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4 Dislocated Toes Since January


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I'm at my wit's end. :(

 

Ivy has had 4 dislocated toes in the last 5 months. Three on a front paw (one outside toe, two were the inside toe) and one on her back paw (outside toe). One time she did it inside the house, the rest have all been outside - sometimes she's playing, sometimes she's just trotting around the yard.

 

She's missing a toe on the other front foot already.

 

Each time she does it, the vet has to sedate her to re-set it. And she's in a splint for 3-4 weeks. She really does a number on her tootsies.

 

At this point, all of her feet have been x-rayed and the vet can't find any cause for this to happen. Her nails aren't long, and I try to dremel them as short as I can each session (but when a paw is in a splint for 4 weeks, it's kinda hard to keep ahead of the game).

 

We bought Therapaw booties, but of course tonight I didn't put them on and she dislocated another toe. They are rubbing parts of her feet raw, so I have a feeling they aren't fit right and so I need to have them resized. Maybe she'll just have to live in the therapaws?!?

 

Has anyone dealt with this problem before? I can take one or two... but now we're on four dislocations so there's something wrong here.

Edited by BauersMom

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Wow, how frustrating! I would also think there has to be some kind of underlying factor for it to just keep happening, although I don't really have any ideas. Where is Ivy from? Is there any chance she could have had valley fever? I know that it can sometimes compromise the bones, so much so, that it can even be mistaken for osteo, but I have no idea if this would be a ligament or a bone issue.... :grouphug

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

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Guest greytful4

Ouch! I feel your pain! My Ky broke her little toe last night and is in a splint! She was just doing her usual zoomies in the house when I heard a yelp ! I hope you can find out what's causing all those dislocations! :f_white

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Wow, how frustrating! I would also think there has to be some kind of underlying factor for it to just keep happening, although I don't really have any ideas. Where is Ivy from? Is there any chance she could have had valley fever? I know that it can sometimes compromise the bones, so much so, that it can even be mistaken for osteo, but I have no idea if this would be a ligament or a bone issue.... :grouphug

 

Well, as far as I know, she only ever raced in New England. And all her x-rays came out clean - no signs of osteo or anything like that!

 

It's beyond frustrating and I feel so bad for her. :(

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Guest LynnM

It's a crappy toe issue. Some greyhounds just have awful feet, and once one toe dislocates, others follow as the dog attempts to compensate.

 

There is no such thing as too long of a rehab from a dislocated toe. Tendons and ligaments are some of the slowest tissues there are to heal because they have a horrible blood supply.

 

If it was my dog, I'd restrict the dog to leash walking for a long, long, long time. I'm talking 3 to 4 months, if not longer. That's not to say that the dog has to be inactive- walking and hiking are fine, though I'd steer clear of any particularly rocky, uneven terrain. But, he must remain on leash and at a walk or a trot, including potty walks. The dog park and free running are out.

 

There are also procedures that are colloquially known as "firing" a toe where a sclerosing agent (Calcium Chloride) is introduced to the joint capsule and causes scar tissue to form, thus holding the toe in place. It is very effective when done by a skilled vet. It's as much an art as a science, and so not everyone that knows how to do it is good at doing it. It's something to consider if there's a toe that continues to pop in and out. (Dr. Gillette at Auburn is the God of Greyhound Feet, IMO).

 

Lynn

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Guest SillyDog

There are various congenital diseases that can cause hypermobility problems. I have something called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which, among other things, means my ligaments are longer and/or stretchier than they ought to be. I've broken my right foot 3 times because of this, and most of my joints partially hyperextend. (Stupid human tricks!) Anyway, dogs can get these diseases, too -- maybe she has something like EDS? However, even if it were EDS I'm not sure how that diagnosis would help you. Therapaws are a good step -- anything that will support her feet will help. Too bad they don't make orthodics for greys! That's what helps me the most.

 

Hope things get better! It doesn't sound like much fun for anyone right now.

