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My dog has had a pronounced swelling on the joint between the…

My dog has had a...
My dog has had a pronounced swelling on the joint between the ulna and carpus. We took him to the vets who first tried antibiotics but swelling remained after a week and he was limping badly. Returned to vet who immobilised the limb and took xrays, no brake visable. A further week, no improvement and was referred to a specialist. He diagnosed the injury as possible ligament damage at the joint. Leg was again immobilised, pain killers and sedatives were prescribed and to change dressing every 2 days. Changed dressing last night and this morning the paw was very swollen. Removed dressing immediately but swelling is not receding, was dressing too tight and impeded blood flow? What can we do to reduce the swelling or is it back to the vets? Hope you can help. Thank you
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
8/2/2012
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
Verified
Hello.

It does sound like the bandage was on too tight. That will cause swelling of the foot. Often the foot will look nearly 2 times the size of the other foot. That is not too serious, all you have to do is remove the bandage and it'll go down. It may take a good 12-24 hours for the swelling to go down completely though.

I would try massaging the foot every 4-6 hours if you can. that will help the swelling go down faster.

As for the underlying cause of the joint swelling, I would get an aspirate of the carpus/ wrist joint and send it off to the lab. They can do cytology to look for cells and culture it to look for bugs. That will be your best bet in getting a true diagnosis as to what's going on there.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Would a cold compress or ice pack applied to the swollen foot help reduce the swelling and make him more comfortable? Also the sedatives we were given ,Calmivet, appear to be having a fairly drastic effect. We were told 1 tablet for each 10kg of weight of the dog which would be 3 tablets. We were concerned having read some information on the web, so only gave him 2 tablets. After 40 minutes he was unable to negotiate the door step approx 8 inches high without help. Would you advise against giving him 3 tablets with a meal and change to 1 tablet 3 times a day as necessary.? Thanks for your help so far.
No, ice is not going to help the foot, as it's not inflammation due to leaky vessels- it's inflammation from decreased drainage up the foot from the wrap. In that type of swelling, massaging the foot to push that fluid back up is the best thing you can do. Walking him around also helps to get the muscles moving and blood flow back up the foot. Don't worry too much- this happens all the time when IV catheter tape is too tight. We just loosen the tape and massage the foot and these resolve nicely.

As for the Calmivet (Acepromazine), the dose range is quite wide. You can give anywhere from 0.5 to 3 mg per kg. I would start a 30 kg dog on 12.5 mg, then go up from there as needed. I'm not sure what size tabs you have, but that is the way I'd dose it. When we get higher in the dose range, you will have significant sedation and incoordination. You just have to wait it out for 12-24 hours and give a lower dose next time if it's needed.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Thanks for your help
You're very welcome.
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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