When a human has diabetes or a severely infected toe, doctors may recommend amputation. When a human loses a toe, it can cause issues with their balance, strength, and their gait. Toe amputation is also a common treatment in dogs. When a dog has their toe amputated, it can improve their quality of life.
Common Reasons For Toe Amputations In Dogs
There are a few common reasons where a veterinarian would recommend amputating your dog's toe.
- Trauma: If your dog has been involved in an accident where his toe was injured such as being hit by a car or having something dropped on his toe, amputation may be necessary. If the veterinarian finds that the injury is too severe, the toe may need to be removed.
- Tumors: If your dog develops a tumor on his toe, the vet may recommend amputation. In most cases, removing the tumor is the safest and most effective treatment. This would avoid the dog going through expensive and painful cancer treatments.
- Nail Bed Disorders: In some cases, vets will recommend toe amputation for dogs with nail bed disorders. According to recent studies, nail bed disorders can result in cancerous tumors. Removing the toe before this can happen is the best preventative treatment.
Toe Amputation Procedure
The toe amputation procedure is not as serious as it may sound. Before the surgery, your pet would have preoperative tests to make sure that he is healthy enough for surgery. Next, your dog would be anesthetized, and the vet tech would remove the fur on the affected food and then clean and sanitize the area. This will keep the incision from becoming infected. After the vet amputates the toe, the vet would suture the wound and wrap it in a bandage. In most cases, your dog will be able to go home the same day.
Recovering From the Amputation
When you take your dog home, he may need to wear a cone for the first few days to keep him from biting at the stitches. You will need to keep your pet's wound dry and follow the vet's instructions regarding his medications. Fortunately, your dog won't have much trouble compensating for their lost toe. It is much different than when a human has a toe amputated. You will need to take your dog back to the vet two weeks after the surgery to have the stitches removed. By then, your dog should have made a full recovery, and he can return to his normal life.
If your pet is suffering from a foot or nail bed issue, you should make an appointment with Richview Animal Hospital in Etobicoke. If your dog requires a toe amputation, the sooner the procedure is performed, the better it will be for your dog. We can run the necessary test at our veterinary animal hospital to determine whether or not toe amputation is the best course of action.