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How Do Greyhounds Fare With Only 3 Paws?


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Guest JamesP

Hi everyone,

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere but I've searched the forum and not found anything specific, although I'm not very familiar with forums so I may have missed it.

 

My mother's greyhound is recovering from a broken foot and has developed an ulcer from his cast rubbing on his leg and the vet is considering amputating his paw if the ulcer can't be healed satisfactorily. My mother and father are afraid that the dog will suffer too much if he is reduced in this way, as the dog is impossible to restrain from running around even as he is, and they are afraid that he will injure himself further. Their other concern is their back steps of which there are 13, that he would have to use daily, and whether he will need to be carried. Their last dog had both anteriour cruciate ligaments (I think...) removed and was badly hobbled as a result. In short, my parents are considering having their dog put down as they believe his quality of life will be poor.

 

Can anyone with any experience with amputee greyhounds give me any advice or information?

 

Thanks for your time.

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If you were going to amputate, you'd want to amputate the leg, not just the foot. Many greys get along fine with 3 legs and some do learn to do stairs again. But I would first see another vet -- second opinion -- about the ulcer. Cast sores are pretty common, and they usually do heal when given proper care.

 

Hugs and luck to your parents.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I would get another opinion. Lots of people here have dealt with cast sores and as far as I know they healed up just fine. Hopefully others with more experience will come into this thread.

gallery_24215_3397_4722.jpg

Carolina (R and A Carolina) & Rebel (FA Ready).
At the bridge: Kira (Driven by Energy) 7/19/97 - 6/17/04 & Jake (Jumpstart Dude) 9/12/00 - 1/24/15

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i'd get another opinion, also. loca also had a broken foot (well, toe) that developed an ulcer and became infected from the bandage rubbing and from getting wet. she was treated with antibiotics for a long time and everything eventually cleared up.

Edited by robinw

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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your parents should ask their vet about an antibiotic called clamavox, which loca took for three weeks when she developed an infected ulcer due to a wet cast.

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest margot

Thanks James - the vet was more encouraging after scaring us last night. No mention of amutation today as the ulcers had cleared a lot overnight. The broken toes however are not showing much improvement on x-ray today. However, he is putting the paw to the ground.

 

He's now in a soft but firm bandaging instead of that dreadful plastic half cast with little lining to soften the edges. Hence most of the ulcers were at the edges.Oh and we were supposed to keep him upstairs. Anyone have a bedpan for greys?

 

robinw - he's on clavulox (amoxycillin). I'll look up clamavox - thankyou.

 

He's a little stircrazy this afternoon but perhaps that's partly from being to the vet twice in less than 24 hours and being sedated twice. He's back again tomorrow morning to have the ulcers washed again and the bandaging changed.

 

 

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my vet gave me empty iv bags and rubber bands to cover the soft bandages during walks. as long as they are fastened tight enough, they do a good job of keeping out moisture. i used it for every walk, even when it seemed dry outside.

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest LynnM

My youngest hound is rehabbing from a broken leg and developed a whopper of a pressure sore on his elbow. He was out of his splint almost 2 months ago, but the last remnants of the sore finally closed completely LAST WEEK. Time, antibiotics (only for the first few weeks), and as much cleanliness as possible will eventally allow it to heal. I've seen others try to rush healing with creative bandaging, surgeries, topicals, etc, with poor results. I just keep an eye on it, and as long as it's not getting WORSE (larger, more painful, re-infected), time and patience are often your best allies.

 

I would CERTAINLY want a second opinion before something as drastic as amputation.

 

Lynn

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Guest margot

Thanks for more information about healing these absesses, pressure sores or cast sores - all names for the same condition?

 

Our problem with any sort of plastic over the bandage is the humidity. It makes the wound sweat but while he is downstairs it has to be covered.

 

My husband just looked over my shoulder to read this topic. His question - does it cost you $400.00 every time you go to get these sores flushed and redressed? Serious question.

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Why does the bandage need to be covered downstairs when he is in the house? Yes, you have to cover it outside but I never covered it inside.

gallery_24215_3397_4722.jpg

Carolina (R and A Carolina) & Rebel (FA Ready).
At the bridge: Kira (Driven by Energy) 7/19/97 - 6/17/04 & Jake (Jumpstart Dude) 9/12/00 - 1/24/15

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$400 sounds a little extreme, but markets/prices differ widely. If the procedure involves anesthesia, then the price might be a bit higher. Would the vet teach you how to do the flushing procedure, or is it an internal flushing w a tube or needle inserted in a wound? A simple bandage change shouldn't cost much more than a regular office visit. Are you going to your regular vet or to an emergency clinic?

 

One thing you want to check is whether the bandaging is too tight. Feel the paw on the unbandaged leg to see how warm it is. Then feel the pads on the other paw; it should be around the same temperature. If it is much cooler, then the bandage is likely too tight and is cutting off the blood supply to the foot. This can result in tissue death, which can, in extreme circumstances, result in an amputation.

 

It appears that you are in the UK, is that correct? I'm asking because by knowing where you are we can give you better advice about prices. Also, you may find that there are GT members who live nearby who can give you specific local advice about the best greyhound knowledgeable vet, etc.

