Broken or dislocated toe from a vet visit

Kermit24

Member
Hi, I’m feeling quite upset about this so I’m really hoping for some advice as it’s now Saturday night and the vet doesn’t open again until Monday morning. I took my bearded dragon to the vet today for mild upper respiratory symptoms, and to be safe requested X-rays and blood work. The vet techs and vet kept saying how my beardie was being “difficult” and how the process was taking quite a while - it ended up being 2 hours. When I got home, after the vet was closed, I noticed one of his back toes sticking up at a very unnatural angle. I’ve attached pictures although it’s a bit tough to see. No blood or broken scales but very very bent upwards/sideways and doesn’t touch the ground. What should I do? How serious is this? Please advise. Thank you.
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh poor thing, it looks like there was a little bit of an injury there. He must have fought fairly hard, but
someone mishandled him apparently. His toe shouldn't be sticking up like that.
Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done but you can do a little at home there. If you want to try
& stabilize/mobilize the toe, you can break a toothpick in 4 small pieces & strategically place them to
encircle the toe. Then, gently use some gauze to wrap around that & to the toe next to it & then tape it
to solidify it. You can do a figure eight weave up & around the ankle a couple of times to keep it from
coming loose.
Do the best you can, as it technically should heal. This will just give it a little time to try & heal up without
him catching it on something & hurting it worse. Hopefully it will set pretty quickly & he wont lose the toe.
It shouldn't be serious or life threatening, though it is upsetting that happened, at the vet's office!

Let us know how that goes.
Tracie
 

Kermit24

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

Oh poor thing, it looks like there was a little bit of an injury there. He must have fought fairly hard, but
someone mishandled him apparently. His toe shouldn't be sticking up like that.
Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done but you can do a little at home there. If you want to try
& stabilize/mobilize the toe, you can break a toothpick in 4 small pieces & strategically place them to
encircle the toe. Then, gently use some gauze to wrap around that & to the toe next to it & then tape it
to solidify it. You can do a figure eight weave up & around the ankle a couple of times to keep it from
coming loose.
Do the best you can, as it technically should heal. This will just give it a little time to try & heal up without
him catching it on something & hurting it worse. Hopefully it will set pretty quickly & he wont lose the toe.
It shouldn't be serious or life threatening, though it is upsetting that happened, at the vet's office!

Let us know how that goes.
Tracie
Thank you very much for replying, Tracie. I’ve used some athletic bandage to wrap the injured toe to the toe next to it as you’ve suggested. How long should I leave it buddy wrapped this way? Should I be in contact with the vet about this on Monday? Is it reasonable to believe that they didn’t know this injury had occurred? The vet techs and vet seemed very sweet and conscientious, but I’m 100% sure it happened at the vet as I’m very careful not to keep anything in his cage that can snag nails or toes (like hammocks, fabric, porous wood, etc) and because of how many times they mentioned him being “difficult” during all the tests. For the blood test, x-rays, and shot of doxycycline (with a second shot in one week) I’ve spent over $1k so it’s definitely frustrating to think that the vet visit ended up causing a new issue and pain and discomfort for my sweet boy :(. Will the doxycycline he’s already receiving for his upper respiratory infection be helpful in preventing any infection from setting in in the break?
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

You are very welcome!
If you have a picture of the makeshift cast, be sure to post it. How is he doing today?
The doxycycline will be fine & if for some reason there was a little bit of infection going on
with the area that has been injured it should help out there, too.
Be sure to keep him well hydrated while he is on the meds, too.
Well, that is a hard call. A broken toe could be overlooked that is for sure. However, if they
did mishandle him that isn't good either. Reptiles can be challenging to handle though, but
you might give them a call & mention it.
I would try to keep his toe wrapped up for at least a couple of weeks, if possible.
Let us know how he is doing!

Tracie
 

Kermit24

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

You are very welcome!
If you have a picture of the makeshift cast, be sure to post it. How is he doing today?
The doxycycline will be fine & if for some reason there was a little bit of infection going on
with the area that has been injured it should help out there, too.
Be sure to keep him well hydrated while he is on the meds, too.
Well, that is a hard call. A broken toe could be overlooked that is for sure. However, if they
did mishandle him that isn't good either. Reptiles can be challenging to handle though, but
you might give them a call & mention it.
I would try to keep his toe wrapped up for at least a couple of weeks, if possible.
Let us know how he is doing!

Tracie
Thank you again, Tracie :). He seems to be doing ok today (he never really acted like the toe was giving him pain) and he’s walking on the foot fine. His appetite isn’t great but I was able to get him to eat some hornworms for the moisture and drink water I dropped on his nose. No black bearding or anything. I actually just ordered more Reptophilus from you yesterday to help with his appetite! He always loves that. Here is a picture of how I’ve wrapped the toe. I tried to use the toothpick pieces but couldn’t get them to stay in place. I used self adhering athletic bandage and buddy wrapped the broken toe to the longer toes next to it (not tight at all, but it seems nice and secure and like the broken toe can’t move at all), going over and under the toes to try to provide more support. The broken toe is the second from left where you can only see the nail sticking out. If you think this seems very incorrect or that the toothpicks are necessary, I can try to rewrap it.
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is perfect, no problem at all! At least he doesn't seem to be too bothered by it or be in any
pain right now. Hopefully his toe will heal up just fine, it might or might not have a little notch in the
toe where it broke but mobilizing it should help keep it more aligned for now.
The toothpicks are hard to maneuver so since that works, you can just leave it in place just like it is.
The athletic bandage/tape is terrific, it works great for a lot of things.
I am glad that he likes the Reptophilus, that is wonderful.

Tracie
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Yes, please update us on your dragon's toe/foot area! Has the mobilization method been helping
so far? I hope he is doing good!

Tracie
 

Kermit24

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

Yes, please update us on your dragon's toe/foot area! Has the mobilization method been helping
so far? I hope he is doing good!

Tracie
It seems to be working well! The wrap has stayed on and I haven’t had to change it. He’s walking on the foot just fine, too. Saturday (4 days from now) will be 3 weeks of the wrap being on. I know you said to keep it on at least a few weeks - should I leave it on as long as possible? Change the bandage to make sure the toe is ok in there? Or take it off altogether? Thank you so much for any advice you can give me, Tracie. I really appreciate it!
 

Lyrebird.Rainwing

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Was Swordtail
My beardie is just missing most of one of his toes entirely..
I hope your beardie's toe count stays at 10! (Ps, I count the "toes" on the front legs as fingers)
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is great that the wrap has worked out so well for him! Since he is walking around normally it sounds like he isn't feeling any pain right now.
Since it has been on a little while now, you can take it off to take a look at it, to see how it is healing. Hopefully it is healing up & has set in a straight position.
You can post a picture of it so we can see!

Tracie
 

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