s own and he’ll be like new in a week or two. He’s not putting weight on it and there’s no whining or anything so I think he’ll be good to go soon! Poor guy!

June 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm
(155) Kristen says:

Our nine month old mutt Chu (45 lbs.) was limping when we let her out of her crate after work last night. I felt up and down her leg, stretched it and contracted it, and when I squeezed her paw she squealed a bit and pulled away. We let her sleep overnight, and this morning she will put some weight on it when walking, but not when sitting. She’ll let me touch it, and it’s started to swell a bit since yesterday. Originally we were concerned it might be foxtail embedded in her, but after researching that we’re pretty certain that it’s a broken (weight-bearing) front toe. She doesn’t show any signs of being in pain unless you squeeze her paw, but she’s pretty lethargic and wants to do nothing but snuggle (which sadly isn’t the norm for her) so I think she’s just hiding it.

Thanks so much for everyone’s experiences and advice, we’re pretty tight on money right now but we’ve made an appointment for tomorrow to make sure it’s a break, and we’ll ask for them to give us sedatives and show us how to wrap it instead of casting or splinting it unless it’s a particularly bad break. I’ll try to remember to update later with her progress.

July 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm
(156) MissyPoo says:

We have the most non-invasive vet in the world. We brought our 2-year-old Pap into him—some how the dog had broken a toe on his front, right foot. The vet said that splinting or casting the toe was counterproductive, as many of the people on this list have pointed out. In fact, he said even X-raying was pointless: Treatment is for the pain. The toe will be naturally splinted by the other toes of the foot. We’re giving the Pap about 30 mgs of baby aspirin.

July 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm
(157) Lisa says:

Our 2.5 yr old lab mix broke her outer most toe on her rear right paw on Friday night from landing wrong on a jump. The xrays showed it was the 2nd joint of the toe. We took her to after-hours care and they splinted it and gave us Rimadyl and Tramadol for her pain. She was miserable all weekend and we had to up her dose of Tramadol from every 12hrs to every 8hrs. At 4am Monday, an hour after giving her the next dose of meds, she started panting, drooling, wimpering, pacing, kicking, etc. We couldn’t calm her down. She actually ended up kicking the splint right off her foot. After being evaluated later that day by a surgeon, we decided it was best to let the toe heal on its own and have increased her Tramadol to every 6hrs for a few days. She’s resting more comfortably now. The surgeon did give us the option of splinting it with a removable booty-type splint, but I think she’s going to do well with nothing but rest and meds.

August 8, 2011 at 11:29 am
(158) concerned and confused says:

My 1 YO great dane broke his ring finger toe on his back left paw 4 weeks ago. Initially they xrayed it to see the break and then splinted and wrapped it. It got infected and created a hole in the bottom of his pad. He was put on antibiotics and we were back every few days to get the bandaged changed. After two weeks there was minimal healing of the toe, but they decided to take the bandage off to let the toe be exposed. The hole was still there and he was switched to a different antibiotic. Not 4 weeks out from the inital break he still has the hole in the bottom of his pad and the bones in the toe look to be even farther apart in his most recent xray. I’m concerned about him and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want him to have surgery or get it pinned but it’s been 4 weeks now and we’re not really making any progress. We limit his activity and he goes out on a leash every time so that he’s not running around. Any advice on what I should do? I just want to do what’s best for him, and if that’s just time and let it healing on his own that’s fine, but I don’t want to leave it if it needs further treatment. We continue to see our vet weekly but I’m wondering if I should seek advice from an orthopedist. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

August 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm
(159) Jackie D says:

Our 1 year old flat-coated retriever broke his back left outer (non-weight bearing) toe a month and a half ago. The vet did a splint for four weeks with antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory and then a soft wrap for two weeks. Our boy is VERY active, very high energy, so the toe has not been healing as fast as it should: It’s impossible to keep him from running around the house unless we crate him, and we won’t crate him all day long, it’s just too cruel. The vet said that sedatives were totally unnecessary though, and the toe is definitely healing. So, we believe that the vet did the right things by him. I don’t think it’s appropriate that some of these comments criticize taking a dog with a broken toe to the vet, or criticize certain treatment methods. The proper treatment seems to depend on where/how bad the break is, how active the dog is, age, etc. So for anyone else who has a dog with a broken toe, I would not simply “let it rest.” Take the dog to the vet. If you are concerned by price etc., get a second opinion, but don’t just treat it yourself. Dogs can get serious infections from an untreated broken bone. At the very least, a dog with a broken bone should be on antibiotics for a while to avoid infection. Also, I want to add that this whole process has been really painless (for us, at least, not for our poor pup) because we have medical insurance for our dog. It sounds ridiculous, but I seriously recommend getting some. If you only get accident insurance, it can be incredibly cheap, only a few dollars a month, and will save a bunch of money when something like this happens.

