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Splayed Toes?

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Ali started limping a few weeks ago (front right leg), I brought him to the vet, who gave him a steroid shot and started him on prednisone (50mg every other day). He suspected arthritis, and decided to hold of on x-rays till he saw if it cleared up. It seemed to help, but he still limps a little in the morning, and we just noticed that when he's standing or walking, his toes on that leg are spread out some. This is recent, all his other feet are tight. He's not knuckling under or dragging the foot, and he doesn't seem to be favoring or licking it. Would a broken toe cause this? He goes back to the vet next week, so I'll point it out to him, but you people are so helpful I thought I'd do some homework ahead of time.

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Sometimes nerve damage can cause that. It can show up before any knuckling or dragging. Watched a neurologist test one of my dogs by spreading his toes slightly & watching to see if he drew them back together. Knuckling is usually from a sensory deficit, splaying toes & dragging can be from a motor deficit. That is only one possibility though & does not prove anything on its own.


The suggestion to trim nails is logical if he has longish nails. Though if all his nails are about the same & he is only doing this that would strange. Perhaps pain could do this. If arthritis is in that wrist then maybe it effects him keeping those toes pulled together.


I like the suggestion to get xrays. In your position, I'd get on the horn to the vet & discuss this.

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Straight to a steroid injection with no diagnosis?


I can tell you what my vet would say about that!


From the dogs history, and the vets' experience (he treats all the dogs for the local greyhound rescue), his diagnosis was arthritis in the shoulder. He said if the steroids didn't work, we'd do x-rays. I had to agree with the vet, as the dog would have had to be anesthetized for the x-rays. I appreciate the vets' common sense approach, after having dealt with a vet that would send me and the dog home with a bill for thousands of dollars for every test he could think of to "rule everything out" before treating for the obvious.

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