Darwin Animal Doctors


Lourdes and the rubber band

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Lourdes came to the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic with a wound on his right front paw. The team of Doctors tried to examine the wound, but the poor pup was so frightened that he quickly became highly agitated and was trying to bite the Doctors. The family were not able to muzzle Lourdes and his behavior continued to escalate. Instead of stressing the poor pup any more, the team of Doctors provided the family with antibiotics and medication to help with the pain. They asked the family to give the medication to the dog once he relaxed and to bring him back into the clinic the next day so the team could try, once again, to examine the wound.

The family and Lourdes returned several days later. The wound was still present, and had seemed to have moved from the back to the front of his paw. The Doctors suspected that something was constricting the limb, and causing damage throughout the paw. Knowing how fearful Lourdes was and how quickly he escalated the previous visit, the team sedated him immediately, allowing them to closely examine the wound.

“As we suspected, we found a rubber band that someone put on the leg and it was already cutting deep into the flesh” reported one of our Doctors onsite.

The team understood very quickly why Lourdes had become so nervous so quickly; he was in a lot of pain. While Lourdes was still sedated, Dr. Filip quickly and carefully removed the band, washed the wound thoroughly and closed it with few stitches.


“With cases like this, prolonged constriction by elastic bands limits blood flow and after some time causes necrosis of the paw. Lourdes was very lucky, because despite having his paw constricted for probably close to two weeks, he only had deep and bleeding wounds. If the paw was necrotic, we would have had to amputate the leg. In this case though, the prognosis is very good and the wound is expected to heal completely”.

Thankfully for this dog, the Darwin Animal Doctors team were there to look after him, and save his leg before the constriction progressed to necrosis. The team will keep an eye on Lourdes during the healing process, but he is expected to have a full recovery.

Although this was a simple treatment, it was also a simple act that caused Lourdes so much pain and discomfort. If this injury was left untreated, the damaged to Lourdes right front paw could have been much worse.

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