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Recovery From Toe Amputation


Guest KennelMom
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Guest KennelMom

Melody is at the vet preparing to have her toe amputated. It's actually a really old lure coursing injury that we've kinda sorta been able to manage medically for a couple years. But, she recently re-injured it in the yard and we finally decided it was time to just chop it off. We're tired of re-habbing the same injury a couple times a year. Plus, she seemed to be getting pretty arthritic in it this winter and there's no need for a 7 year old dog to have toe pain like that.

 

Anyhoo...We've owned a couple of missing-toe dogs before, but they always came to us sans toe. We've dealt with a tail amputation, but never a toe amputation. Any experiences on what to expect when I bring her home this afternoon? It's a front outer toe..the equivalent of a "pinky"

 

Here's the patient...

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Depends on which toe it is, whether or not it's weight-bearing. We've had a couple of fosters whose toes we had to amputate. In both cases, the dogs were pretty much completely healed within 3 weeks, with sutures having been removed at about 2 weeks. She'll probably feel much better pretty quickly and want to do more than she should, but you need to be careful, like with any foot surgery, to keep it clean and give it time to heal. Y'all are more than capable of handling that bit :)


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Guest TheDoggfather

Pinky toes are the easiest to deal with post-op. Like Ann said, in about 8-10 days, as the stitches are ready to be removed, so should any bandaging. Just keep the site clean and she should be good as gold soon thereafter.

 

FYI... same toe that Papa Mudd had done before he resumed his racing career. Didn't hold him back one iota :)

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Guest KennelMom

Thanks all! She came out of surgery just fine and we can pick her up after four. She's pretty used to leash walks and limited activity...we've done it off and on for the last couple years when she'd have a flair up. She was actually supposed to have it amputated over a year ago but had some flakey bloodwork the morning of the surgery and they postponed it. Shortly after that we lost her sister unexpectedly and I've just been really nervous about sending her under.

 

But, now I can breathe and I'm sure I'll be wishing I'd have had this done a long time ago.

 

Interesting that Papa Mudd went back to racing...Mel is only one measly point away from her field champion title. She had a great running career on the field and, even though dogs don't know what titles are, I feel like she really did earn that one. I wish she had just two more runs in her to get that point...if only they lure coursed on a more forgiving surface, like sand!

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Guest TheDoggfather

Heather,

 

Mudd had the toe removed PRIOR to exploding all over Orange Park like he did. He originally started his career in the summer of '07 but, it became abundantly clear he was hurting from the toe he'd broken as a pup as he was displaying that huge break and rush to the turn, but, he couldn't hold turns very well and he'd tire out way too soon. We had the toe removed, rehabbed him and in Jan. '08... well, the Legend began smile.gif

 

I'm sure Mel will heal up just fine and she'll be able to run to her little heart's content w/o any pain in that foot any longer.

Edited by TheDoggfather
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Guest MnMDogs

Mork had a weight bearing toe on his back right amputated in November. He has no idea it's missing. We had a longer time with bandages and stitches - about 4 weeks. But it was well worth it. For a couple days he wasn't using the foot (which he wasn't using pre-amp either), and night number 2 he chewed off the bandage... Other than that it was easy breezy. The worst part was making sure it was bagged every time he went out!

 

Within a week we were taking really nice long walks on leash, and I don't think we used pain meds after the first few days. I'm not sure if they can save the pad with Melody, as that may make it easier. But Mork's pad was so messed up (severe keratoma, which resulted in all the pain) that it couldn't be saved. The vet did a great job with padding with excess skin however.

 

Melody will be so happy not to have that bum toe anymore!!!

 

ETA - his was only amputated to the first joint.

Edited by MnMDogs
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We had Smiley's toe amputation in October and it was not as easy as I had hoped. The incision opened back up after the stitch removal about 10-12 days post amp and they restitched it immediatly. Then Smiley ended up needing another suture about two weeks in, this time with staples-with the osteo more recently, I can't recall exactly why we had to other than the incision wasn't fully healed. He did not like the staples and ended up pulling one out himself. Luckily it was pretty well healed by that point. I would really, really recommend leaving the stitches in as long as possible so that the skin is fully healed and you don't risk the incision reopening. We also kept him on leash for all potty breaks for a month after the amp to ensure it would not open again-we had so many issues with the initial healing that we didn't want to take any chances.

 

I also made a nylon cinch boot to keep his bandages dry. We would put his leg in a plastic grocery bag and then slip on the nylon boot and cinch it up and we had no issues with water getting on the bandage. It was more work that I had initially thought, but he was pain free immediately after the amp (he had a very severe infection that the doc thought could be a tumor but wasn't).

 

Good luck and I hope your recovery time is peaceful and quick!

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Hi Heather,

 

The best dog I ever owned broke his toe, non weight bearing, and we had it removed. He was in AA at Wheeling and 6 weeks after the operation he was back winning AA races. He never missed a beat.

 

Part of that six weeks was because he had to be worked back into racing shape and then had to school back on. If he were a pet that time frame would be much shorter.

 

Dick

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Dude's toe amp was completely healed up by the time the splint came off 10 days post-surgery. We did have a problem with an infection caused by the splint that required weekly changes by the vet, but the *toe* part was fine. He still hopped around on three legs for several weeks, then no problems whatsoever. His foot changed shape a bit to accomodate the missing toe.

 

Just be really diligent about keeping the bandages/splint dry, and be on the look-out for any off smell coming from the bandages.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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