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what do I do for dog who's dragging a back foot, nail is scrapped down?

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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:26 PM
Original message
what do I do for dog who's dragging a back foot, nail is scrapped down?
I have an older dog who is losing sensation in his back legs. He drags one foot while walking and has now scraped the nail down to the core. He bleeds after walks. Just haven't seen this before.

Clearly a vet visit is in order but what can I do in the meantime to minimize bleeding and discomfort?
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wrap the foot. Go to the pharmacy and get some gauze
or something else absorbent for the bleeding that's already going on, then wrap it all with vet-wrap until you can get him to the vet. He'll probably try to chew the wrap off. Do you have a collar for him? Otherwise you are going to have to be vigilant about making sure he keeps it on.

Poor baby. That must really hurt.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Clean it with lots of soap and warm water.
Neosporin ointment.

Bandage.

Sock.

I'm not a doctor.

Oh. And pat your dog on the head. Very important. :)
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. They have dog booties. Or you can make them.
I made some for my girl in her last year. She didn't seem to mind them at all.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. Couple things.
Yes, a vet visit is in order asap.

Try to walk him on only grassy areas if possible. You can also use a towel/beach towel wrapped under his belly as a sling that you'd help him along with holding the ends in your hand. When he needs to go, he'll stop and you can ease holding the towel (and his back end) up. You could also put a thick athletic sock on that particular foot to keep from rubbing the skin raw and the nail down.

Good luck with your pup!
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Thanks
I could not love this dog more than I do. I hope a vet can help but I have seen this in other dogs and I hat to think where this is headed.
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M155Y_A1CH Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. Could mean bone cancer
Any hair loss other than the foot?

I had a dog that went that way.
She only showed a limp and minor hair loss.
She was found to have spots of cancer, all over her.
We took her for a leg X-ray one week after the limp showed itself.
She had a flea allergy so we dismissed the hair loss altogether and just gave her a bath.
She seemed her normal self otherwise and we had no idea it was cancer. She lived a very short period after this, perhaps a month when she suddenly had a seizure.

Do get it checked out if you can; it could be serious.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Might glucosamne help?
It did for our Lucy. She's a 12 yr old Lab mix. It isn't magic but seems to ease the pain in her hind quarters enough for her to enjoy being out a little more.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. It can, yes, most certainly.
But the OP needs an immediate solution to this particular problem. Supplementation tends to take time to start working effectively. The vet may also suggest a couple meds that will make the dog feel less painful and therefore may not drag the paw. But without knowing the underlying reason for the dragging, it's tough to call.

We recently lost our 16 year old dog here. He'd been getting supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin for a year, and that kept him really happy and pain free, in an almost remarkable way.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. That's right. the supplement takes some time to kick in. n/t
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sounds like he needs a little Dog Booty.
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. The suggestions above are good
I'll just add that I had an older Dalmation who was doing the exact same thing, except her paw wasn't bleeding. But she had some hip issues that caused the dragging of her back legs and she was starting to have trouble walking.

I took her to a vet who also does acupuncture. She treated her with acupuncture twice a week at first, then twice a month, then monthly. The dog's mobility got much, much better. Of course, a lot of medical conditions could cause the back legs to drag and the condition may be different with your dog. But if it's a hip issue or something similar you might want to find an acupuncture-qualified vet in your area.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. Acupuncture can do impressive work.


At least that's what a few dogs I know seem to indicate.

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OrderedChaos Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. A Styptic Powder or Pencil might help too
They use the powder for dogs/ cats when their nails are cut too closely to the "quick" and cause bleeding. Humans use a 'Pencil" for shaving cuts. The Styptic Powder causes quick coagulation and should stop the bleeding quicker than just wrapping the paw up. You can get the powder at any pet store (about $7 -$8)
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. Talk to your vet about doggy wheelchairs,
Google them, they come in several varieties.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
12. I had a dog with a weak right hind leg.
I got him on arthritis meds for pain. I also found out that he had low thyroid values; when he got on meds for that he had more energy and picked up the draggy leg much better. Finally, I bought a pack of 4 dog boots and used them all on that paw until they wore out.

If the nail gets worn down too far it will bleed, and you don't want that.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here is an article addressing the problem:
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
14. Shoes
How good are you at carving?

Don't laugh, I remember carving a cat shoe once....
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. 3 of my 4 German Shepherds developed this problem
and sadly there is not much a vet can do. But I would get or make a bootie for the back paw. If you buy the ones made for snow I believe that they might be able to provide a bit of traction. I've also done the sling under the stomach when the problem was more advanced. I am truly sorry that your pup has developed this. With the last GSD, my husband and I adopted another dog and that perked the GSD up amazingly. The vet was convinced that it added several months to his life. And to be honest, when the time came to say good-bye to the GSD, it helped tremendously having another dog in the house to love on. If possible, a bit further down the road, you may want to think about that.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
18. I saw a dog walking yesterday with four little booties. He wasn't a small dog either.
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