What Is Splayed Feet In Dogs

Many breeds are naturally prone to the condition of splayed feet, which can be be brought on by other circumstances. The condition where the toes of your dog are separated, usually with a noticeable gap, is also called “open toed or “open feet.

How are splayed feet handled?

With a splayed foot, the transverse bulge of the forefoot vanishes, leading the foot to be stretched in areas that are not acclimated to pressure, depending on the severity. The forefoot is wider and has fan-shaped metatarsal bones.

Frequently, this is accompanied by a tender-to-pressure unpleasant callus protrusion. Pain disturbs the foot’s normal rolling mechanism, and patients reflexively misalign their feet, which causes the shoe to become crooked and bend outward.

What are splay feet?

The most typical form of foot malformation is splay feet. The forefoot widens and the foot’s transverse bulge vanishes. As a result, specific portions of the foot no longer support weight, which results in the development of extremely painful and ugly calluses and pressure sores. Splay feet more frequently harm women than men.

What are the causes of splay feet?

Wearing inappropriate footwear or being overweight are two of the primary causes of splay feet. Splay feet can develop when feet are forced to carry a load that is too heavy for them to support in the case of additional weight. As a result, the illness frequently strikes in later life, however it can also strike children. Although congenital malposition is the main cause, traumas, paralysis, weak ligaments, and bone illnesses can also contribute to the condition.

What are the signs of splay feet?

Most frequently, splay feet hurt when they are overworked, especially while walking or standing, and the pain goes away while they are relaxing. Bunions (hallux valgus) are frequently caused by the forefoot flattening and the foot’s descending arch, and at the same time, the little toe begins to tip inward. The metatarso-phalangeal joints are positioned incorrectly as a result, which can lead to corns and claw or hammer toes. As a result, the second and third metatarsophalangeal bones must bear a heavier weight, which causes the foot’s sole to develop painful calluses. The affected patients frequently struggle to get suitable footwear that provides enough room for their malformed feet.

What examinations are made?

Each splay foot displays the same typical corn and callus pattern, therefore a diagnosis can usually be made after speaking with the patient and after a physical examination. The misalignment of the forefoot and toes is what causes this pattern. It is possible to quantify the divergent angles between the metatarso-phalangeal bones on the X-ray, which aids in determining the extent of the deviation.

What would the therapy entail?

Only when the patient is in pain is a therapy indicated. The majority of the time, a sunken-in traverse cannot be permanently removed, but there are numerous treatments available to ease the patient’s pain and provide relief for the foot. The potential non-surgical treatments include:

  • Ballet on the feet
  • wearing wide, comfy shoes to reduce the pressure sores
  • Splay foot inlays
  • Comparative bathing
  • When irritated, immobility
  • inflammatory pain relievers

Surgery can be used to treat toe abnormalities and metatarsophalangeal bones (Claw foot, hammer toe, bunions).

Depending on the severity of the deformity and the patient’s suffering, a number of surgical methods are appropriate for the treatment of single toes. The surgeon may use chevron osteotomy to realign the joints in the treatment of bunions or may remove a bone wedge (wedge osteotomy). The surgeon will evaluate each case individually to determine whether a Hohmann’s procedure, Weil osteotomy, or Girdlestone operation is the best course of action.

Is splay foot correctable?

We typically walk on hard surfaces in our daily lives, and many ladies never leave the house without their high heels. As a result, painful deformities and complaints including a splayfoot, hammer toe, bunion, and calluses result from the transverse arch of the foot sinking. Our splayfoot remedies support hurt feet, ease pain, and can even stop splayfoot development.

What is a splayfoot?

One of the most common foot abnormalities, a splayfoot can be quite painful. It happens when inappropriate tension causes the transverse arch, which runs from the large to the tiny toe, to sink and flatten. As a result, the bottom of the forefoot may develop calluses. A burning sensation in your forefoot, pressure sensitivity, cramping, and instep pain are other symptoms.

The term “splayfoot” refers to the spreading of the forefoot’s metatarsal bones as a result of the flattened arch, which also causes the toes to spread. The front of the foot widens when wearing shoes, compressing the toes, and the ball of the foot plainly protrudes. Early on, it is relatively simple to identify a splayfoot since the insole or inside sole of the shoes tends to show more wear in the middle. Typically, this region is darker and seems tighter.