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Guest LynnM

There are ways to tape toes for hard running dogs, but there's no reason for a pet dog to need that sort of thing for leash walking. If things were dislocating *that* easily, then there are much more serious issues going on. This sort of stuff primarily happens when a dog dislocates or injures one toe, then does some free running/tight cornering before they should and another toe dislocates, then another, then another. The only way to stop the cycle is to remove any toes that are beyond repair, splint/fire/rest any that were "once and done" or less severely compromised, and then leash walk only for a long, long, long time. I can't imagine what a bootie would do for a dislocated toe- if anything, it would encourage an even more unnatural posture/gait.

 

Lynn

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Guest sheila
Each time she does it, the vet has to sedate her to re-set it. And she's in a splint for 3-4 weeks. She really does a number on her tootsies.

I don't know what is going on but I agree there has to be some medical reason why the toes dislocate so frequently. Have you ever tried putting any of the toes back in place yourself? I have done this when Kiowa dislocated a toe and it took about 2 seconds and he's never had it pop out again. He just stood there and let me do it w/o a whimper. I know there are a few GTers who regularly pop their dogs toes back.

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There are ways to tape toes for hard running dogs, but there's no reason for a pet dog to need that sort of thing for leash walking. If things were dislocating *that* easily, then there are much more serious issues going on. This sort of stuff primarily happens when a dog dislocates or injures one toe, then does some free running/tight cornering before they should and another toe dislocates, then another, then another. The only way to stop the cycle is to remove any toes that are beyond repair, splint/fire/rest any that were "once and done" or less severely compromised, and then leash walk only for a long, long, long time. I can't imagine what a bootie would do for a dislocated toe- if anything, it would encourage an even more unnatural posture/gait.

 

Lynn

 

She's 8 and a fairly slow pup! She's not tearing it up when she does this - the first time she was just walking from room to room, literally. I watched her turn the corner and then come up lame. The next two times she was running back in from a potty break and this last time she was doing some cornering - and this was about 3 weeks after her last splint came off and her first attempt at running since then (same toe as last time, though all previous times it was different toes).

 

We're leashing walking now and we certainly can keep doing it for any length of time. We don't encourage her running at all, and in fact, she rarely does so it's not that hard.

 

How do we/the vet determine which toes are beyond repair? We've had 3 different toes now on 2 different feet and she's already missing one toe. :blink: And how do I find someone who know how to 'fire' a toe? Heck, at this point, I'll drive to Auburn! :lol

 

 

Each time she does it, the vet has to sedate her to re-set it. And she's in a splint for 3-4 weeks. She really does a number on her tootsies.

I don't know what is going on but I agree there has to be some medical reason why the toes dislocate so frequently. Have you ever tried putting any of the toes back in place yourself? I have done this when Kiowa dislocated a toe and it took about 2 seconds and he's never had it pop out again. He just stood there and let me do it w/o a whimper. I know there are a few GTers who regularly pop their dogs toes back.

 

I've tried. She screams like bloody murder and as far as I can tell the toe won't budge. The vet has done the same thing with no luck. The other thing that I've been told is fairly odd about this is the way she dislocates her toes are not like "common" dislocations. Like the toe dislocates OUT rather than UP out of the joint (I'm not sure if that's how the vet explained it though, I may be remembering this incorrectly - but it was something to that effect).

 

Thanks for all the input.

 

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Guest LynnM

Whether or not a toe is worth keeping depends on how often it pops in and out, how easily it does so when manipulated, how much arthritis is there, and whether or not that arthritis is causing the dog pain. As I'm sure you've become aware, 3 weeks post-splinting is not nearly enough elapsed time to allow free running. The jury's out a bit as to whether or not splinting any more good than a soft wrap. I tend to prefer the soft wrap for my dogs whenever possible. It's easier on them, easier on me (to change), and less expensive (fewer supplies needed at each change). Again, the important thing (have I mentioned this already? LOL) is to go slow. Take the longest rehab scenario the vet gives you and add a while.

 

Folks with dogs who pop a toe, pop it back in and never have a problem again are LUCKY. And rare. Every time it comes out, you're back to square one as far as rehab goes, the ligaments and tendons strech even more (or tear), you risk infection- a very real risk, the likelihood of arthritis increases and the likelihood of a favorable outcome (the dog being able to do normal dog stuff without dislocating the toe again) decreases.

