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Fused Toe Joints - Anyone Help Me On This?


Guest selma
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Guest selma

My boy has had a limp on and off for a year now. We've been to 2 vets who haven't really helped us, the one symptom which is obvious to me (and I told both vets this) is that his outer toe (front) has joints that are totally stiff. The toe sits lower than the others and so is the first one that hits the ground and being so inflexible I think is what causes him discomfort. I did get an xray but somehow the vet tech missed his foot, I got shoulder to ankle ($300 later) so any tumours, osteo arthritis in that area is ruled out. He's had acupuncture and I spent several hundred dollars more on alternative remedies but noone seems to be able to give me a clear diagnosis. I 've given it enough time to heal I feel and it hasn't so I'm going to get an xray of just his paw day after tomorrow. My question is: does this sound familiar to anyone? Any ideas what could be going on?

Thanks for your input

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Guest JillyBean30

It sounds like maybe he broke a toe during his race days, and it wasn't set properly. Sometimes with a really bad break (especially if there is damage to a joint), the bones can fuse during healing, leaving you with a stiff joint. Have seen this happen to people who break fingers & damage a joint - they can't bend those ones any more!

 

Hopefully it's only corns, and not any damage to any toes! :angelwings

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Guest Rethy

Shoxy has stiffened toe joints (actually the whole foot) on the leg that she broke as a puppy. The vet thinks it's probably from extensive time spent in a cast that included the foot while she was growing. Based on vet records it looks like she was in a cast on and off from 5 weeks to 8 months old.

 

Last week we went to visit a physical therapist/acupuncturist to see what can be done about her leg in general. She wasn't sure about our chances as far as increasing flexibility in the foot- she's never seen a foot this badly "stuck" before, and it's been that way for a long time. However she did say we could try to work on it, in addition to the other work we're doing to help strengthen her hock.

 

Right now we're putting a heat pack on the foot for 5-10 minutes twice a day. Once everything is warm I sit with her and stretch her toes, pushing them as far into a flexed foot position as they will go. I usually do the stretches for at least 5 minutes, but I give her breaks every 30secs to 1 minute. It is a long, slow stretch though, not bouncing in and out of position. We're on Day 5 of what is going to be a total of 10 weeks of therapy with the vet. It's definitely too soon to say if it's making any difference. The vet stressed that like with any flexibility work you do for yourself, consistency is key. Even if we make any progress, taking a break for a few days could let it go back to where it was initially.

 

I would highly recommend once you get the x-ray, if you're not getting good enough feedback from your vet or your surgeon, that you see a vet that specializes in rehabilitation. Given the lack of diagnosis over such a long period of time, this sounds like it might be the case. They often have a completely different perspective on the situation!

 

Good luck! :colgate

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Guest selma
You need to get xrays of the toes :) I assume you have checked his pads for corns?

We got the xrays today and the joints look all perfectly normal and no corns anywhere. The vet thinks it's the ligament on the outside of the foot that got damaged and there's a build up of fibrous tissue....My understanding is that ligaments don't heal and she has recomended removing the outer toe. This is

a little scary for me, I guess I want to make sure I've exhausted every other possible treatment option first. Wish it was as simple as corns!

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