 

Donna

Donna
Molly the Border Collie & Poquita the American-born Podenga

Bridge Babies: Daisy (Positive Delta) 8/7/2000 - 4/6/2115, Agnes--angel Sage's baby (Regall Rosario) 11/12/01 - 12/18/13, Lucky the mix (Found, w 10 puppies 8/96-Bridge 7/28/11, app. age 16) & CoCo (Cosmo Comet) 12/28/89-5/4/04

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If they are anaesthetizing to flush the ulcer, that can add a lot to the cost. Is he basically a calm, stoic dog who is good at the vet? If so, you might ask the vet (or a second-opinion vet) about just giving him a little something (benadryl, valium) before the procedure rather than putting him under. That really depends on the wound and the dog, but it's worth an ask.

 

It is also worth an ask to get the vet to give you materials and teach you how to flush and bandage at home. That way, if the bandage does inadvertently get dirty or wet, you can fix it without taking him in. You might want a little more healing to occur before you start doing this on your own -- depends on the wound, the dog, and you.

 

I don't put plastic on indoors but only outdoors. Indoors I do sometimes slip a baby sock over the bandage to help protect it a bit.

 

Keeping all fingers crossed for you and your pupster.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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i just want to offer a little encouragement. in the three years i've had loca, she broke three metatarsel bones in right leg (all one injury) and broke her toe. the broken toe was more much problematic than the metatarsel bones. it took longer to heal, became infected and needed frequent bandage changes. i think you'll find that many of us whose dogs broke their toe(s) needed lots of patience and perseverance during the relatively long healing time.

siggy_robinw_tbqslg.jpg
Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I was wondering if the vet has mentioned having you do hydro-therapy?

Greyhound angels at the bridge- Casey, Charlie, Maggie, Molly, Renie, Lucy & Teddy. Beagle angels Peanut and Charlie. And to all the 4 legged Bridge souls who have touched my heart, thank you. When a greyhound looks into you eyes it seems they touch your very soul.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more then he loves himself". Josh Billings

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Guest margot

Greylover- "downstairs" for us in the back yard - our house is on one level but with stairs front and back. Our laundry is under the house along with the cars - six at the front - thirteen at the back. Oh that's stairs - not cars.

This is an old house and to answer DaisyDoodle - we are in Austalia. And yes we are watching the bandaging. Toes were cold last night but warm this morning. I asked for a second opinion and that will be forthcoming on the broken toes - but I had to push for the vet from whom I wished that opinon! Our daughter said "But MUM, you are paying the vet - she is not paying you!" Response - yes - but professionals don't like to have there diagnoses and treatments questioned (?)

 

Batmom - the vet told me today how stoic our dog is and how tolerant of the flushing but they are not putting him under - just sedating but I don't know the name of the drug they are using. He can walk but in baby steps after this sedation. And yes our next request from the vet is to do the dressing ourselves. My husband is a dentist - he has a few clues about wounds ets and our daughter is willing to assist. I just need the courage to take on the vet who will undoubtedly talk "insurance" with me.

 

robinw - thanks for the toe history - our dog only went in with broken toes - you have to laugh you're you'd cry - thank you.

Edited by margot
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Guest gottaluvgreysindy

I just read through this whole thread and there has certainly been lots of valuable advice. I just wanted to let you know that I currently have not one but two greys with only three legs and they keep up with my four legged girl just fine. Having one leg amputated does not slow them down at all and does not decrease their quality of life. It sounds like maybe amputation is off the table now, but just in case it comes up again and you need some advice please feel free to ask more questions. Good luck!

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Guest margot

gottaluvgreysind -thank you! My son found this site and started the topic - bless his cotton socks! We have so much more information.

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I have had some experience in changing casts on my boy Rascal. He had both back legs in casts for almost 8 weeks.

I eventually got very proficient in changing the casts on my own, after watching and working with the vet techs.

My boy had cast sores as well, they all went away and were kept to a minimum with Frequent cast changings to keep the material dry and antibiotics.

 

Also, try using a towel under the dogs belly, giving support, or completely holding the dogs legs as you walk with him down & up the stairs. I didn't see this posted earilier, but this was the only way we got thru the months of casts and rehab with my boy. I have 2 flights of stairs and it's the only way get outside.

 

Good luck!

 

btw, it only cost $25 per leg for re-casting. that is until I learned how to do it on my own! then I just spent the $ on the materials..

Edited by 3DogNite

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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Guest margot

Thank you for more information!

 

Jeb isn't being sedated anymore for bandage changes - not back in the cast till the ulcers heal. The vet showed me the recent x-ray and the toe bones don't appear to be healing but are not out of place. However, my husband who has lots of experience with x-rays, tells me that only hard bone will show up on x-ray so the bones could very well be healing nicely.

 

I've had a suggestion about treating the ulcers - granulated sugar on the edges. That came from a nurse who has treated the elderly for pressure sores and she tells me it works well. Also - you can't beat the price! I mentioned it to the vet's assistant today who said he would pass it on but rolled his eyes at the thought. Anyone heard that one?

 

Love the videos!

 

 

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James,

 

I agree with everyone about a second opinion.

 

Dogs do very well on three legs. Check this out.

 

I really hope they don't put him down.

Oh my gosh, that is a riot. One of my favorite animal related quotes is from the movie Seabiscuit. "You don't throw away a whole life just because he's banged up a little..." (or something to that effect!) Although it sounds like you won't have to go that route anyhow....

Edited by gracegirl

Tessie, PK's Cat Island 12/9/13
Gabby the Airedale 7/1/18
Forever missing Grace (RT's Grace, 18156/23B), Fenway (not registered, def a greyhound), and Jackson (airedale terrier, honorary greyhound)

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