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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by missbrit2006, May 3, 2016.
My goat stepped my my ducks foot and it's broken the toe part what do I do?
You will need to splint the foot to hold the toe in place.
What do I splint it with?
With chicken toes you can splint them individually, which I have had to do before with good results, but with the webbing on ducks' feet the whole foot needs to be splinted. Look in your recycle bin for a plastic food container and cut out a piece that is the size of the duck's foot just to the end of the web so the toes overhang slightly. You will need to tape it to the bottom of the duck's foot like a flip flop with tape between the toes to keep the toes spaced properly. Focus more tape around the broken toe to form a harder cast while just using enough tape on the rest of the shoe to keep the other toes positioned. You need to leave the tips of the toes showing to check the circulation. If you need more surface area to hold the flip flop in place with tape, notch out the areas between the toes so the tape can also stick to the underside of the foot between the toes. Make sure there are no sharp edges if you have to cut notches in the plastic to tape it to the foot.
I use paper tape but vet wrap can work as long as it is not too tight (it stretches so getting it too tight causes more problems than it solves). Layering the paper tape will make a hard cast so the toe does not move. You can try taping a match or toothpick over the top side of the toe for additional support but don't put it next to the skin, add it after you have taped on the flip flop. You need to be sure the toe is straight and stays that way until it has healed. Taping a support on each side of the toe might be more comfortable that one support over the top of the toe.
You should be able to look around your home and make a splint from supplies on hand but the paper tape is only $1 at the Dollar Tree. I keep it on hand at all times for emergencies. If you have popsicle sticks you may be able to use that to splint the toe by taping it to the broken toe and then taping the rest of the foot but splinting the whole foot will help keep the toe from moving with the other toes and it will hold everything in position better. It is also possible to just tape all the toes together as a support for the broken toe but your duck will not be able to walk that way so it is not the best long term solution.
You can have a little flexibility in the sole of the shoe as long as the broken toe is held in place while it heals. Ideally you want the duck to carry on as normally as possible with its foot taped. You don't want sharp edges against the duck's skin that could cause sores to form from rubbing. You will also want to use far more tape than you think is necessary because ducks are experts at removing bandages and splints.