August 28, 2011 at 9:52 am
(160) yvonne jopson says:

my 20 mth old jack russel broke her outside right toe i took her to vets she was given pain killers and to rest shes putting full weight on her foot but her toe isnt right her nail is sitting sidewards she wont rest shes running and jumping putting full force on the foot its still sensitive shes got to have bone scan

September 2, 2011 at 11:30 am
(161) Condy says:

My 4 months old boxer broke his pinky toe on her back leg. Vet put a splint on her, it has to be changed every week for 4 weeks. Initial visit cost $ 475 and every splint change for 50$ each. At first week of splint change, we saw bad sore on her leg due to rubbing the splint. Vet he need to stay quiet, no running, etc. He is 4 mo old boxer and always moving fast, jumping on couch. I can put him in create the whole time. He had his 2nd splint on & I don’t know what to do. It’s only been a week & he got sore already. Looking for another vet for 2 nd opinion.

September 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(162) concerned and confused says:

My 1 yo great dane is now 8 weeks out from his inital break. On the positive end the hole and infection that he got on the bottom of his pad from the splint/bandage is finally gone. That took a good 6 weeks to heal, but it did and at least those worries are gone. However, 8 weeks later the toe is still as broken as it was when we started, possibly even more displaced. I finally made an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon about it to see what they advise. He moves fine and is no pain, not limping, etc. I am hoping that it can just remain as is, broken, and not need any further intervention. I do not want to put him through more pain of having it plated or pinned if he will be ok with a broken toe for the long term. We’ll see what the ortho recommends, but me and my vet are both thinking that he’s fine as is, not bothered by it, so just leave it be so long as it won’t be damaging to him in anyway (which is what I am going to check with the orthopedist). What an ordeal, all for a broken toe! He’s lucky we love him so much, he’s worth it all.
For those with infection issues, I’ll say this, he was on antibiotics for 6 weeks and we were finally given a topical antibiotic as well about 3 weeks into it. I do think the topical antibiotic really helped a great deal. Also, after the first week or two of the infection (and changing his bandage about every other day) we finally just let it go without a bandage to let it air out on its own. I think that also helped. It takes time, but it’ll get there.

September 7, 2011 at 1:18 am
(163) Condy says:

Hey ” concern& confused ” keep me posted. We are on 2-weeks of splinting & she had one big sore, on antibiotic. Vet wants to change every week. I’m worried that sore doesn’t get air & worse. What if toe doesn’t get heal etc. Let us know if u find good ortho vet. I ‘m in Los Angeles area. I also want to know what vet would say about leave the broken bone alone.

September 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(164) Jennifer says:

I have an almost 2 year old American bull dog and he had a broken outside toe. Took him to the vet and confirmed it was his toe and to bring him back for x rays and then most likely a cast. Well after reading this site we did what you suggested and kept him leashed and no running or playing. Trust me this was very hard, but in about 6 weeks he is all better and no more limping and has been walking and playing. Thank you so much for all your information and suggestions.

September 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm
(165) concerned and confused (no more) says:

Update part 2.
I took my great dane to the orthopedic surgeon yesterday to have her evaluate his broken toe of now over months. She said even though the xray shows it as broken he has a lot of calcification on the sides and so even though it’s broken, it’s not really. She was more concerned with the fact that his toe kind of sits up right rather then flexing down the way it should. She said that is because he likely tore the tendon in the toe the day he broke it. She said she could fix it but there would be a chance of it not working and being that he is running and playing just fine and not bothered by it we all agree that he’s good as is! She said we would know if he was in pain and he would be limping, etc. So I can rest assured that he is fine (even though the xray looks like the toe is still broken). She said she’d bet if we xrayed it a year from now we’d see the bone back together, maybe not all the way, but mostly.

I asked if there were any implication of not fixing it, like would he have problems down the road. She said she didn’t think so, but if he does we can always reassess then and see what to do (likely just amputating that toe, so long as they have one of the center two weight bearing toes they can apparently do ok without one). But hopefully that’s not an issue and he just remains a happy camper.
I’m so glad that after 2.5 months I can finally stop worrying about his toe.

