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KickReturn

bites when feet touched - option for nails?

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OK, so I am thinking of adopting a dog that will bite if its feet are touched. What are my options for trimming nails?

Is there a mild sedation without intubation that a vet can do? Or better yet that I can administer?

I can muzzle and physically control any dog and do its nails, but with this one I do not want to do anything that will hurt our relationship. This dogs future depends on my ability to earn its trust. 

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Is there a physical reason why his/ her feet are sensitive - e.g. allergy, infection? Or have they been roughly handled in the past?

With Ken I suspect it was a bit of both. I don't think he got the best of treatment while training/ racing - he came into the rescue with flat feet and bleeding and swollen nail-beds, it was thought as the result of neglect and infection. The nailbeds responded to antibiotics, but then kept on flaring up again after I adopted him. Eventually a dermatology specialist diagnosed muco-cutaneous lupus - his nose was also affected - which mercifully is easily kept under control with vitamin supplements and antibiotics.

Understandably therefore he was very sensitive about having his feet handled, and as he is a black dog with black nails I was also nervous about using clippers on those, as I had with Doc. I didn't think he would bite me - he is a sweet-tempered creature - but like you I felt it was key to build trust. So I actually left his nails alone for the first couple of months, then got a dremel, then we went through a process of desensitisation involving numerous treats. Sit on bed with him (in the evening = relaxed and sleepy after his dinner), touch feet, get him comfortable with lots of praise and treats. Accustom him to sound of dremel running, ditto. Introduce using the dremel, just a touch or so at first, more treats.

It took a while, and I tried not to stress about the state of his nails meanwhile. It probably helped that I needed to bathe his feet sometimes, when we thought the nailbed flareups were down to infections. Soon enough he began to associate me handling his feet with making him more comfortable, and was able to relax.


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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Our Gracie hated having her feet touched when we first got her so we made a point to desensitize her - almost any time we gave her attention it involved touching her feet, too. She's gotten to the point where she lets me Dremel her nails without much fuss (and lots of treats are involved) but for a long time I had a professional do it so that I wasn't risking the relationship.


Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

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You can certainly talk with your vet about an antianxiety drug for home use, and it might help in the short term.  Clare's system for desensitization is a good one.  It takes time to build up a level of comfort - and really good treats!

You can also try different ways to do his nails - laying down, standing up -  peanut butter in the muzzle or smeared on a nearby wall.  I also saw a sling type affair on FB recently.  It installed in a bar in a doorway (like a pull up bar) and the dog sort of dangled in the harness with it's feet off the ground.  It sometimes helps with some dogs.


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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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Thanks for all this info. A body sling is a great thing that I have always kept in the back of my mind. Previous dogs have simply never needed anything like that. I have to be careful here. This is a dog that bit somebody that was wiping its feet. I don't think it's and anxiety issue. My guess is a fear reaction. Desensitization is a given but will take time and does not guarantee success. Muzzle for sure regardless of who is doing the work.

I still am curious to know if there is a doggie sedative, valium, ativan, or the like that would put a dog in a totally chilled out state.

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You could always try to train the dog to use a scratch board.  But, that doesn't help with the underlying fear issue of having the feet touched.  

I have never had a sedative knock a dog out that much as it usually just takes the edge off.  However, I have never had to use a sedative for that level of effectiveness.  

Curious to see how this ends up! 


gallery_16605_3214_8259.jpg

Cindy with Miss Fancypants
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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14 hours ago, KickReturn said:

Thanks for all this info. A body sling is a great thing that I have always kept in the back of my mind. Previous dogs have simply never needed anything like that. I have to be careful here. This is a dog that bit somebody that was wiping its feet. I don't think it's and anxiety issue. My guess is a fear reaction. Desensitization is a given but will take time and does not guarantee success. Muzzle for sure regardless of who is doing the work.

I still am curious to know if there is a doggie sedative, valium, ativan, or the like that would put a dog in a totally chilled out state.

 

You'd just have to try a bunch of fast-acting benzodiazapines and/or SSRIs to see which one worked for him.  There's no one drug that is right for every individual dog and situation. 

Trazadone, valium, xanax, even something like the new Sileo (for storm/firework anxiety) might work.  You need to think long and hard before using something like acepromazine, which is a strong sedative and tends to react with greyhounds way out of proportion to the dose.  It also doesn't do anything to lessen the anxiety, it just sedates them so they can't react, which can actually heighten anxiety when exposed to the same stimulus later on.


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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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As a puppy my terrier would not allow you to touch his feet. After many years I can touch and sort of massage/play with his feet - but nail trims are excruciating and require a muzzle. So, basically desensitization to having his feet touched did not generalize to having his nails trimmed. My vet said she has a dog that has to be sedated with a fast acting anesthesia, which can be reversed once the procedure is done. My terrier had to have that done for some X-rays a few weeks back. He came out of it just fine, but that would be an expensive option for the frequency of nail trims. They are not intubated with this type anesthesia. I wish I had the name for you, but I don’t. But it isn’t just a benzodiazepine, it’s much heavier duty. 

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3 hours ago, BatterseaBrindl said:

If you can't touch his feet, how are you going to get his legs through those holes?

Muzzle and guide the foot through by holding the upper leg, maybe lower leg. My house will look like a dungeon with a pulley system hanging from the ceiling.:unsure

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befriend a strong groomer, go there every 2 weeks. sounds a bit extreme but the groomer will quickly get a handle on the situation, nails will be reduced, some desensitization will occur but make sure you leave the grooming shop while nails are being done and DO BRING A MUZZLE!

i used to take felix to a nice guy- bad groomer- but he had a good temperament and could handle him. he never thought twice about felix's craziness when it came to nails. it worked, eventually i was able to do his nails myself- with the assistance of DH. yup, i've been knocked in the head- glasses went flying a good couple of times.

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