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Front Foot Knuckling And Toe Dragging


Guest brit1
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Guest brit1

My non grey senior was recently dx with probable brain tumor due to symptoms (she is 15yo so am not putting her through extensive testing). Her front right foot knuckles under sometimes but biggest issue is her toe dragging causing nail bleeds if she walks on hard surfaces. I have been looking at boots (particularly NeoPaws) but people are telling me that because of her balance/knuckling etc a boot may not help her. Has anyone had a similar experience? Thanks brit

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A bootie will certainly help her protect her nails. I have a Greyhound who drags his back right foot to the point of wearing down his nails to bleeding. I have used Neopaws, and I have also used Thera-paw. I prefer the Thera-paw because it is easier to put on and it stays on. But it really is a matter of personal preference. The Neopaw has more of a flat surface to stand on. Both will help protect the nails and both are easy to walk in. (I have also used a thin bootie designed for snow that has no rubber or padding and it works too. It just wears out more quickly.)

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If the knuckling, dragging is caused by problems with proprioception then booties can make things harder on her because it reduces her ability to sense the surface she is walking on. If the problem is bad enough though then the advantages of protection her toes may outweigh the disadvantages. A cheaper thing to try, just to get an idea of whether it may help, are PAWS booties. These come in a box of 12, are rather like rubber ballons and are disposable. Though thick enough to give a bit of protection, these are comparatively thin and quite pliable. At approx $15/dozen you won't be out much money. This also gives good skid resistance which can be a big help. Although, that can sometimes be a double edged sword if it is a dog whose dragging is from weakness rather than a proprioception problem. Having a toe catch on something can itself cause the knuckles to be dragged under. Still, for most this option still beats the alternative.

 

Also, those sled dog booties that Shaysmom mentioned can be reinforced on the front & top of the toe area with Shoo Goo or even Plasti Dip, a rubbery coating used for tool handles & available in most hardware stores. Choose ones made of the thinnest, most pliable nylon possible to begin with. That approach leaves the sole much thinner thus, hopefully, improving her odds of walking somewhat normally. I've not used this approach but a number of folks whose dogs have DM, degenerative myelopathy, have tried it with varying degrees of success. Some folks have even found a liberal application of duct tape over the toenail area of a thin bootie helps and is easily replaced.

 

Whether commercial or homemade, the thickness of the bootie to begin with along with the type of reinforcement used as well as the way it's applied can account for some of the successes or failures. The individual dog's condition has as much to do with it as anything else.

 

Wishing you girl the best. I'm sorry for both of you but I hope you still have a lot more good time together.

 

ETA: Here's a vendor of sled dog booties: http://www.dozenbooties.com/

Edited by kudzu
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Guest dexter

you could look at purchasing a splint for your pooch, check out handicapped pets.com. i will be ordering one as soon as my foster comes due to his front paw footdrop.

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