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Sat Dec 8, 2012, 06:39 PM

Dog Booties

Any recommendations for doggie booties?

My Max is mid-stage DM and is now dragging his back feet to the point that his toenails are worn to the quick & a couple have bled.
He's a big boy (Greyhound Boxer mix) so the mukluks they have at PetSmart etc aren't large enough (even the XL sized ones) to go far enough up his 'ankle' to stay on.

Appreciate ideas or experience anyone may have to help make his last couple of months comfortable ones.

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:52 PM

1. Try children's tube socks.

Use puff fabric paint to make a design (or just dots) on the bottom. Once dry, the puff paint should become the nice non-slip beads you find on slipper socks. Maybe velcro to keep them on? If those aren't heavy enough, try children's footed pajamas (with the rubberized foot-bottoms), cut the legs off and fasten on him with velcro.

Just a thought... I haven't tried it but have been thinking of making some sort of slipper socks for my daughter's rather large dog and this is what I've seen so far that might work.

Hugs to you and Max.

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:58 PM

2. I have a friend with a Briard who wears golf club covers. They work great.

You can get them in leather or lots of other fabrications. Bring your dog to the nearest golf outlet and try some on.

Like this http://www.wellpromo.com/Wholesale/Covers/Black-Napa-Cowhide-Golf-Club-Putter-Cover-210378.htm

or even try some fancy ones!

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:50 AM

3. perhaps those 'soft claws' the glue on nail covers could help?

I've had some dogs with DM and we would help them get to their feet with a wide soft waist band. Tried the nail covers and that helped a lot. We also used moleskin (from the drugstore) and surgery glue to protect a small spot of the upper foot that was rubbing.

socks and boots are a good idea but those tend to get wet and dirty easy. Good luck with your big boy Max.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:00 PM

5. Question for you:

Thanks for the suggestions, by the way!

Did you notice, as the DM progressed in your dog(s), that they experienced more/vivid "nightmares"?
Max used to have the occasional 'squirrel chasing' dream where the feet would get goin' and he'd snort a bit, but that was maybe 5% of the time. Now he has almost constant episodes of thrashing, howling, teeth gnashing every night. I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself by kicking the wall or twisting/straining something.

This just started within the last 4 months, as the DM symptoms have become more pronounced -- I'm wondering since DM is neurological, if there's a connection & of course none of the vets in my area have a solid body of knowledge about DM.

Thank you!

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Response to Myrina (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:55 AM

7. The elder dogs do have more dreams of their youth when they were strong and fast.

I think if it was a part of a neurological problem or even a different neurological symptom, Max would do some of those behaviors when awake. Some dogs are very stoic, they hide pain when awake & express it when asleep. Though to me, dm just seemed to cause the progressive loss of use of the hind end.

I'm lucky to live near Houston,Texas we have several very good Vet specialists to use. I like my regular Vet but usually confirm a diagnosis with a specialist. Many times you don't have to take your dog to their clinic, they will review x-rays, blood work and consult /w your Vet and you by phone. There may be medications that would help.

I have noticed my elder dogs love to hear the words of their puppyhood and youth, whispered to them.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:17 AM

8. Thanks, the especially sad thing, though, is that Max isn't old.

He was a rescue/foster kid that I ended up adopting, but we think he's 6 or 7 at most.

It's just really odd because he used to be able to sleep in bed with me and he'd re-settle or kick a couple times a night - that was it - and now it's nonstop, even when he's just napping he's in a full-out thrashing/kicking run (all 4 legs), facial expressions, howling, snorting etc - almost like an out of body experience.

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Response to Myrina (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:41 AM

9. Max does look like a young dog in his picture, 6 or 7 is not old.

6 or 7 is still the prime of life for most dogs. Does sound like an odd problem more than just DM. (seizure?) I would suggest a specialist Vet exam and consult., this could be some kind of other neuro. problem with complex symptoms.

My dogs that had degenerative myelopathy it started to be noticed slightly when they were 7-9, but it progressed slowly and they lived to 12 ( 100lb G. shep)and 15 (rottie mix) with dm.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:27 PM

10. We've had just about everything ...

... exams, x-rays, consults, acupuncture ... the only thing I haven't done is an MRI because they're close to $1200 up here & I can't afford it. My other furr-kids also have ongoing medical expenses (I have 2 other dogs as well: a very-senior ACD with a bad heart murmur and an adult Chowbrador who's deaf & has chronic ear infections) so at some point I have to pick and choose, unfortunately.

