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Long-Term Effects Of Overgrown Nails?


Guest LindsaySF
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Guest LindsaySF

One of my foster dogs has a bit of a weird gait, her front legs come up sort of like a show horse prancing along. She's a bounce (owner has cancer :() but I can't remember if she had this gait the first time I fostered her or not (summer 2009). I'm wondering if maybe her toes haven't quite recovered from her overgrown nails?

 

 

Front nails before and after (I used clippers and a dremel)

 

Heidifrontnailsbefore.jpgHeidifrontnailsafter.jpg

 

 

Back nails before and after

 

Heidibacknailsbefore2.jpgHeidibacknailsafter.jpg

 

 

Her gait when her nails were long was very much impaired, she lifted each foot very high off the ground and walked very slowly. Her back nails were the worst but it is her front feet that I notice when she walks now. She is not limping or anything and runs fine in the yard, was able to go on a 2 hour walk this weekend, etc. I might be worried unnecessarily, just because her nails were sooo long. Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Nails that long can definitely cause them to change the way they walk. See if it changes now that you have them at a more manageable length. And keep after them every 10 days or so until she can walk without them clicking on the floor.

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Nails that long can definitely cause them to change the way they walk. See if it changes now that you have them at a more manageable length. And keep after them every 10 days or so until she can walk without them clicking on the floor.

 

Yes. Horses compensate this way too, and until they realize that something has changed (this girlie now has beautiful short nails), it takes them a while to even know that they can try going back to the "normal" way of traveling; they've gotten so used to their new way of going.

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Guest LindsaySF

I figured the effects would linger a bit until she realizes the nails are short. How long does that usually take? Does it depend on the dog? Just wondering at what point I should panic. ;)

 

 

*running off to dremel right now*

I went and dremeled everyone else's nails right after I did hers. I felt the need to!

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Guest mcsheltie

You said it. It depends on the dog. Sometimes the weird gait is a learned behavior and has to dissipate with time. Others realize in a couple days they aren't sliding all over and start to walk normally.

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Lindsay, we haven't had the toenail experience, but Zema had a leg injury (nonstructural -- shallow skin wound) once that required bandaging for @ 3 weeks. And of course a dog can't walk on a bandaged leg. It took her 3 weeks AFTER the bandage came off to consistently use the leg again.

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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Guest LindsaySF

Thanks for the replies guys. Heidi is still walking funny, but as another WAG volunteer pointed out to me, really only on certain surfaces (like my wood floors). She probably hasn't realized yet that her nails are short and she won't lose her footing like before. We'll give her more time and see what happens!

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kjh here on GT had a dog who naturally pranced and it had nothing to do with her nails. She was a big girl and loved to prance on the beach especially. :wub: I miss Miss Jitterbugs and her cute prance.

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Guest bluefawn

Awww, poor Heidi! So glad she is in good hands now! Looks like it affected her joints some. Agree that she will probably take a while to realize that she can get good traction on bare floors. I would trim them more often than the others, so that the quick will retreat some and you can get them just a big shorter. I am sure she is thanking you for the great job you did for her! smile.gif

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Guest LindsaySF

I couldn't remember if she had pranced before or not, she was with me last summer before she got adopted. She does walk differently on the wood floors though, so I think some of it is mental. She's not limping or in pain so we'll just see where this goes. Thanks all. :)

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