September 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm
(166) Heather says:

I have a 2-1/2 year old Great Dane that broke her outside toe on one of her back legs. I read this site and figured I wouldn’t take her to the vet and get soaked with charges. Turns out three weeks later and she’s almost putting all her weight on that foot. All I have done is wrap it and make sure she doesn’t get out to play with the other dogs too much. I would like to add one word of caution though to owners of dogs with casts or wrapped feet. The skin deteriorates like a humans in a cast and can come off easily when scratched. When changing the wrap, don’t get the urge to scratch off the pad or fur where it’s been moist for a couple days.

October 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm
(167) pooki says:

i have a 7 yr old blue greyhound,she cracked her front outer toe…limping badly the vet recommended some pain relief and complete rest….no splinting or strapping neccessary as it could alter position and shape during healing.

November 2, 2011 at 10:04 am
(168) Ashbabe14 says:

Reading these are making me feel better… My 10 month old pit bull cracked his front right middle toe nail completely in half about a month ago. We had to cut it off with wire cutters and he was fine. Yesterday when I got home he was hopping around and would not put any weight on his front paw. He layed down and just cried. It looks like it is now cracked all the way up and that his toe is broken. Its a little swollen and turned to the side a bit. I went out and bought him dog asprin and it seemed to calm him down. I was going to call the vet today, but after all this I will try wrapping his paw, which we did try last night but he just ripped it off. All his other toes are fine when I press on them so I guess time will heal all. So glad I read all these before calling the vet!

November 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm
(169) Natalie says:

It really all depends on which toe is broken, which bone in the toe is broken and how bad the break is.

You cannot compare broken toes in humans and dogs. Dogs walk on their toes, humans don’t.

My dog broke the second metatarsal on her outside toe of her left hind paw two years ago. Metacam and rest were all that were needed. This time she broke a different bone in the same toe and she requires a splint. The break is much worse this time and even though it is a non weight bearing toe, she still needs the splint.

If you don’t agree with your vet, get a second opinion. Don’t rely on the Internet to make your decision on whether or not splint a broken toe.

November 3, 2011 at 10:25 am
(170) Random says:

This is in response to ‘Natalie’ above:

I agree that you should take your dog to a trusted vet if you suspect a broken bone or serious injury. If there is an open wound you risk infection which is more dangerous than the break itself. So check to make sure that your buddy doesn’t have a cut. If he does. Wrap it and protect it from dirt and bacteria!
Weight bearing toes are the ones that the dog relies on. The outer and inner toe aren’t as important to a pet’s functioning. At the very least, pain meds and a kcollar may be useful. My dog got shot with a shotgun (I do not know who did this to him. He was out one night and came back in the morning with his injury. It is animal abuse but because of where we live I have no recourse) and as a result had multiple breaks in toes on BOTH of his back feet as well as lots of open cuts. He was non weight bearing for about a month. I kept his feet wrapped and disinfected, changing bandages every 4-7 days for 6 weeks until his cuts closed and paw pads healed up. He was on anti biotics and pain meds (prn) for most of this time as well. It cost me about 1700 dollars in vet bills. Point is; xrays and expensive vet visits were needed due to my dogs severe injury. A broken outer toe probably doesn’t require xrays. Know what you are paying for and the necessity of it. Be smart. Good luck to everyone and their pets!

November 20, 2011 at 6:06 am
(171) Ffi says:

My little Schipperke has two middle broken toes in her left paw. She was x-rayed & splinted, supposed to be caged for 8-12 weeks and then there’s no guarantee bones will heal. The cost so far is $800, it will be at least that again before this is resolved , She is 12yo and I really don’t want to cage her… When my daughter broke two toes the doctor taped them together with a light plaster & said nothing else required… So I’m finding the dog’s treatment very confusing, counter intuitive & really stressful….She seemed so much happier before I took her to the vet. For a day or so she just scooted around on three legs & when she sat she held her little paw neatly tucked up, there was a slight swelling over the fractures. I’m sure she would have dealt with it herself, who knows? Anyway, it’s re-assuring to know that I’m not the only one in this state of mind.

December 1, 2011 at 10:28 am
(172) dogma says:

My heavy breed dog tore his front middle toe tendon so the toe now points flat – up and he has a slight and permanent hitch in his stride. My country doc and I are on the page on almost issue i bring to him. Yes, it could be pinned for a grand or two with a long period of convalensence and PT but is this free puppy I saved off the boat ramp down for that? No, canine’s have completely different threshold to pain than humans and like anouther reader said…what would happen in the wild…keep up or parish. Well he runs around, hops a five foot fence to the pasture and plays and digs…he is a huge happy dog.