Support for people with splayfoot issues

The pain brought on by splayfoot issues can be effectively treated using metatarsal pads and foot supports with integrated pads. They enable the forefoot and metatarsal bones to remain and restore their anatomically proper positions while supporting the front portion of the foot. Regular foot exercises and massages can also aid in the relaxation and strengthening of the foot’s muscles.

What leads to canine flat feet?

Dogs’ flat feet are mostly caused by trauma or a genetic susceptibility. Carpal subluxation refers to the first problem, while carpal hyperextension to the second. Depending on the severity of the condition, treating flat feet may involve medication, splinting the affected legs, or surgery.

What are toes spread apart?

“Splay toe is a rare forefoot malformation that frequently results in metatarsalgia and difficulty when walking or carrying weight. Surgical treatment can be difficult since it commonly involves a malrotation and a deviation in the sagittal and transverse planes. We describe a case of a splay toe deformity between the second and third rays of a 62-year-old female patient who had previously experienced avascular osteonecrosis of the second metatarsal head at Smillie stage V of Freiberg-illness. Khler’s There are only a few accounts in the literature, and although it has been noted that the majority of these patients have multiple operations, a clear treatment plan has not yet been established. In the instance that is being discussed, we used a combined surgical method that included a modified Weil’s osteotomy and the transfer of the extensor brevis tendon to successfully treat the patient. We maintain that osseous correction as well as tendon transfer result in effective therapy for correction of a multiplanar deformity of the lesser toe.


Numerous reports of less severe toe malformations like hammer toe, mallet toe, and claw toe can be found in the literature. The best course of treatment for them is still up for debate and can include surgery or conservative therapy [1]. Surgery can be carried out using a traditional open approach or minimally invasive surgery [2]. Both osseous adjustments, such as Weil’s osteotomy, and soft tissue corrections, like extensor brevis tendon transfer, have been reported as surgical possibilities [35]. Treatment for the Splay toe deformity, a rare presentation involving the lesser toes that has only been described in a few cases, is one of these malformations that is extremely difficult and contentious. We show a case of a multiplanar deformity of the forefoot resulting in a splay toe due to Freiberg-osteonecrosis, Khler’s along with the clinical, radiological, and functional outcomes.


The right mid- and forefoot of a 62-year-old woman had metatarsalgia, and her second to third toe was splayed (Figure 1(a)). The second metatarsal head’s avascular osteonecrosis (Freiberg-Khler) development of a comparatively short second metatarsus led to the third toe’s lateral displacement, which was the source of the deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis was not included (RA). Walking investigation revealed that discomfort and deformity symptoms grew worse while carrying weight (Figure 1(b)). It was impossible to walk normally without painful metatarsalgia and third-toe-fourth-toe conflict. Conservative therapy using hard plantar soles and redressing bandages was unsuccessful. The deformity weight bared was seen on the X-ray in the ap view (Figure 1(c)). The deformity was depicted in the lateral view in Figure 2(a).

(A) Spread the toes from the second to the third. (b) Dynamic examination of the foot under weight. (c) A plane X-ray of the foot with a moderately large third metatarsus and Smillie stage V necrosis of the second metatarsal head.

The third metatarsal was operated on using a modified Weil’s osteotomy technique. In order to correct for both shortening and rotation in the transversal plane, the classic Weil’s osteotomy was modified by lateral rotating the metatarsal head. The second extensor brevis tendon was moved to the third toe’s base of the proximal phalanx. On the schematic diagram in Figure 3, the operation is displayed. The plantar plate and collateral ligaments were examined and found to be intact during the procedure. A K-wire was put in a temporary arthrodesis to retain the axis with partial weight bearing in order to facilitate soft tissue healing (Figures 4(a) and 4(b)). After six weeks, the K-wire was removed, and full weight bearing was then resumed (Figure 5(a)). For the functional outcome, a technical walking analysis was conducted (Figure 5(b)). To assess the radiological outcome, X-rays were collected in the ap view (Figure 5(c)) and lateral view (Figure 2(b)). The VAS (Visual Analogue Scale), used to quantify metatarsalgia, showed that the pain level decreased from 7 before surgery to 0 after three months. The final result was evaluated using the AOFAS lesser toes score. It improved from 38 before surgery to 95 after three months of rehabilitation. There was no longer any reported stiffness.

Diagram of the surgical method to repair splay toes: modified Weil’s osteotomy involving lateral metatarsal head rotation. Transfer of the extensor brevis tendon from the second ray to the third toe’s base of the proximal phalanx.

