Wrapping a foot

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Suisan

Post   » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:18 pm


I just discovered that one of my sows has an infected toe. Either her nail tore near the cuticle or she had a scrape near the cuticle, but regardless, it's infected.

I soaked her foot under warm running water, squeezed some pus out, and soaked it in chlorhexedine. She has an appointment with the vet for Saturday morning.

I'll keep up the soaks -- I first noticed it because she hopped when I put her back in her cage after floor time. She's now using the foot after the soak. But I'd like to get some neosporin on it since we won't be at the vet's for a few days. So I'd like to wrap the foot.

Umm, can anyone point me in the direction of a step by step (with pictures or drawings?) on wrapping a guinea pig foot? I can wrap horse's legs, I can usually wrap dog's feet, but wrapping this ittle bitty appendage with the hock *right there* is giving me some problems.

PS-- she's my more reserved pig, but she's still eating hay, pellets, and veggies fine. I may give her extra fluids tonight as its harder to monitor with two pigs in the cage.

Thanks, Suisan

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:58 pm


Honestly, I think it will be fine unwrapped and heal quickly with those soaks. There is a good chance she will get that bandage off anyway and I'm afraid she will injest the neosporin. If you look on the bumblefoot pages in the emergency and medical guide, you will find instructions on how to wrap the foot. Not sure if the toes are enclosed in that wrapping or not.

Is it very swollen or hot to the touch? I'm wondering if the vet will consider oral abs or not.

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Brimstone
For Rocky

Post   » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:25 pm


I needed to wrap Hermes' foot a couple years ago. Pinta had some great advice and instructions on how to wrap a foot so the bandage stays on.

Not sure if trying to keep it bandaged would be helpful or not. Bedding on towels that can be changed frequently is probably a good idea (if you don't already do that).

Suisan

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:39 am


She's bedded on fleece and towels -- the whole cage was cleaned today, so that's a benefit. I know everything is dry, and I can keep it dry.

I was trying to bandage to keep her from getting at the neosporin, but I think I'm just going to soak until the vet sees her.

It is *very* swollen. I already expressed pus out of it, so I'm sure it's infected. We'll see about the oral ABs. Financially I really don't want to go there right now, because I was saving up for a new girl from the shelter who has a URI. I wasn't expecting my *current* pigs to go around injuring themselves the day before I brought the "expensive" pig home. Sigh.

I'd rather try a topical first, but obviously if that doesn't work I'm ready to go for the orals. That's why the vet appointment is set up, really.

Thanks for the link -- I think I get what I'm supposed to do now.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:32 am


I don't know what the injury looks like or if flushing with a curved tip syringe would help but if there is an opening and pocket of pus, I would try this.

Pic of curved tip syringe on top:

Image

Suisan

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:58 pm


Thank you Lynx, for the suggestion to flush.

I looked at it again while soaking this morning and cannot find an area to insert a syringe tip. (Teeny little toes!)

Her nail seems quite loose, or it wiggles more than the other two toes. There's a scab running just along the cuticle from the outside of the toe, over the top of the toe, and over to the inside of the toe. The scab does not run under the toenail. When I found it yesterday, I could express a tiny amount of pus from between the swollen toe and the beginning of the toenail on the outside (lateral) portion of the scab. It bled a lot. I held her toe under warm running water until the bleeding stopped.

Since then I have made a vet's appointment and soaked her twice. I haven't seen the swelling improve, but she is using the foot more than she was.

I'm concerned that the toenail is cracked under the skin -- I guess I could fuss with the scab some more after this afternoon's soaking and see if I can squirt some solution alongside the nail. But I also don't want to open up the crack further.

(In rereading my earlier post, I realize that it looks as if I'm not going to treat one or the other because of finances. That's not the case. I just wish they would stagger these episodes, or check with me first when they decide to injure themselves. On the other hand, this is forcing Rosa to spend some quality time with me. She's not struggling, but she's not amused either. It's the OTHER pig which wants to be held and fed parsley.)

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:48 pm


Hopefully the toenail will come out on it's own or it may have to be removed.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:45 pm


If the toenail is actively bleeding a lot, I would stop soaking in warm fluid for a short while. The warmth will prevent coagulation. Use your own judgement on whether or not there is any danger of losing too much blood. The soaking is still important and should help it heal.

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WHEEKness

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:03 am


What about using styptic powder for any further bleeding?