December 3, 2011 at 9:30 am
(173) Theo says:

Trust your instincts. My 3 year old setter broke the outside toe on her right rear leg 8 days ago. Our vet put a splint on it which helped instantly. However, it began to loosen up and after 4 days needed to be redone. I was not present this time. For the last three days she has been licking and trying to get at it non stop. This is a sign that something is irritated. I found this site and after much consideration decided to remove the current splint. After the vet wrap was off and half of the padding a blood stain started to appear. Underneath everything was a blood soaked gauze pad placed over a pressure sore and the most upsetting thing was that I wasn’t made aware of the wound when they did the second splint. If I hadn’t read all of these posts I probably wold have taken her to her appointment tomorrow and continued with yet another splint.

I think I’ll go the route of leash walking to potty only and just keeping her as quiet as possible in her crate for a few more weeks

December 13, 2011 at 12:51 am
(174) Boston Lover says:

My 3 year old boston broke his last toe and one weight bearing toe, both right next to each other. We listened to our vet and decided to go with a splint since they were two clean breaks. We were supposed to have it on for 6 weeks w/ weekly splint changes. First splint change went fine, they said no sores or infection (because that was my worst concern).

Today we we took him for his 2nd splint change, and the vet wanted to have a word with me. I knew it was going to be bad news. He said my baby had developed sores inbetween his toes and under his foot. I asked to see him and his paw reeked of nastiness! The vet wanted us to leave him over night so he could let the paw air out and splint him again in the morning but my boyfriend and I decided to take him home and take care of it ourselves, since I did read this thread prior to taking him to the vet in the first place.

My worse nightmare has happened!! I don’t understand how it could have happened other than the fact that the splint was causing the sores. There’s no air circulation so it’s like a diaper rash…there is no way I can put him back into that splint and cause him more pain that I already have. We took him home and washed the paw, dried it off, and put baby powder on it to soak up all the moisture.
We let it dry for 3 hours and just applied Sulfodene on it. It seems to not bother him much. We also put his E-collar back on him.

I feel so bad for him…I can tell that the sore is hurting him…and he is still limping. It has only been 3 weeks since he broke his toes. When we first took off the cast, he was walking on it and was putting pressure on it. It’s been about 3 hours and he is limping again.

My vet seemed pretty upset that I wanted to take him home. He just raised his arms and said “it’s your choice.” He didn’t send me home with any kind of antibiotic. Should I go get some? Any suggestions on how to take care of this? Help please!!

December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm
(175) Sam says:

To Boston Lover,

I’d say you should definitely get an antibiotic. We had our dane on antibiotics nearly the whole time waiting for the sore to go away. The last thing you want is an infection. What worked really well for us also was an antibiotic ointment that the vet gave (after a few weeks of the sore not going away). We got a little plastic syringe thing and she told us to just put the ointment right into the hole on his foot. After we started doing that, it closed up within a week or so. (Of course, that was about 4 weeks into him being on oral antibiotics already as well).

I hope that was helpful and that all is well. Best of luck.

January 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm
(176) Siberian Husky Riley says:

Our 2.5yr old Siberian Husky broke her back right toe ( non weight bearing). When the accident occurred ( tackled at the dog park) it was immediately apparent that the toe was broken as she stood there with her back up.

I took her to the vet and had it xray’d to ensure that it wasnt a sprain or bigger bone fracture .. The vet basically stated that on a non weight bearing toe , pain meds , amt inflammatory liquid , and stay off it for 4-6weeks .. We iced the paw for 10 minutes during the day of the accident to prevent swelling.

After one week, the dog is progressing well and slowly starting to put more weight on it .. We have non-pop bubble wrap that we use as a make shift booty that doesnt seem to bother the dog .. and in fact makes her hop on three legs while walking more than putting weight on the toe.

The vet bill was $300 for the xrays and the medication which for us was a reasonable price to pay to ensure that the dog wasnt in constant pain and had a proper diagnosis.

February 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm
(177) Duke Hayduk says:

Most all of these comments about vets and their ministrations make me want to say that, folks, the human vets do the same kinds of things to us–results about the same as what you read here, but at a much greater financial cost. I could go on about this for several pages, but, a word to the wise, stay away from human doctors like many of you writing here will stay away from animal vets, based on hard, cold, difficult experience.
Caveat Emptor.

February 19, 2012 at 7:13 am
(178) Anonymous says:

My dog has a broken toe on her back left foot and its swollen and I was so kind just to stay there with her and make sure she was alright. She is a couple years old.

