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Authors of section


Boaz Arzi

Executive Editor

Amy Kapatkin

General Editor

Frank Verstraete

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Nonsurgical fracture management

1. Nonsurgical treatment

The fractured area is clipped to assess for penetrating injuries. If a penetrating wound is found, an exploratory surgery and debridement of the area is indicated to remove any foreign bodies (i.e. hair).

An appropriate size commercially available muzzle can be used to stabilize and protect the fractured area.

Dog nonsurgical treatment commercial muzzle

The size should allow 10-20mm opening of the mouth so that the patient can eat and drink. The dressing should be as comfortable as possible.

Dog nonsurgical treatment muzzle

Elizabethan collar is used to protect the muzzle.

The muzzle can be replaced if it gets soiled and it should be removed between six and eight weeks after placement.

Dog nonsurgical treatment muzzle Elizabethan collar

Commercial muzzles are advantageous because they are easily removed and cleaned, more hygienic and are a better support for the caudal mandible. In case of an emergency, the commercial muzzle can be quickly removed.

Note: a tape muzzle, as illustrated, can be used when a commercial muzzle is unavailable.

Dog nonsurgical treatment tape muzzle