Limb Fractures

Limb Fractures – Snake Bites Bandages and Splints



  • Sudden (within 20 minutes) pain or swelling in a body part.

  • Sudden onset of acute lameness.

  • Unwillingness to walk on an affected paw or leg.

  • Limb in abnormal position.

  • Excessive panting or salivation.

  • Swelling at site of injury.

  • Fang marks.

  • Acute pain

  • Occasional breathing difficulties or total collapse.

  • Bleeding and or protruding bone fragments.



  • Do not cut over the bite marks as it increases the excitement of the pet and increases

  • Restrain in a towel or blanket to keep warm.

the toxicity of the venom.

  • Immobilize injured limb by splinting, if possible.

  • Do not apply a tourniquet to prevent the spread of venom. It does not spread

  • Take to veterinarian.

through the blood. It binds to the tissues and spreads through the lymph. The only exception. to this is with coral snake bites, in which case an arterial tourniquet is



  • Place tape “stirrups” directly on the fur extending the length of the leg and 8

  • Do not heat or cool the area excessively. This has been shown to alter blood flow y

inches beyond. These are then incorporated into the bandage as shown below.

and increase the damage to the affected area.

  • Bandage materials should be placed into the depressions of the leg and left

  • Do not treat a pet for a snake bite which has not started to swell greatly within

off the protuberances in a manner as to turn the leg into a uniform cylinder.

  • 20 minutes of the bite. 20% of snake bites are without envenomizatio

  • Bandage layers are secured with stretch gauze or cotton cloth and adhesive tape.


  • After the leg is uniform in diameter, a splint is placed along the outside of the

  • If snake fang marks are on a leg, apply a splint and bandage to prevent lymph flow.

bandage. Use rolled newspaper, rolled magazines, or thin wooden slats to immobilize the limb. Be sure splint is long enough for entire limb

  • Wrap the limb in an elastic bandage.

  • Apply a splint to keep it in place.

  • Secure splint with tape, cloth bandage or other material.

  • Splint limb in extension rather than flexion.

  • .Re-wrap the entire limb and splint it to keep it immobilized.

  • Application of DMSO to bite area may reduce swelling.

  • Keep the patient calm

  • Wrap in blanket.

  • Take to veterinarian immediately for:

  • Administration of antivenom

  • Fluid therapy antihistamines and corticosteroids for shock

  • Antibiotics to prevent infection

  • Ancillary warm water soaks, whirlpool baths or hydrotherapy to manage tissue

death following the incident.


The.nonvenomous Texas Longnose Snake has a single row of subcaudal scales and a divided anal plate.

The venomous Coral Snake has a double row of subcaudal scales and a single anal plate.