February 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm
(179) sarah says:

My two-year old 50 lb mix seems to have broken her right rear middle toe(s). The two are crossed over each other, and she is not bearing any weight on it. She is running on her three good paws, and seems alright otherwise. I don’t know if I shhould wait and see if she is better tomorrow, or take her to the vet.
I have broken toes myself and been told to do nothing, but I’m not sure.
Any ideas?
Thank you!

March 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm
(180) Lori says:

My 1 1/2 year old pit broke her front right 3rd toe two days ago. She puts very little weight on it, only when necessary. It doesn’t look at all displaced. I’m an ER nurse and know that you can’t know for sure if it’s broken without an xray, but I also know that even if it is broken, there isn’t a lot you can do for it. She is already doing the best thing she can do…staying off of it. It breaks my heart, though, to see her laying around and hardly eating. I am giving her pain meds / anti-inflammatories and putting ice on it when she lets me. Only time will heal it. Here’s praying it will pass quickly. : (

April 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm
(181) Terri says:

Our 2 year old Border Collie broke a front middle toe bone a week ago. Both our holistic vet and our regular vet said a split for 3-4 weeks should fix things. Our dog seems to be handling the splint well on her 2nd day. I am concerned about sores after reading the above posts, but based on our splinting a front leg break on one of our sheep last year, it was totally healed after 5 weeks, changed it twice, and she is fine to this day. So maybe not all splinted broken toes will end badly, I guess I will find out in 3-4 weeks. Our vets are not gougers, thank goodness, and are happy to tell us how to handle the splint changes versus bringing the dog in each time.

May 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm
(182) Jezza says:

Our 6 month old Kelpie pup was fine one minute and limping the next, we attempted to take a look to see if there were any prickles in her paws but couldn’t find anything. The next day she was worse and wouldn’t even let us touch the paw. Thats when we jumped on Dr. Google as I call it and stumbled across this page. We took a closer look and could see that her rear outer tow was out of whack with the rest and looked to be pushed out a bit (not close together like the rest of the toes), 4 days later shes getting better and occasionally walkign on the leg. Thanks everybody! This has saved us lots of money, and probably has been the best thing to do rather than risking diseases and suffering from having a Vet bandage the limb up. What do they do in the wild? Nature heals broken, and strained bones and limbs. What did I do when I broke both my thumbs one time? Nothing. They healed up over the course of time.

Use common sense, if the animal is in pain then you need to do something, but there are some things best left to mother nature.

May 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm
(183) rachUK says:

my JRT was trodden on by a 700kg horse about 3 years ago. her left fore was badly mangled, pads hanging off, index claw flapping around. thankfully no broken bones. the vets were very quick working and 2 hours later had rebuilt her foot. she had stiches in 2 of her pads so the leg was rightly bandaged. the problem with the bandaging is that the foot gets very smelly and the pressure sores are really very nasty. i have a lot of experience of animal first aid having owned many horses (u think vets bills for dogs are pricey!!) so after she had had her original bandage on for 4 days and her stiches had started to heal nicely i decided to carry on the treatment myself.each day i would seperate the toes with a cotton wool pad, use a thin mesh bandage and wrap once up the leg, followed by a layer of vet wrap. each evening i would remove the whole thing, clean thewhole foot with lightly salted warm water and then have a cuddle with her for a good couple of hours so it could get fresh air. this worked an absolute treat and 2 weeks later she was 100 percent bak to norm!! i found this forum as i now suspect she has a broken toe, she walks normally but seems to occasionally “tweak” it. i will keep her calm, walk her slowly, inspect daily and not let her jump and im confident she will be ok in no time. none of you have to explain why you dont feel a visit to the vet is neccesary, each to their own! i got my dog as a pup for my other half, sadly when my other half died in a car accident it was just me and the dog, she is my whole world, my best friend and my shadow and i trust my judgement with her 100percent. have some faith in yourselves, u all know your dogs better than anyone, just use your heads

November 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm
(184) Allison says:

My 115 lb saint bernard broke his front pinky toe; he started limping yesterday, was pretty miserable last night. I knew it was something in his foot but adopted a wait and see attitude…today his pinky toe was swollen.

I’m not taking him to the vet for this unless it gets worse. I wouldn’t go to the er for the same thing…I’m not going to wrap it, it looks okay, he’s moving okay and actually better today than yesterday. He compensates but he tests it for weight and does pretty good.

I am of the opinion that a cast would do more damage than good; splinting opens up the possibility of him further damaging it by removing the splint, he worries his feet anyway. I am not putting a cone on him, he has allergies as well and we’re careful what we do to his skin and that includes anything that could potentially irritate it.

I expect him to be fine and moving around normally or close to it by this time next week.

