To describe use of a custom orthotic boot for management of distal extremity and pad wounds in dogs.
Dogs (n = 3).
A custom orthotic boot made of lightweight copolymer plastic was used to immobilize the distal extremity and protect full-thickness wounds involving the medial or lateral aspect of the metatarsus including a portion of the metatarsal pad in 3 dogs. Boots were made in a bivalve design with closed-cell foam padding and adjustable straps that allowed for easy application. They were molded with the tarsocrural joint in slight hyperextension and the metatarsophalangeal joints in a neutral position so that the wounds and metatarsal pads were "off weighted" when the dogs were standing. In addition, a "window" was cut out directly over the wounds to minimize direct contact between the boot and the wound.
Wounds healed by contraction and epithelialization in 21, 21, and 45 days. The only complication encountered was mild skin irritation at the top of the boot in 2 dogs that was managed with additional closed-cell foam padding.
A custom orthotic boot was effective at immobilizing the distal extremity and reducing contact between the wound and the boot which allowed for complete healing by contraction and epithelialization.