After conducting Weil’s osteotomy, extensor brevis transfer, and temporary arthrodesis of the second toe, the intraoperative X-ray was taken.

Results at the 3-month follow-up following removal of the K-wire, including (a) a weight-bearing photo, (b) a walking analysis, and (c) an X-ray of a plane.


The literature has extensively examined how to treat malformations including claw toes, mallet toes, hammer toes, and even crossover toes [1, 612]. Even the most skilled foot and ankle surgeon may find it difficult to correct a “splay toes deformity” surgically, despite the fact that numerous treatment approaches have been documented in the past 20 years [6, 12]. This is most likely caused by the pathology’s intricate multiplanar component. Splay toe results from a problem in at least two planes (axial and transversal), frequently including an extra rotational deviation. In contrast to mallet toe or hammer toe, which develops in one plane as a result of a tendon disease. All planar faults must be corrected for surgery to be successful.

In the instance of our patient, the second metatarsal was relatively short, which led to the third toe’s lateral deviation, which prompted a caudal rotation, resulting in a partial overlap of the fourth toe. Additionally, the third metatarsal medially deviated, putting pressure on the second to and leading to a medial deviation. All of these structural abnormalities resulted from the second metatarsal’s shortening as a result of Smillie stage V osteonecrosis [13, 14]. Prior to surgery, other potential causes of splay toe growth, such as primary rheumatoid arthritis, were ruled out. The VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) and the AOFAS score for lesser toes were also employed to evaluate the clinical quality of our results [1517].

Restoring the alignment in length, plane, and rotation was necessary for a successful remedial procedure. Due to this, we decided to perform a Weil’s osteotomy in order to restore the length. In order to adjust positioning within the transverse plane and allow the transfer of the extensor brevis tendon to stabilize the rotation forces while maintaining positioning in the frontal plane, the osteotomy was modified as shown on the schematic view in Figure 3. This involved rotating the head laterally.

For the purpose of consolidating soft tissue and bone, a temporary metatarso-transphalangeal arthrodesis for six weeks had been performed. According to the AOFAS score of lesser toes, who improved in all aspects, the 6-week period had no effect on the lesser toes’ range of motion. The radiological and clinical findings at the 3-month checkpoint showed that the combination treatment approach had been successful. It demonstrated that the deformity corrected remained constant without any loss of range of motion.


A rare pathology with a difficult to treat manifestation is the splay toe deformity. It has a rotating component in addition to many directional deformities in the sagittal and transverse planes. A successful outcome was achieved in this unusual example of Freiberg-illness Khler’s with surgical care and planar reconstruction. To clearly identify a therapeutic approach and surgical agreement for the management of these difficult splay toe abnormalities, however, more research is required.

Is a splayed leg self-healing?

Making a temporary splint out of a bandage or piece of tape is the most frequent form of physical therapy performed for spread legs and/or curled toes. The theory is that the issue will resolve itself after a period of time spent pressing the legs or toes into the proper posture.

I’m not against this approach—I know it’s worked for a lot of people—but the times I’ve used it, the girl has found it to be inconvenient. That’s why I was so happy when my friend Stacie uploaded this video about the “glass method” on her YouTube channel Chicken Hues. She achieved fantastic results with a small glass for physical therapy and Nutri-Drench for vitamin treatment (and so did the chicks!).

Sometimes a challenging case of a spread leg and/or curled toes cannot be treated. As chicken caretakers, we quickly discover that occasionally nature can overcome our best efforts. But because chickens are so tough, it’s not unusual for them to live happy lives despite having these deformities. It’s comforting to know they were loved while they were with us in case their little life is not meant to be.

Have you ever had to cope with a baby chick’s spread leg or curled toes? What did you think of it? Comment below and let me know!

comments on “Splayed Leg and Curled Toes: The Best Treatment I’ve Seen

Hello. I have a four-day-old chick. It features a curled foot and a spread leg. I tried a variety of things, but nothing worked. It cannot move and has no access to food or water. Help!!!!

How does a splayed leg appear?

Sprawl leg, commonly referred to as “splay leg,” is a deformation of a chicken’s legs that causes walking to be challenging, if not impossible, because the feet point outward instead of forward. Spraddle leg is easily reversible, so let’s look at how to do it. If left untreated, it may become permanent.


