Pet splints are designed to protect and support a pet’s lower leg while they heal from injury. Splints are designed to stabilize the injured limb and prevent movement around the injury, while supporting the pet’s leg in a normal walking position. Allowing for weight to be put on the weakened limb as the pet recovers.
How to Choose the Right Splint for Your Pet
Injuries to a pet’s lower legs frequently need to be splinted or braced. Pet splints are modeled after human splints, to support the lower leg, ankle, and foot injuries. The first step in choosing the right splint is: Determine where the injury is located. Does it effect the front or rear paw, carpal or hock joint?
Splints for Front or Back Legs
The Bootie Splint is a shorter splint, that runs under the paw. This splint will work on either front or back paw injuries, to protect paws from knuckling or support toe injuries. Dragging paws or knuckling can cause scraping injuries as well damage to a dog’s toenails, the bootie splint will help to keep a paw in the correct position and protect it from these types of injuries.
The Walkin’ Fit Adjustable Splint it the most versatile of all available pet splints. This splint adjusts to provide customized support with complete lower leg stability. Each adjustable splint features both an adjustable angle and width. The angle of the splint can be adjusted to accommodate either a dog’s front or back leg. The splint’s width can be increased if a pet’s joints are swollen from arthritis or injury or to accommodate a bandaged limb.
Pet Splints for Front Legs
For pet’s with injuries to the carpal or wrist joint, the Carpal Splint is designed to support the carpal joint as well as above and below the joint. This splint is designed to keep the paw free while bracing the front leg of pets dealing with carpal hyperextension, osteoarthritis of the carpal joint or other joint instabilities.
The Front Splint also supports the carpal joint and lower front limb but extends it’s support under the paw as well. The splint stabilizes the entire lower, front leg and keeps the leg in a natural standing position.
Pet Splints for Back Legs
The Hock Splint is designed to support the hock joint and provide tarsal support in the rear leg. Ideal for hyper extension and joint tendon issues in the hind legs.
The Rear Splint is designed to extend above the hock and completely under the paw, to provide full support to be lower rear leg.
Cat Leg Splints and Injuries
Just like dogs, cats will limp when their leg hurts, but most cats will not walk on a broken leg. It will likely take two people to examine your cat's injury. If there are signs of swelling, pain or anything feels unusual you need to see your Vet right away. Broken or injured feline limbs may be splinted or braced. Due to their size and build cats typically need a smaller splint than a dog. Most cats will fit into a size XXSmall Splint, although some larger cats may require an XSmall.
Caring for a Pet with an Injured Leg
After visiting your Vet to have their injured leg checked you need to keep a close eye on them. Most likely this is the first time your pet has ever worn anything on their foot or leg, that sensation is completely foreign to them. If your dog can reach their leg they may attempt to bite, chew or pull on their splint. Covering the splint with the All-Weather Boot may help to protect against unwanted chewing and help keep the splint dry.
Regularly Check Your Pet's Splint
If you are taking a splint off and on for a bandage change, it’s easy to over tighten the splint when you put it back on. In a properly adjusted splint, you should be able to comfortably slide your finger under each strap. To avoid over tightening start at the bottom strap, followed by the top strap before attaching any straps. Working your way up or down may cause each strap to get progressively tighter as you go. A too tight splint can cause swelling, so remember to check your dog’s paws regularly. If you see swelling contact your Vet immediately.
Customize the Fit
Every pet’s leg is shaped differently. You may see gaps or rub points in various places, you can customize the fit of your dog’s splint by adding memory foam to these areas for added comfort and support. Adhesive backed foam can even be layered on itself to build up areas of the splint, like under the paw, to accommodate a unique shaped leg or unusual paw position. Another option is selecting an adjustable splint that can be fit to the exact width and angle your pet needs. Which allows for a customized fit without the custom price tag.
Let Your Pet's Leg Breathe
Splints provide an easy way to provide daily wound therapy to your cat or dog's injured legs. It's important to remember that your dog's splint should be removed at bed time and for at least an hour during the day to allow the foot to breathe. To continue to support your dog's leg while not wearing their splint either the Hock Hugger or Wrist Hugger offer light, breathable support to the leg joint.