How to Bandage a Dog's Broken Toe

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A dog can break a toe in an accident, if it gets stomped on, if it gets caught in a fence or if he stubs it. Some toes are weight-bearing and others are not. A dog with a broken toe will likely be limping and have abnormal movement and swelling around the injury. A broken toe on a dog should always be examined by a veterinarian who will confirm the bone is broken with an x-ray. While serious breaks may require surgery, in many cases, your vet will wrap it and perhaps splint it if the dog is large and heavy.


Your vet may splint the break if the dog is large and heavy.

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If a foot or leg is bandaged too tightly, the circulation can be cut off and the toe could be lost. You probably will have to change the bandaging at home on a regular basis if it gets soiled or if the dog manages to pull or chew it off. Check the bandage at least twice per day to make sure it is clean, dry, and still in place. Listen carefully to your vet's instructions about changing the bandages and make sure you follow their advice.


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Things You'll Need

  • Muzzle

  • Cotton wool

  • Stretchy gauze bandage

  • Water-resistant bandage

  • Dressing scissors

  • Medical tape

  • Elizabethan collar (optional)

  • Crate (optional)

How to wrap a broken toe

Safely restrain your dog.

Safely restrain your dog

Muzzle the dog because a dog in pain will bite even if he normally is kind and loving. Lay him on his side with the injured leg on top. Get a helper to restrain the dog and raise and support the injured leg while you work on it.


Remove the old broken toe wrap.

Remove the old broken toe wrap

Gently remove the existing bandage if you are doing a rewrap. Check there is no dirt, hair, or infection if the broken toe also includes an open wound. Clean any blood or pus gently with damp cotton wool and return the dog to the vet if there appears to be any infection.


Wrap the paw with cotton wool.

Wrap the paw with cotton wool

Gently place strips of cotton wool between the toes if the broken toe is weight-bearing. Wrap cotton wool around the paw and leg beginning at the bottom. Unroll it as you work upward. For smaller dogs make sure it is wrapped at least to the middle joint while larger dogs can be wrapped higher.



Wrap stretchy gauze bandage over cotton wool.

Wrap stretchy gauze bandage over cotton wool

Wrap the stretchy gauze bandaging over the cotton wool beginning at the foot and working up. Do not wrap it too tightly or you will restrict circulation, which can cause permanent damage. Cut the bandage with scissors when you have finished. Make sure the foot and leg is well-cushioned and protected.


Cover with a water-resistant bandage.

Cover with a water-resistant bandage

Wrap water-resistant bandaging over the existing bandage working from the foot upward. Do not make it too tight. Finish at the back of the leg and cut with a pair of scissors. Wrap medical tape around the top and bottom of the bandaged area to hold it in place.


Prevent chewing on the bandage

If your dog tries to chew his bandage, use an Elizabethan collar to stop this. If your dog is normally very active, you may have to crate him to allow the broken toe to heal. Keep him on a leash when you take him outside to keep him calm so that he doesn't slow the healing process or suffer further injury.