Slick flooring that lead chicks to lose their footing are one factor in the development of spraddle leg. Unless rectified, the legs continue to rotate outward from the hip. Other factors include

  • fluctuations in temperature during incubation
  • a tough hatch that weakens legs
  • a foot or leg injury
  • a crowded brooder
  • a vitamin shortage


The greatest technique to prevent spraddle leg is to provide small feet traction (in cases where it can be avoided). On dry newspaper, chickens should not walk immediately. Paper towels and rubber shelf liners covering newspapers are safer alternatives.

Valentina had been abandoned while being raised by a hen (she hatched the day after Valentine’s Day). When I discovered the egg, it wasn’t warm. I immediately placed it in my incubator in the hopes that it will hatch on time. The chick needed help hatching because it struggled to get out of the shell on its own. The malformation of the legs was instantly apparent. Her spraddle legs were undoubtedly caused by the inconsistent incubation temperatures and the challenges with hatching. She was unable to leave this employment.


A chick has a better chance of maintaining normal leg function the younger it is when treated. Untreated, a chick’s incapacity to obtain food and water on their own might result in death. If given the proper care, a chick can learn to push up, stand, and walk appropriately in less than a week, and frequently much sooner.

To give stability and enable the chick’s bones and muscles to develop and strengthen in the proper posture, the legs must be constrained, braced, or “hobbled.”

A brace can be made from any number of materials, including bandages, rubber bands, yarn, and tape. VetRap is my preferred option. It is simple to apply, sticks to itself, adheres firmly, doesn’t obstruct blood flow when used properly, won’t harm skin or leg feathers, is simple to take off, and has just the right amount of stretch to enable the chick to practice walking.

Just below the knee joint, I carefully wrap each leg with two little pieces of VetRap, being careful not to wrap too tightly. There is no need for tape because it sticks to itself. These anchors, in my opinion, make switching out the brace simpler. I then cut a lengthy piece (about 6-7) to join the legs. The chick should be supported by legs that are placed somewhat wider than typical and with some room between them so that it may move around a little. Every day, the brace should be taken off so you can check your progress and make any necessary adjustments. Make sure that the area that touches the legs doesn’t impede blood flow. The brace is too tight if the chicken’s legs have dents in them. Allow increasing space between the legs as the chick’s legs develop until it is obvious that assistance is no longer required.

Although the wrap work is not perfect, it was too amusing not to share.

Police! Let me see your hands.

Chicks in rehabilitation must be watched around water since they could drown. At initially, they will need help drinking. I added stones to the water to keep everyone safe. (The funnel just serves to discourage chicks from standing in the dish until they figure out how to knock it over.)


Short physical treatment sessions aid in improving balance and leg muscles. When a woman needs to regain her balance, support her body and let her push up. Reduce the help supplied as it learns to stand on its own as you gradually lessen it as it gets its balance. It’s crucial to schedule one-minute sessions 6–8 times throughout the first day.


Crooked toes can result from the majority of the spraddle leg causes outlined above. According to Gail Damerow in The Chicken Encyclopedia, newly hatched chicks who have too little room in the incubator may attempt to stand up and move around before their fragile bones are prepared for the activity, which can result in them bending their toes. When handled right away, crooked toes in chicks don’t cause debilitation and are simple to fix.

Create a chick sandal out of light cardboard (little heavier than oak tag paper) and trace it around the foot to correct crooked toes (either mitten-style or glove-style as shown below). Cut pipe cleaners, wooden skewers, or coffee stirrers to the length of the toe, taking care to avoid their sharp ends. Attach the skewers/pipe cleaners to the toes firmly enough that the splint won’t move but loosely enough that circulation isn’t impeded using very small strips of VetRap. Add the cardboard sandal to the foot’s bottom by VetRapping it there.

In contrast to alternative solutions like tape, the VetRap offers traction to prevent slipping and is simpler to use. In general, a chick’s response to therapy is quicker the younger she is. After a day or two in the sandals, the toes typically stay straight, but it can take a little longer for the bones to harden in the proper position.

Here is a cast I made of deformed toes. HOW TO: Just slightly bigger than the chick’s footprint, cut two Vetrap squares. Have the chick stand on one square with her toes in the appropriate positions on a flat surface. Align the second Vetrap square with the first one and place it on top of the toes. To make the Vetrap pieces adhere together, press the pieces close to each toe. Trim the Vetrap carefully around the toes using scissors, then make miniature casts by gently pinching the Vetrap up above the toes.