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Response to Myrina (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:02 PM

11. nice group of fur kids, they are lucky to have you.

Vet costs are expensive that's for sure. Poor Max, it's probably just the way the DM progresses for him. It's very sad Max is such a young dog. I wish there was something Vets could do to slow the progression or prevent the disease. Had your Vet done the DNA test for DM? The OFA offers an over the counter DNA test even mixed breeds can take. Here's a link https://secure.offa.org/cart.html. Once DM is confirmed there isn't much one can do except help them and love them.

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:50 AM

4. these velcro closure boots are really good

http://leerburg.com/1393.htm

Water resistant and with rubber made from recycled tires on the top as well as the bottom... with Max dragging his feet you'd want something sturdy-wearing on the top part of the boot not just on the bottom.

Measure Max's back feet when he has weight on them at the widest point (feet spread out quite a lot when weight is put on the foot) and use the sizing chart for the best fit. These boots were first made for hunting and sledding dogs with big old paddle feet, so there should be a size that will fit Max.

Max also can't wear the boots 24/7. Their feet need access to the air to promote healing and discourage any bacteria or fungal growth. If he's got some open sores on his feet now from dragging you'll want to wash the boots frequently (they're machine washable), and it's probably a good idea to cover any open wounds until they heal with sterile gauze. Dogs also regulate their temperature through their foot pads, so realize he may be more sensitive to heat and cold. The boots are really great for protection from frostbite from cold pavement, ice or snow as well as saving his feet from the jerks that throw salt out to melt ice that isn't pet sensitive (man, I really hate that crap!).

Dog boots aren't meant to go up higher on the ankle since they need free movement of the ankle joint, but the velcro closure tabs should ensure they stay on since you can totally adjust the tightness of them. The first boots I bought were from PetSmart and they wouldn't stay on at all with how they were designed to close (I think they just had a weird drawstring thingie that was impossible to draw tight enough). Of course, my bigger problem was that all my dogs HATED, HATED, HATED the boots and would have chewed off their own feet to get rid of them. If Max doesn't mind wearing boots then the velcro closure tabs should be fine for him without him wanting to figure out how to rip off the velcro and get the boots off. If it weren't for the velcro tabs that keep them on these were what I would have wanted to get my dogs, but I knew they would figure out how velcro worked in two seconds and have them off that fast since they all just DESPISED the boots (I swear, you'd think I was trying to put the devil himself on their feet with how much they hated them!).

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:32 PM

6. Thanks for all the suggestions

I appreciate them! Max & I will try them & figure out what works for him.

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:46 PM

12. Max update:

We saw a veterinary neurologist before the holidays & after rechecking his x-rays and spending the afternoon observing him, he confirmed that Max is a textbook case of DM.

Santa Claus brought a pair of Neopaws which make it possible for him to get around inside the house although the DM is noticeably progressing - week by week now - he's getting weaker & more uncoordinated in his back end.(https://www.neopaws.com/catalog/saleoriginalhighperformanceorthopaedicshoesbootsstoxxl-p-1876.html)

I've had to take the fouton frame he slept on out of the room and just put the mattress on the floor because the 'nightmares' have caused him to fall off the bed several times & I'm worried he'll hurt himself.

This is absolute hell to watch.

The last time I had to send a baby to the bridge was my 14-year-old Beagle Ray. He had Doggie Alzheimer's so, as hard as it was to say goodbye to him (as bad as this sounds), I knew there was 'no one home' and it was time. Max's problem is physical ... so mentally, emotionally, he's still him and its tearing me to pieces trying to decide what/when to do.

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Response to Myrina (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:03 PM

13. I've posted on this before. My friend uses golf club covers on her Briard.

Last edited Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:43 PM - Edit history (1)

Sorry about this post but the OP came up again with no replies. There must be a ghost in my machine!

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Response to Walk away (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:52 PM

14. :) I see it!

I like the golf club covers idea but Max has almost no control over his back feet so needs the thick-soled sneaker shoes for traction. Good thing is, they're cute.

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Response to Myrina (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:48 PM

15. She had the same problem..

she went to the Secaucus golf outlet and found heavy duty leather covers that had Velcro up to his knees and raised club #s on the bottom (sole of shoes). The numbers acted like cleats. He had a different # for each foot.

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