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Protecting An Injured Foot

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Hi all, I'm looking for a little advice. River tore the webbing between his toes 2.5 weeks ago, and so far it's healing well. I'm having trouble protecting his foot though. It's now at the point that the vet would like it to be open to the air as much as possible, but River is an obsessive licker and won't leave it alone. I've tried socks which he happily pulls off, or if I vet wrap the sock on tight enough that he can't get it off, his foot blows up like a balloon. His medipaw gives excellent protection when he goes out to do his business, but it doesn't breathe. I made a "cone of shame" that I tied around his ankle, but he figured out how to lay "just so" and is able to get to it. I've tried muzzling him, but he's an expert at getting his tongue through the muzzle. I made a makeshift stool guard out of vet wrap and tape, and he alternately beats his face on every surface in the house trying to get the muzzle off, or uses it to scratch the offending foot (which is kinda funny to watch, but counterproductive). I ordered a real stool guard last week, but the order was lost and so only shipped yesterday. I think he and I are both at whits' end; I want him to leave it alone, and he wants evil mommy to let him lick the Foot of Doom until it's bald (his ankle and knuckles are already missing fur!). Does anyone have any suggestions on a way to protect his foot that keeps us both sane? :)



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Ask your vet about an eyedrop that tastes so horribly bitter that, if dribbled on a bandage, River won't be tempted to lick. It's much stronger than Bitter Apple spray which has been useless for us.


Which foot is injured? Maybe a knee-high sock that goes above a joint would stay on better.


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once the air hits the toes they heal very quickly. annie is an obsessive licker who tore her webbing. keeping it bandaged for a week was a feat- she chewed off every bandage. i just gave up, but you can try a muzzle w/ a muzzle guard. another greyhound with the vulcan salute!

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Brady is a licker also. I have used socks with blue painters tape to keep him from pulling the sock off. The blue painters tape holds the sock in place and if I tap to over his fur when I pull it off, it does not pull his fur out....


Good luck




The handsome boy Brady, mid-morning nap. The sun, the sun feels so, so, so good.

I can't keep my eyes open ... ... Retirement agrees ...

... and the Diva Ms India, 2001 - 10/16/2009 ....

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I successfully use ladies' trouser socks. They easily go above the joint, you vet wrap around and then flip the top of the sock down over the vet wrap. Foot is protected and so is the vet wrap.


Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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You have a highly skilled dog, and you have done all the right things. There is ouchless tape made by bandaid that works really well on fur if you are able to secure a sock onto the leg, but the post above is by far superior to my idea. That's all I've got for you and I hope the foot heals quick!

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Doc I have had good success with the following method - relatively light and comfortable, and he can't get it off!


Take a lady's cotton sock, the ankle length kind for wearing under trousers. (Black or a dark colour will stay cleaner-looking longer.)


Cut off the foot section off, so that you are left with an upper section which is just a straight tube.


Turn that inside out and sew straight across, firmly enough so that no claws will poke through. Then turn it right side out again.


Find a velcro cable tie - the kind used to fasten up computer cables tidily is just the right length.


Sew it onto the sock, probably a couple of inches down from the top but try it on your dog first - you will want to be able to fasten it just above the ankle joint. It needs to be fitted tightly enough so it can't slip down, not so tightly that it impedes circulation. The velcro is greyt for this purpose because it is so easy to adjust it and the whole contraption is easy to wash too - make a couple of spares too and then you will always have one ready should you need it.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Thanks everyone for your great ideas! I'll pick up some cotton trouser socks tonight and tape them on while I whip up some velcro ones. It's his front left that's injured.


After about an hour long tantrum last night (him trying to get his muzzle off while I tried desperately not to laugh at his creative methods of doing so - bad mom), he and I came to a temporary agreement that if I took the makeshift stool guard off, he'd mostly leave his foot alone. He took the "mostly" to heart - when I wasn't looking, he'd stick his tongue through his muzzle and try to lick, but when I turned back around he tried to look innocent or like he was sleeping. That's probably why he slept downstairs last night, so I wouldn't wake up and tell him to knock it off! His foot still looked okay this morning, but hopefully the socks will help him leave it alone altogether.


I might pull out the Star Trek movie tonight, just so I can show River where his new Vulcan salute originated from :bgeorge


You have a highly skilled dog, and you have done all the right things.


This made me laugh out loud; I love him to death, but this is probably the only thing in life he's "highly skilled" at!

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Get either elasticon or medical papertape (both at either vets office or drug store). You can be liberal with paper tape it doesn't stick as strongly as other tapes. It won't pull the hair off.So you can tape a sock on without cutting circulation.

If you use elasticon only put about 1/2 inch of the tape on the fur. You'll have to work at getting it off, but it will keep the sock on.

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have you been debreeing his split paw w/ hydrogen peroxide? my vet had me rinse annie's 2xs a day so that scar tissue formed. it was healed in a week. what protocol are you following? just curious. i know everyone screams NO PEROXIDE...but if will form scar tissue. she was good to go in a little more than a week. also the air needs to dry it out.

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This week's vet-recommended regimen was to soak it in betadine for 5-10 minutes each day and to leave it open to the air. He'd gotten a combo of antibiotic ointment and anti-inflammatory in his bandages before that. The new tissue has covered pretty much the whole thing now, but it was pretty nasty before. Rather than just splitting the web straight up the middle, he ripped it off the side of one toe. Poor pup!


Just because, here's a picture of Sir Licks-a-lot and his trusty sidekick, Sir Wags-a-lot.



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New stool guard came in the mail last night, and River's found his vengeance. I got home late last night and didn't get to make the socks, so he got to wear the new stool guard instead. Holy cow, Batman! In the middle of the night the brat River comes upstairs, lays on his bed, and proceeds to make the loudest crashing/clattering sound ever! Turns out, he discovered that the stool guard sits loosely inside the muzzle, and if he shakes his head he can make a noise loud enough that mommy almost falls out of bed. I turned on the light and he gives me his best "Who, me?" look.


Finally got back to sleep, and an hour before my alarm goes off he decides he needs to scratch his face. Well, his aim is terrible in all his endeavours, so instead of his back foot scratching the itch, he proceeds to use it to bang on his muzzle, causing even more clattering. (DH sleeps through all this btw; I'm jealous). I swear, he had a doggie smile on his face and was laughing at me. He was doubly laughing when the cat discovered I was awake and insisted it was attention time!


The vet's asked him to come in tonight for another recheck; she and I have been very happy with how it's healing. Perhaps one day soon he'll be back to running around the backyard like a maniac with Indy again!

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