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Need Help With Toe Problem. Anyone Recognize This?


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Seamus has an ongoing issue with his back right foot. It all started when I noticed him licking it constantly. I looked closely and could see that there was discoloring between his toes, so we went off to the vet. The vet prescribed a course of antibiotics. At the end of it, there was no improvement, and he was still licking it. The vet said it was not infected and it wasn't fungal so I thought it would resolve but it hasn't. It is getting worse. The discoloration has spread--it is a rusty looking red. It is between his toes and on the nail and on the fur. His other feet do not have a redsish tinge at all. Is it because he is still licking it, or is there something else going on? It looks really sore. Allergy? I would like to have some feedback from other Grey owners before I take him back to the vet. Thanks!

 

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Edited by Shaysmom
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The rust color is lick staining. The saliva stains the fur. Now to why he's licking -it could be so many things. I would clean his foot with a dilute chlorhexadine solution apply an ointment like Animax and place a baby sock on to prevent further licking.

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Thank you!

 

I wish I could determine why he is licking but it is a mystery. The vet suggested giving him an anxiety/pain med to try and break the compulsive licking cycle, Amitriptyline. Seamus is so sensitive to meds that I hesitate to give him anything new, but perhaps it would be worth a try.

Edited by Shaysmom
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If he's just focusing on the one foot it could be OCD related or it could be he had/has a physical problem with a toe. Personally, I would try to treat it medically before jumping into treating it as it is behavioral. It's entirely possible he may have arthritis in a toe, foreign body (aka splinter).... What treatments have you tried already? Radiographs? Have you tried any anti lick products?

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I have used Bitter Apple and that will work temporarily but eventually he will lick it again. Maybe you just have to keep reapplying it when he licks? I have put a baby sock on it, but he is very good at removing them when I am out of the room. I also have a soft indoor Therapaw that I can put on him, but he can get that off too if he works at it. He is very persistent!

 

He had an exam by an orthopedic surgeon a month or so ago for issues of hind end weakness and some neurological deficits, and I asked the doc about the foot at that time. He said he noticed that the toe ligaments are over-stretched (broken? sprung?) on that foot but didn't feel any broken bones, swelling, or other injuries. I asked if the ligaments could be painful. and he said possibly but he wasn't emphatic about it, so I didn't pursue it further. Seamus has multiple health issues, and it is hard to know what to focus on sometimes. Perhaps x-rays would be useful?

 

He does drag both back feet when walking sometimes, so he wears Thera-paws when outside.

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One of mine had almost exactly that issue. One foot. Turned out to be allergic to fish and fish oil. We found that out by accident while trying to figure out what infection/fungus/etc. he had :lol . If you looked very very closely, you could see a bit of inflammation on the other feet, too, but it wasn't obvious. All I can figure is, either the one foot was easiest to get to, or maybe the configuration of those particular toes made that foot itch worse. I don't like to call "food allergy!" when the symptoms really don't seem to fit, but that time, that's exactly what it was. YMMV. Best luck!

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Guest karilynn

My boy does this, licks obsessively at his feet. My vet determined it is either an allergy to something or an anxiety behavior, like OCD. When I put him on grain-free food with NO chicken in it, it seemed to get better, I think. He still sometimes does it, usually when I am not able to take him to the park and run him, so it is probably a nervous behavior that might be combated with mental stimulation.

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Zuri licks his front legs a lot when his LS is bothering him. I have never really been able to figure out why - whether he's uncomfortable but it's just easier to reach the front legs, whether the front legs are sore from overcompensating, or whether it's just a self soothing behavior, but it's happened enough that I know that's why he does it. Just another thing to add to your list of possibilities.

 

Does he have LS, or is some other condition causing the back end issues? What medications is he on for it?

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Lygracilux

Fusion is actually doing this kind of thing right now.

Hes an OCD licker if he gets a cut or something. No matter how small, he will turn it raw by licking it so much. It started with one on his front leg-we fixed that. Now he has one on his back leg thats almost healed. But he a couple days ago he somehow got a cut in between his toes and I just noticed hes been licking it raw. So on goes a baby sock. It gets better and starts healing after like a day, but if he even gets that sock off for a minute he'll lick lick lick until its bleeding again.

Very tedious. Id suggest washing it with some warm water, and putting some ointment and a baby sock on it. Keep an eye on it for infection.

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Zuri licks his front legs a lot when his LS is bothering him. I have never really been able to figure out why - whether he's uncomfortable but it's just easier to reach the front legs, whether the front legs are sore from overcompensating, or whether it's just a self soothing behavior, but it's happened enough that I know that's why he does it. Just another thing to add to your list of possibilities.

 

Does he have LS, or is some other condition causing the back end issues? What medications is he on for it?

 

No one has given a name to it. The ortho doc said it is a neurological issue. He has been on Gabapentin for a few years, and also Tramadol. We discovered that the Tramadol wasn't agreeing with him--making him tired, disphoric, and constantly panting. So we switched him to an anti-inflamatory, Deramax. That did not at all agree with his digestion, even though we were giving it with Pepcid. He started vomiting and getting diarrhea so we took him off of it right away. Right now, since we are not sure what to try next, he is only on Gabapentin. That is one reason the vet recommended the Amitriptyline, although it technically isn't a pain med. Might he be able to tolerate another anti-inflamatory such as Metacam?

Edited by Shaysmom
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You might try Robaxin - it's a muscle relaxant. Zuri has a lot of tightness and muscle spasms from compensating for his weaker hind end and Robaxin helps him with that. We also do acupuncture and cold laser therapy and in the past we've done PT. I've found that keeping his back muscles strong are the best thing I can do for him - PT exercises, underwater treadmill, and then when he was stronger resuming some hillier walks and hikes.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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