Schroeder Thomas splint
*This post is for information purposes only and does not replace the need for a qualified veterinarian*
Our veterinarian anesthetized the calf and he set the leg. We assisted by making the frame and wrapping the leg under his supervision.
This time of year we get two or three emails each week asking about the Schroeder Thomas Splint (click here for the original post).
Here are the instructions and pictures:
Our calf had a left hind leg break. These pictures are of a Schroeder-Thomas splint for a hind leg. Regardless whether front or hind leg the objective is to fix the leg in place and apply downward pressure, with the leg fully extended to set the bone in place. (The red broom handle represents the leg) Click on the pictures to view more clearly.
1. Measure the hip/thigh of the calf for back leg or shoulder/upper arm for front leg. We used string to measure the thigh and made a paper template of the leg. Based on those measurements Keith Used steel rod to weld this frame.
2. Weld a plate for a hoof rest at the bottom of the splint. The plate will secure the leg in place with downward pressure.
3. Fix the leg to the sides of the frame; tape alternately left side, right side, repeat as you tape the length of the leg to the frame. DO NOT WRAP THE ENTIRE LEG TO ONE SIDE: ALTERNATE THE WRAP FOR LATERAL STABILITY. (We used 3m Vet Wrap)
4. Wrap around the hoof and fix the leg to the bottom of the frame; apply downward pressure and fully extend the leg. A wooden splint will help hold the leg in a place to the bottom of the frame. On our first attempt we didn't have the hoof held tightly to the bottom of the frame.
5. Cushion any pressure points to prevent open sores. Apply topical fly repellant.
6. We covered all the vet wrap with duct tape for additional stability. Don't use duct tape directly on the hair coat without protective covering .
7. It will take a few days for the calf to learn to get up and down while wearing the splint. He'll get the hang of it but it will be awkward.
8. If you need help send an email, we're happy to answer questions.