So, if you have wrapped dogs' and horses' feet, you must have vet wrap? Which foot is it, did you say? I have wrapped Lena's back foot SO many times now. She has bumblefoot. The infection was dealt with back in March, but I keep it wrapped more often than not, it seems to help.

Anyways, it seemed really daunting at first, but it's easier than you might think. For a back leg, anyways, dunno about front feet. I tear the vet wrap into 1/2 " strips. Tearing seems to work a lot better than cutting, it sticks to itself better. Go over the toenails, then pinch the tip a bit, to seal it off. At first I used tape at the toe and ankle, but it seems to stay on just fine without.

Image

There's some cotton inside the wrapping, to provide some padding, that's why it looks so big.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:07 am


Cotton gauze is important under the vetwrap. There are also downsides to wrapping as moisture accumulates and other problems can develop. The gauze helps this. Providing time to air the foot on, say, a clean towel for a while can help.

I used tape at the ankle to prevent the wrap from sliding off or being pulled off. Be very very careful not to apply too much pressure. It should be gentle wrapping which will naturally apply only a slight amount of pressure (this stuff is stretchy so if you stretch and apply, the high pressure can cut off circulation).

Suisan

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:46 pm


The toe only bled on the first day, but the nail remains wiggly.

She's using the leg much better than she was, and the swelling is coming down very slightly.

(In wrapping over a horse's hock, you have to be very careful NOT to include the point of the hock in the figure eight. When I first tried to wrap her I couldn't get the tension right above the hock to keep the bandage on, and I couldn't quite get the crossover going on the foot because everything is so very miniature on these guys. I need little forceps fingers to be at all effective.)

Saw the vet today. She thinks the nail is cracked under the skin, as when the foot is on the ground, the nail is twisted and lies underneath the other two toes. We're going to keep up the warm chlorhexedine soaks for the next few days, as it seems to be working. I have a phone consult with her on Wednesday. If things are not markedly improved, then she will start oral antibiotics. She's impressed that Rosa is eating, drinking, and exercising well, so wants to see if the soaks will make an impact on their own.

She's run into a number of pigs recently with infections that have not responded well to antibiotics, so is trying to be conservative in starting exposure to antibiotics in a younger pig. As Rosa ages, there will be more antibiotics available to her to treat infections if you limit access to the broad based ones now.

It's a thoughtful approach, and since we have a follow-up for Wednesday, I feel comfortable with it.

I've had to take apart the hay rack and the litter area for both pigs to prevent the girls from climbing up into the hay. The girls are NOT amused. I'm keeping a pile of hay up in the loft, which I've bedded with small towels. This means that I have to change out all the hay and the towels everyday. Rosa is currently burrowed under the hay, and Takame is walking around the perimeter of the pile muttering to herself.

Thank you all for your insights. And thank you WHEEKness for the picture. I may try wrapping with padding, just for cushion. It bothers me to think of her whacking that cracked toenail against things as she hops around. But then there's the trade off of encouraging bacterial growth under the wrap, etc.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:13 pm


Bactrim would be a good one for such a young pig. Usually well tolerated.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:14 pm


Bactrim would be a good one for such a young pig. Usually well tolerated.

Suisan

Post   » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:03 pm


Thanks for the suggestion, Holly. I'll remember to mention that to the vet.

Suisan

Post   » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:22 pm


Just a quick update --

Rosa's nail did fall off under the skin. She never went on oral antibiotics, but we have continued to soak daily to keep infection away from the foot. The day before the nail came off her foot swelled terribly -- the entire foot was swollen instead of just the one toe. But by the next morning, the nail was missing and the swelling came on down.

The toe itself is still rounder than the others, but not hot to the touch. Vet says to keep up the soaks until the nail emerges again.

Rosa is not very pleased by all the attention. She suffers through the soaking as only a skittish pig can, by freezing the entire time. Poor thing.

Suisan

Post   » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:46 am


Thought I'd bring this back up for an update.

Her nail is growing back! I'm so excited!

(Perhaps it doesn't take much, but there you go.)

I have to see if I can get a picture of it coming back.

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Smoskaly
Supporter in '09

Post   » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:40 pm


How wonderful! Isn't it great that bodies usually do such a good job at healing themselves! You did such a good job at tending to your little pig.

I may have missed it, but what's your pig's name?

Suisan

Post   » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:00 pm


Thanks, Smoskaly. Her name is Rosa.

I tried to get a pic of the new nail, but it's hard with one person.

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