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Torn Toe Webbing


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Hello Everyone,

Yesterday my boys were out running in the fenced in skate park we have in our neighborhood and after we got home I noticed some blood on the floor, but neither of my hounds was limping. Turns out Jasper cut the webbing between his toes-most likely he ran into a twig or a sharp stone on the ground. The cut is on his second to outer front toe. It is not cut all the way but still looks nasty. The bleeding stopped. I have been soaking his foot in anti-septic soap plus Epson salt and iodine solution three times a day. I have been applying Neosporin every couple of hours and he is wearing a soft boot. He is not lame at all and it seems to be not effecting him in any way. We went for our usual walk in the park this morning and he was fine. However I am wondering if this requires a suture? Also since I am constantly applying Neosporin-will it keep the wound from drying up? And the bootie-good idea or not? Should the area get some air or kept covered? It's kind of on the side of his toe and it has not gotten worse since our walk. I was worried that movement might keep it from healing. Any advise would be appreciated. I have Rimadyl at home should I give him some pain meds?

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Guest normaandburrell

I am a nurse practitioner and the rule of thumb for suturing humans is that if you don't do it within 24 hours, consider letting it heal naturally, or by what is called secondary intention, meaning it heals from the base of the wound up. I also know that my vet prefers not to suture if possible, as a dog may chew the sutures anyway.

I would hold off on Rimadyl as any pain might help him favor the foot and keep it from being injured further. And yes, the neosporin may hinder healing and actually encourage bacterial growth. Maybe you can call your vet and ask what he advises?

My Iceman had an abscessed toe recently which the vet lanced. Iceman had an open area on his toe that didn't close for a month, which was a good thing because it needed to drain. He could run almost as fast on 3 legs and healed up just fine.

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Our spook Thane cut the webbing in the very center of where all the toes meet. It was a bloody mess and the Evet tried to stitch it. That didn't hold so our regular vet used glue. That worked fine.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
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annie split her toe webbing. my old school vet said- debris it, create scar tissue. which took around 10 days. he had us clean it w/ hydrogen peroxide 2xs daily and then dry and bandage. we gave up on the bandages after 5 or 6 days since annie was very diligent at eating them. i can't use a muzzle in the house since she scratches the walls. it's fine now, healed beautifully, just a PITA changing bandages. there needs to be a strip of adhesive tape to hold the bandage on- it's placed on the skin- runs up the leg then you flip the tape over to hold onto the gauze wrap. the hair on the leg grows back pretty quickly. if you don't do this the bandage falls right off.

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Torn webbing is a pita--it's hard to say if you should have that sutured or not without seeing it. Honestly, I think I would have it looked at as you may need to be prescribed antibiotics. That's a tough area to keep infection free. It can be sutured days later if needed-the Dr will just need to freshen the edges. I would absolutely give the rimadyl or even Tramadol (or both) if you have some at home--those suckers hurt. It is old school thinking to have them in pain so they will remain cautious- phooey-give them all the pain meds they need to make them comfortable.

In the meantime keep the area clean-I would clean with dilute chlorhexadine and keep covered with either a bandage (if your comfortable wrapping feet) or a baby sock.

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This happened to Brooks at the dog park a couple summers ago. It tore on his back left paw during one of his rare sprints. The webbing between the two outer toes had essentially split along one edge, coiling up where it was still attached, and exposing a very small side portion of one paw pad where the rip occurred. Didn't notice it until I got him out of the station wagon and into the house (what a mess).

 

We opted for home first aid, as you did. Epsom and iodine baths twice a day, coupled with a good squirt of Vetericyn, dressed with a fresh nonstick pad wrapped in gauze and Vetwrap. I didn't use triple-antibiotic after the first day, but I may have sprayed some Granulex on it a couple times a week. It was a BEAR to heal, but he didn't express any pain throughout the 4 weeks or so until it was stable, so we never went for Rimadyl, but of course YMMV on that one -- I probably should have done it, judging by his usual pain response (GSOD for completely minor things, quiet when it's actually serious). I'm pretty sure I got a round of antibiotics though, as with most of my home remedy attempts.

 

It healed well, though it obviously never grew back. My only suggestion is to give it LOTS of attention since there are two exposed faces of the wound (more surface area for dirt and possible infection).

Drew and occasionally DW Melody, with Rosie (AMF Ready Made) and Marvin (Bella Riddick) in Louisville. Forever missing Brooks (KC Bastone) and Kali (Swish).

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We went through this recently with River. It takes a long time to heal, but eventually it does. Our vet had us doing a betadine soak daily, neosporin, and keeping it covered with a sock (breathes better than vet wrap). She also gave us some antibiotics for him to take because as others have said, it's tough to keep infection free. The most important thing was getting him to take it easy on that foot; we took very short walks and kept him from running around the yard for several weeks. If he did too much you could see bruising develop around the toe. We used a Medipaw (medium) to keep it mostly dirt-free outside.

 

We had the hardest time getting him to leave his foot alone though; given the chance, he'd pull off whatever boot, sock, bandage, tape, homemade foot-cone-of-shame, etc that I put on there. I put his muzzle on and he became an expert in getting his tongue through the holes in the muzzle. Then when I bought a stool guard he kept me up half the night smacking his muzzle against loud objects in retaliation. Rotten dog! Kinda funny though. I hope Jasper's much easier!

 

Good luck!

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Thanks for the advise everyone! Jasper seems to be doing OK. I am keeping the foot wrapped in gauze and vet wrap and a soft Therapaw on it at home and Pawz bootie on it when we go out. Soaking in Iodine solution and Eposm salt every night and changing the bandage. And putting some Neosporin in it. Thankfully he is not limping and seems to be doing OK. It looks clean and hopefully will close up on it's own in a few weeks. These hounds of mine love to run especially in cold and snowy weather so it is sad that we have to stick with walks and no running for a while. As long as it heals I will do what needs to be done. Just glad it's nothing more serious like a fracture.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How's Jasper doing? Hope he's leaving it alone... those wounded paws are such a temptation to lick! I forgot to mention that we have used the bitter apple spray to (reasonably) good effect when the cone of shame seemed excessive.

Drew and occasionally DW Melody, with Rosie (AMF Ready Made) and Marvin (Bella Riddick) in Louisville. Forever missing Brooks (KC Bastone) and Kali (Swish).

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Just FYI, the webbing likely won't reconnect if it was torn all the way through. It's really not a big deal though. One of ours ended up tearing at least one webbing a month - I don't think any of his toes were connected by the time he passed! - and he walked, ran, played just fine.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for asking. Jasper is doing well, the tear is more or less healed but I am still wrapping his foot in light gauze and putting a rubber Pawz bootie on it when we go outside. I had a vet appointment to get my two boys' nails clipped and the vet took a quick look at Jasper's foot, said it looks fine and that I don't even need to keep it wrapped but with the snow and salt rock on the ground, I figured one more week should not hurt. But thankfully the vet also said that it is a small tear and Jasper is not limping on it at all. Very relived.

Edited by forevergrey
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