 

 

One supplement that is also worth mentioning is Standard Process' Ligaplex II. It certainly won't hurt, and does sometimes do some good. If you're inclined towards Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is also a Tendon/Ligament Support powder for dogs and horses (to be gotten from a vet schooled in TCM).

 

I guess one last avenue to look at would be some sort of collagen defect, although these are usually congenital and hereditary (think Marfan's in humans) and would have been symptomatic long ago.

 

ETA, the best way to find a vet that is gifted in firing toes is to head to an upper-echelon track (Lincoln or Raynham if you're in New England) and ask around- trainers, track vet, etc.

 

Lynn

Edited by LynnM
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Guest SillyDog
I guess one last avenue to look at would be some sort of collagen defect, although these are usually congenital and hereditary (think Marfan's in humans) and would have been symptomatic long ago.

 

Lynn

 

 

Yes, Marfan's & Ehlers-Danlos are both collagen defects. They're usually severe enough that they're diagnosed early. But every once in awhile you can have a milder case where bizarre things happen but they're not life-threatening. That's why I mentioned my experiences with Ehlers-Danlos. However, both of these diseases are pretty darn rare. I was just throwing the possibility out there that there could be an underlying cause....

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I guess one last avenue to look at would be some sort of collagen defect, although these are usually congenital and hereditary (think Marfan's in humans) and would have been symptomatic long ago.

 

ETA, the best way to find a vet that is gifted in firing toes is to head to an upper-echelon track (Lincoln or Raynham if you're in New England) and ask around- trainers, track vet, etc.

 

Lynn

 

We've only had her since last fall, and within 2 months had dislocated her first toe. I will be up at the track for the Expo and will ask her trainer if this is status quo for her or something new. I doubt she has any sort of hereditary disease but maybe she's always had crappy toes. :rolleyes:

 

I'll track down some of the Ligaplex too, worth trying. She's already on the standard gluco/chondroitin/MSM supplement.

 

Since we have X-rays of all her feet, I'll ask the vet to see if we're dealing with any arthritis. This is the first repeat offender toe, as far as "problem" toes go.

 

She's in a soft wrap now - the splints tend to really bother her.

 

 

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Guest LynnM

Well, sand is VERY easy on toes- that's why many track dogs encounter problems when they start lure coursing ("Porcelain toes"). Their feet were perfectly adequate for running on even, graded sand, but on uneven, harder grass, many simply don't have tough enough feet. So.... not having issues at the track doesn't mean much, as she was running on a surface that is engineered to be very easy on the feet.

 

Arthritis develops over time, so just because it's not there right now doesn't mean that it won't in 6 months or a year or 5 years. It'll be something to keep in the back of your mind if she starts with any gradual lameness in the future.

 

Lynn

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I can see sand being easier on the toes, but since she came to us missing a toe I though maybe there might be some history there.

 

My vet brought up the arthritis possibility today and gave us some options to think about - adequan, increasing her gluco/chrondroitin/MSM supplements, etc. She already favors her broken hock leg, so maybe that's the source of her 'unnatural gait' that's causing this?

Edited by BauersMom

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Guest LynnM

Yes, it's worth your time to find out if the amputated toe was due to a dislocation or a break. A broken toe can happen for any number of reasons- bad step, full moon... you name it, but if there was a dislocation, we could well have the start of a pattern.

 

Lynn

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Tessiegirl

I was wondering how you are getting along with the thera-paws. I am considering getting them for Tessie. How do you decide what size - what size did you get?

 

Thanks,

Debbie

 

 

 

 

I'm at my wit's end. :(

 

Ivy has had 4 dislocated toes in the last 5 months. Three on a front paw (one outside toe, two were the inside toe) and one on her back paw (outside toe). One time she did it inside the house, the rest have all been outside - sometimes she's playing, sometimes she's just trotting around the yard.

 

She's missing a toe on the other front foot already.

 

Each time she does it, the vet has to sedate her to re-set it. And she's in a splint for 3-4 weeks. She really does a number on her tootsies.