December 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm
(185) krystal says:

My 1 year old Pug broke the main bone (toe?) in his front left paw by getting it caught under a fence, the vet recommended we try splinting it, after 5 weeks of going in twice a week to get it re wrapped ( he had torn the crap out of his skin on the wood so they could not cast it) the break has not gotten any better, they are now suggesting that he have surgery to put a plate in. I wish they would’ve recommended that from the start, Ive already spent $500+ so far with the xrays, meds, and resplinting fees, now Im going to have to shell out probably another $1000 at least for the surgery and god know how long that ll take to hea l!

January 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm
(186) diane says:

I have a chi weenie (datsun and chiwawa) ( hah aha spelling) anyway i took her to pet co on DEC 10 to get her nails clipped with in 2 days i noticed her limping i am very worried about her. I called her vet and they told me that to x-ray it it will cost between $258 -$360 depending if they have to send them out or not. to see what is wrong now please do not get me wrong the money is a lot but nothing compared to the love i have for speckles. She is like my kid and spoiled like one too. She seems really happy still and playful the only time I really see her limp is when she wakes up in the morn and after naps. I keep feeling the paw for any unusual differences from the other paw/front leg and none. So when i looked up this website and saw all the broken toes that would make the absolute most sense that the guy who clipped her nails either held her leg too hard or she squirmed wrong when he was holding her paw and broke her toe. Bastard I wish I could say that i knew for sure but my husband took her in and they did not let him go in the back while they did it. THAT WILL NEVER EVER HAPPEN AGAIN WE WILL ALWAYS STAY WITH HER NOW. I am taking her in on Thursday to see her vet so does anyone have any advice for me as if I should or should not get it x-rayed???? What bothers me is that it has been over a month and she is still limping when she first wakes up in the morning and after a long walk.

March 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm
(187) Melissa says:

My 6 month old Great Dane broke his interior front right toe and I went to the vet and they told me to splint it. I listened to what they wanted to do and my pup kept the hard cast for 3 weeks and then a soft bandage cast for 1 week. He got the bandages off today and his foot is flat :( will his foot go back to normal? His other three paws are very nicely arched and this one is just gross looking. Anything I can do to help it heal😒? HELP

April 10, 2013 at 2:09 am
(188) jayne clarke says:

Hi my gwp bitch was hit by a car last year and was put in a cast for her leg, fine until even with going in for re dressing every other day it turned septic… after 3 weeks they gave in and took plaster off…should have come off sooner ,anyway they then told me it was’t going to heal and wanted to amputate he leg!..went mad as they had by this time had a fortune off me..said NO
Anyway all by herself the bone healed,and due to bandaging her paw is now malformed, but she is trying to use it and gets better on it every week,dont always trust your vet and if in dowt change vets get second advice!
I now have adog wth broken toe and guess what no splint,on pain relief and hopefully with a little patience on his part it’ll mend..mad german wirehairs way too active and i’m sure it’ll happen again..great site.

August 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm
(189) Maxine says:

Hello. I have an itty bitty 6month old chihuahua and she has a broken toe on her right front paw. We have no idea what to do. Is it worth going to the vet? And an infection is that common with broken toes? Should we keep it wrapped? Please help us out! Thanks

August 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm
(190) Colleen says:

I am on my 6th week to the Vet for my son’s wiemmer. She broke her middle toe. She was x-rayed twice and re-splinted each visit. My son is in the Airforce and he can’t have a dog where he’s currently living so I wanted to keep her healthy until I can give her back. I have kept up on all her shots:feed her the best dog food, make sure she has her heartworm med, flea med and I love her. I told the vets she’s been seeing that I want the split off. They keep giving me a long story of why she has to have it on. She’s been fine until she goes to her visits; it’s after her visits she limps. The vets never let me in the treatment room, never showed me the second x-ray (only showed me the first after I asked on her 3rd visit.) I am all for caring for her; that’s why I took her in the first place. They tell me she’s breaking the splint and that’s why she’s not getting better. My thinking is why not something stronger. Now they are telling me that my options are to either crate her so she can’t move around the house or amputate the toe. Both options seem cruel to me. She’s a big girl, about 55-60 lbs. I went on-line looking to see if there were other options, oh and they suggested a cast too, and after reading all these horror stories, I am kicking myself for not seeing if she would have been alright on her own. I am questioning the reasons they have for not letting me in the treatment room. Why they don’t show me the x-rays (I pay for) without me having to ask. I know there’s a cost involved with pet care, and I gladly pay. However, I think it is time to pay for a second opinion. I greatly appreciate all of you for taking the time to air your experiences. I especially take note of the one suggesting the use of critical thinking. With that in mind, I am going to nix the cast idea, nix the amputation, which so upset my son, and I will see a new vet and let them know I want to be involve and see for myself what is under the splint. Thank you all for your insight.

