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Amputation For A Dislocated Toe?


deboosh
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I’d be interested in hearing from anyone whose greyhound has experienced a toe dislocation/break. Our Bonnie dislocated the outermost toe of her right paw back in Aug/14. She had surgery to correct it but developed a serious infection under her bandages that lead to thrice weekly bandage changes for the next 13 weeks.

When she finally healed, and the bandages came off permanently, I noticed the toe beginning to migrate back to it’s dislocated position within days of the bandages coming off. It now sticks out at a 45 degree angle. About a month ago, she began to join in with the other greys at our weekly play group. At first, I noticed she was conscious of how hard she’d get involved; but these past 2 Saturdays, she has joined in more heartily, and has re-injured her toe each week. Not seriously mind you; she was still able to walk, and carry on as usual, but I don’t want her to go through this every week. I won’t restrict her play for the rest of her life. She enjoys her weekly meet up way too much, so I’m wondering if we should consider amputation.

Of course, this isn’t a decision to be made impulsively or lightly, and I’m planning to get a couple of medical opinions, but I’d just like to hear whether anyone has had experience with this.

Should we be giving her more time to rebuild the strength in that foot, or should we consider amputation?

 

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Forever Home on December 20, 2012
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
My Etsy Shop

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Sallie has a toe that she has dislocated several times, but never needed surgery to fix. The last time it was splinted and kept that way for 6-8 weeks (I forget exactly how long we actually kept it on) The vet did say that if it popped out again we would probably have to remove it, but so far it has stayed in place.

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My group had one of my Bree's rear toes amputated before she came to me. My understanding is that it had been broken at the track and never healed correctly. It is minor surgery and was much better than trying to keep her from running and playing. She has never had any problems with it.

 

Wait, I shouldn't say that. The first summer I had her, when the bandages had just been removed, it took her a little while to get used to the gap in her toes. She'd be washing her toes and when she got to the missing one she would stop and kind of stare at it. And if she was running thru long grass she would sometimes let out the Greyhound Scream of Death (GSD) and hold her paw up pathetically. I think a blade of grass would get into the gap and startle/tickle her. A few ear rubs and she would be fine. That was only our first summer.

 

If I had to chose between constantly dealing with a wonky toe and having it amputated, I would not hesitate to go with amputation.

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Opal had a middle toe that would dislocate and she would gingerly hobble over and would let me put it back. She never made a peep but after a while it would happen constantly so we had it taken off. After the amputation she had a hard time tolerating walking on gravel with that foot so she wore a bootie on that one foot. The entrance to the dog park we always went to had about 15 ft of gravel before it turned to dirt so she wore the bootie until we were passed that part. After the amputation she also preferred to walk in grass as opposed to the sidewalk on our walks. That toe also developed a corn a year or so afterwards.

Missing my bridge greys Opal and Eden and cat Bailey. Mom to Missy the Super Mutt and recent foster failure of Miley to mini-mutt.

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Just to give another perspective, a friend of ours grey had a permanently dislocated, outside front toe - it never was in place an always stuck straight out from his foot. He played and ran and did everything normal greyhounds do without any problems whatsoever. He would hit it on things occasionally, do the GSOD, and go right on.

 

Even a relatively simply surgery like a toe amp has it's risks - the anesthesia, the recovery time with restricted activity, the possibility of developing sores under bandages/splint. You need to compare the need vs the result and if it's worth the risk for you, your situation, and your dog.

 

I've now had two dogs with toe amps. One for a severely broken toe and one due to an infected wound that never healed. Both of them had no trouble with the surgery, or after recovery with general living. One did develop pressure sores under the surgical splint and we had to deal with weekly bandage changes. But after that he was completely fine.

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

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Stolie came to us with a dislocated toe(rear foot, middle toe) from his track days. If he was out walking or running it would migrate to the dislocated position...at first it it didn't bother him much. Over the course of two years, it started to bother him more and more.

 

We eventually we had the toe amputated. It was a quick surgery (<45 minutes) and he recovered quickly. He didn't seem to mind the recovery and it was much easier than I expected. We probably shouldn't have waited so long to have it done. It has been two years since the amputation and still no issues.

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I'd do it. Beth had a weight bearing toe amputated going on four years ago when she tore the ligament in a bad dislocation. The healing was a little rockier than expected (in terms of stitches ripping etc, not pain), and that foot looks pretty funky, but her quality of life has been excellent, no residual problems to speak of. Runs hard and all of that.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Thank you so much for letting me know your perspectives. I hesitate to do the surgery because of the serious infection that developed following the repair, and don't want to put her through that hell again. I'm going to hold off for the next little while and see how it goes, and then make a decision if re-injury is more common than not. Again, thank you so much!

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Forever Home on December 20, 2012
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
My Etsy Shop

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I would think very hard before agreeing to a toe amputation again. Jeffie broke an outside toe on his left rear foot a couple of years ago and it was amputated because it was shattered - a real mess.

It healed beautifully, but he constantly goes 'over' on that foot. It's as if he still expects the toe to be there and doesn't make any adjustments. He wobbles when he walks all the time because he's putting weight on the outside of that foot and the support isn't there. He's not bad when he trots, but walking is difficult for him and if you push him towards that side when he's standing, he'll stagger.

He is old (thirteen in May) and it's thought that he has DM, and the loss of that toe has certainly inconvenienced him quite a lot. :(

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Many thanks for posting about your experience silverfish. I was hoping to hear negative as well as positive outcomes from the surgery. I'm sorry your pup has had a difficult time of adjusting without his toe, but it sounds as though you had no choice but to have the amputation done.

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Forever Home on December 20, 2012
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
My Etsy Shop

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It's always better to hear both sides. But remember that he is old and he has other issues as well as the loss of the toe. Most dogs seem to do OK, although whether it becomes an issue as they age and develop other medical problems I don't know. Maybe someone else can weigh in on that?

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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