 

At this point, all of her feet have been x-rayed and the vet can't find any cause for this to happen. Her nails aren't long, and I try to dremel them as short as I can each session (but when a paw is in a splint for 4 weeks, it's kinda hard to keep ahead of the game).

 

We bought Therapaw booties, but of course tonight I didn't put them on and she dislocated another toe. They are rubbing parts of her feet raw, so I have a feeling they aren't fit right and so I need to have them resized. Maybe she'll just have to live in the therapaws?!?

 

Has anyone dealt with this problem before? I can take one or two... but now we're on four dislocations so there's something wrong here.

 

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I can see sand being easier on the toes, but since she came to us missing a toe I though maybe there might be some history there.

 

My vet brought up the arthritis possibility today and gave us some options to think about - adequan, increasing her gluco/chrondroitin/MSM supplements, etc. She already favors her broken hock leg, so maybe that's the source of her 'unnatural gait' that's causing this?

 

 

You may have something there...Georgia is missing a toe on her right foot. She broke a toe on that same foot about two weeks ago. My group said to just leave it alone, but I followed the advice here (thanks guys!) and took her to the vet for pain meds. It was healing well...until I accidentally stepped on her foot last night!! :headwall Anyway, I digress... My point is I wondered the same thing - like the pressure on the other toes is greater to compensate for the missing one. By the way, she broke it after running on grass.

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I'm sorry I haven't anything to add about dislocations, but I did have a thought on the Therapaws, since you're in CT. If you weren't planning to go to Dewey, have you thought about a day trip or a one-nighter? Ilaria Borghese, Therapaws inventor, is speaking from 9-10 on both Friday and Saturday mornings next week at the Bottle & Cork. Maybe she could help you offline with some insight into the sizing issues and the best way to help support your pup's feet.

 

It might be worth a try, if you can make it there and assuming she's willing to do a consultation.

Edited by Tigonie
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  • 2 months later...

To update...

 

We took LynnM's advice and leash walked her from June when this first happened to this week - in total 6 months. Supplemented with SP ligaplex, chrondroitin and glucosamine...

 

And tonight... she dislocated another toe. :headwall

 

At this point, it seems like we have no choice but to leash walk her only. :(

 

P.S. We ditched the therapaws because she was constantly trying to get out of them. I don't recall the size we bought.

 

Edit to add: This time was the THIRD time for the inside front toe... the only toe that's seen multiple dislocations. Is it worth having it removed?? She's already missing a toe on the OTHER front foot...

Edited by BauersMom

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Yeeks. Might be worth asking about this over on globalgreyhounds, where the racing peeps hang out. I don't have a current account but snowjay probably does.

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
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Yeeks. Might be worth asking about this over on globalgreyhounds, where the racing peeps hang out. I don't have a current account but snowjay probably does.

 

I can certainly ask over on GG, but I'm not a regular user. If snowjay is willing...

 

I've asked just about every trainer I know. One suggested a calcium supplement - which we added. Another one suggested (as did Lynn I think?) that her previously-broken hock might have tilted her gait off enough to mess up everything else.

 

Re: Firing... my vet didn't feel comfortable with it. He's greyhound savvy, but just not that familiar with it. At this point if we go that route I'd probably have to go up to Raynham to do it. Which is fine... I just don't know any track vets and would have to work out the logistics there.

 

Ivy should have come with a "defective toe" label. :rolleyes::lol

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Edit to add: This time was the THIRD time for the inside front toe... the only toe that's seen multiple dislocations. Is it worth having it removed?? She's already missing a toe on the OTHER front foot...

 

I don't have 'the' answer, but Monty is missing a toe and the toe next to it dislocated only occasionally, and then more frequently as he aged. It got to the point where the toe would simply not stay in place and he couldn't run anymore. Walks are not enough for him, he is just a wildman when he runs. But the toe popped out so often, he couldn't even enjoy his walks. My vet is grey savvy and he sutured the joint in place so that it could no longer pop out. That isn't a very clear explanation and I can't give you details as it was more than a year ago and I've had other medical marvels to comprehend since then :) But it worked! And after a few months of rest he was flying around again. With your girl this is likely not an option since she has multiple toe problems, but certainly better than having another toe removed.

Edited by Cynthia
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