September 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm
(191) Janice says:

My dog came in from running in the yard with a bloody back toe. It looks like the nail broke off to the quick. I am watching for signs of broken toe and keeping her comfortable with pain mess that her vet gave me. For a joint problem she has had in the past. I would just caution everyone to watch carefully for any signs of infection. An infection of the toe or foot can lead to amputation if left untreated.

October 20, 2013 at 2:03 am
(192) luv7furkidz says:

TY 100!
My vet sedated, x-rayed, splinted, gave my 3 year old blue nose with a broken rear outside pinky toe, that she said was weight bearing, tramadol – 50 mg 3 times a day and said the toe was broken in 2 places in the biggest bone of that toe, that was $500. My vet sent me to an orthopedic vet. I went to the specialist and he said the toe was not weight bearing and he could remove it and the dog wouldn’t miss it or he could re-splint it, so I had he splint it, that was $300. 1 week later I decided to go to my vet and let them change the splint for $35. I was told to keep her confined, but couldn’t and the splint moved down on her foot, I had them change it the next day. A week later they changed the splint for $35, same thing happened again, instead of a hard splint (that broke), the vet put a soft splint on and said she will change it one more time and she is recommending an amputation of that toe, due to the fact that the latest x-rays show that the fracture is not healing. What will happen if we just leave it alone?

October 20, 2013 at 2:11 am
(193) luv7furkidz says:

TY 100!
My vet sedated, x-rayed, splinted, gave my 3 year old blue nose with a broken rear outside pinky toe, that she said was weight bearing, tramadol – 50 mg 3 times a day and said the toe was broken in 2 places in the biggest bone of that toe, that was $500. My vet sent me to an orthopedic vet. I went to the specialist and he said the toe was not weight bearing and he could remove it and the dog wouldn’t miss it or he could re-splint it, so I had he splint it, that was $300. 1 week later I decided to go to my vet and let them change the splint for $35. I was told to keep her confined, but couldn’t and the splint moved down on her foot, I had them change it the next day. A week later they changed the splint for $35, same thing happened again, instead of a hard splint (that broke), the vet put a soft splint on and said she will change it one more time and she is recommending an amputation of that toe, due to the fact that the latest x-rays show that the fracture is not healing. What will happen if we just leave it alone? I have not seen x-rays or my dogs foot since she broke it.

November 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm
(194) Dani says:

luv7furkidz I just went through a broken tow injury with my dog. She came in limping in the evening and would not put any pressure on it. I took her to the vet the next day and he took in x-ray of it and showed it to me. I could clearly see that one of the middle front toes were broken. Two options…one to amputate the toe and the other to splint it. I chose the splint because it was more cost effective. It ended up not being because I had to have it replaced a few times, but the vet was always very upfront and honest with me. We took another x-ray in week 6 and it was definitely healing. She did have to wear a cone at the end because she had a small hot spot that she wouldn’t leave alone. It took 10 total weeks until we could get the splint off. It was from the middle of August to the end of October. She is doing very well now. He leg is healed from the cast. There were no bad marks or infections on her leg. She can put fill pressure on it. If it would happen again, I would just have the toe removed. It was just a long process that’s all. I completely trust my vet and for that reason, I know I did the right thing. My dog is an 80 pound mixed breed and the toe was broken in 3 places. I would say trust your vet, if not get another one and go over all options. Good Luck!

November 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm
(195) Sue McGraw says:

My 12 yr old chow/shepherd has an obvious problem with her middle toe on the rear left foot, sticks up at a 45 degree angle (son thinks he opened the door right into it) so I took her to the vet after a few days of watching it, when my son stepped on her foot and it bled. Vet took xrays, said it was full of pus and looks like possible cancer, and insists we amputate it. cost $400 just to bring her in..she got antibiotics and pain meds, but no effort to drain the pus at all, and now they insist in calls and emails that I MUST amputate the toe asap. I am waiting a couple weeks to see if infection goes away and will reassess status. I just don’t have thousands of dollars to spend and am concerned how she will walk afterwards, being a little infirm now. They havent done bloodwork to see if she can have surgery yet either.

