Scooter is not scooting anymore. The big, bouncy, Golden Retriever was running loose in the ravine behind his owner's house one day, when he took a tumble and fell down a steep embankment that he did not realize was there, as it was covered in brush. Scooter came limping home and was immediately rushed to the vet. It turned out, Scooter fractured his front leg, and because he is so rambunctious, he had to have a cast put on to immobilize the leg until it heals properly. But his family did not have a chance to bathe him before his accident, and he isn't smelling any better a week later! Plus, because he can't run around outside as much, he is in the house more, where his smell is really starting to bother his people. The veterinarian advised Scooter’s owners to keep the cast dry, so how are they going to give Scooter a bath?!
Casts can become structurally compromised when wet. They are supposed to provide rigid support to the affected limb, and water softens materials and causes them to come loose. Fortunately, there are a few options to wash Scooter and keep his cast intact.
An injured dog with a cast on his leg may not be very happy about his condition. He may be grumpy if he is experiencing discomfort from the injury, or the cast itself, or he may be full of excess energy he can't burn off, because of reduced mobility. On top of that, you need to take extra precautions to keep a cast dry when washing your dog, which can be even more challenging. You are both going to need some patience, and maybe some rewards to help this process go a little smoother.
If you've ever had a cast on you know that washing with one can be a bit of a challenge. It can be even more of a challenge when washing your dog, since he does not know why his cast cannot get wet and may resist your waterproofing attempts. Have an assistant help hold your dog and make sure protection methods stay in place. An assistant can also help distract a grumpy dog and support an injured limb during bathing or if your dog is quite large, you may need help to lift him into the washing area, as he will be unable to jump. Alternatively, waterless washing is also a good option; there are several products available commercially to help you with this, or you can make your own dry shampoo or give your dog a sponge bath! Be patient, this process may take a little longer than normal. Set aside time so you won't be rushed.