December 2, 2013 at 11:38 pm
(196) yorker says:


December 21, 2013 at 5:22 am
(197) Janemart says:

Be very careful going against vet’s advice. TY1001 above says the fracture hadn’t healed so the dog’s toe will be amputated and this is because the dog wasn’t kept confined as instructed. It’s a drag having to do it but it must be done in order for fractures to heal properly. You end up spending more money as TY1001 is going to have to do, plus the toe could be amputated, which can cause arthritis in the other toes. Having said all that, I am wondering what to do now, after 6 and a half weeks of my Staffie/JRT X being confined to her crate and only allowed out for 5 toilet walks. She had the splint off at 5 weeks (it was an open splint and bandaged) and there were some raw parts to her inner foot, but they are healed now. She is walking perfectly normally, wants to run and jump, but the vet has said another 3 weeks of restricted walking! So this takes us through Christmas and the New Year. I am querying this, as it seems an excessive amount of time. Has anyone had to do this for 10 weeks for their dog’s broken outside pinky? When did your dog go for normal walks without any problems after a broken toe? Thanks!

December 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm
(198) Marilee Konen says:

My 7 year old Shepherd Coon houmd mix seems to have broken her back upper thumb I call it , she never had her dew claws removed as I think that practice is cruel, like having our thumbs removed, ow, any way it is not touching the ground so I am thinking leave it alone, she acs uncomfortable when I touch it, and holds it up to me now and then. She climbs trees so I think she must have broke it, I am choosing to wait as when I tried to wrap it it bothered her nore , I hope I am right, will take her in if she shows too much pain , ty for all the info here. I am going to keep a very close eye, is not because I do not want to take her to vet , but after reading the stories here am scared to .

December 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm
(199) Andy W says:

My English Springer broke his front O/S outside toe about two weeks ago, he’s lame (obviously) and the toe is swollen – looks quite nasty, but he still insists on working. I had a word with our farm vet who confirms there is little to be done, certainly NOT casting or bandage in anyway for an outside toe. Use a mild pain killer/anti-inflamitary (sorry , spelling not my strong point) if he really starts getting upset. Will take anything from 12 to 16 weeks to heal. I’ve had various working dogs over the last 40+ years who have suffered broken toes and we’ve never done much about it, NEVER used a cast or split of any kind. About the most serious action we’ve taken is restrict their work for a few weeks – which makes them annoyed. To anyone who suspects a broken toe I’d say, get it CONFIRMED by your vet then leave it severely alone. Any vet who suggests a cast should be treated with the utmost caution. (Oh, if available I would also suggest walking in the sea or beach pools to allow the salt water to work its wonders.)

January 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm
(200) April says:

I would be VERY cautious about taking the advice of someone who says NOT to split a broken toe regardless of which toe it it. Only your ortho vet can tell you the best treatment after xrays if a splint or cast is needed. If you choose NOT to splint your dog can wind up having a toe that continues to rebreak, never heal and end up either having that toe amputated or heal crooked and wind up with arthritis.

February 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm
(201) Debbie says:

Just took my 1 1/2 yr. old puppy to the vet with a swollen foot that he would not put on weight on since yesterday. He had not been acting like it was very painful (no panting or shivering)…just laying around last night. She x-rayed the foot and the outside toe (would be like our little toe) is fractured. As some have said above, she did not recommend splinting or cast…just leash walk and rest for a couple of weeks with Rimadyl for pain and inflammation. Will recheck in two weeks to be sure healing is going well.

March 7, 2014 at 2:36 am
(202) janice says:

Thank you guys so much for the info. My 3 year old Boston terrier jumped off our porch last week and shortly thereafter started limping. I checked him and it seems its his rbf. Toe weight bearing. I decided to just keep a watch on it for a few days to see how he does. He’s very active so for him to lay around is unusual, but at least hes off it and allowing it to heal. No whining but sometimes discomfort at night. Hes my baby, can’t wait till he’s well and back to his- self. Going to start a light wrap to see if it helps and watch him for the next few weeks., hope everyones babies do well. Thanks for the input.

March 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm
(203) Chrissy says:

My Doberman has been limping on her front left paw. Took her to vet they did X-rays and didn’t see any break. Put her on tramadol, rymidal and a steroid. Swelling went down a little but as soon as steroid wore off she is back to limping again and swollen foot. He said something about it maybe being auto immune problem but I still feel a toe is broken. Could a toe be broken and somehow not show up on an X-ray clearly? Very upset. Just want my baby better.

March 27, 2014 at 11:19 am
(204) Elmarie Wepener says:

Thank you for the valuable information.
Can I give Aspirin to my Welsh Wire Hair Foxterrier which surely has a broken right front inner toenail?

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