Elevated toes??? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Elevated toes???

We have a 19 week old puppy who has developed a strange foot issue we can't find any information on.

Over the past month both front outer toes have elevated so the pads don't touch the ground. She seems not to be in any pain, but we are concerned this is, or may lead to, a more significant problem.

The breeder says they have no knowledge of their dogs having a problem like this and suggested she injured both toes. We do not believe this is the issue since there has been no injury and the toes are not tender to touch or movement.

Does anybody have any ideas? Thanks!!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 05:07 PM
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that's odd. First notice is that the nails are way too long. Cut them to the quick, you can see where it is easily enough in a clear/white nail. Right before the 'blood' place. And then get her moving on pavement or pebbles to give the quick the message it needs to draw back some.I'd cut them at least weekly till you can see they are receding.
Second, it might be that her pasterns are dropping, in that case, VitC should fix it. She's the right age for that to happen. I can't tell from the photos if that's what's happening but while your girl's are much more pronounced that I usually see in puppies, I don't let them get dropped to the point that the outside pads are raised so I would also try that and see if in a couple weeks between the nail cuts and pebble walks and Vit C you have better feet.
C might give her diarrhea. So start w human non-sweetened tabs in her food, 250mg twice a day for a couple days, then up it to 500 mg and 250 in her meals twice a day (so 750 total) , then 500 twice a day.. and give that 1000 mg/day dose a couple weeks to do it's job. If that doesn't fix it, and no one else has a better idea of what's causing it, maybe get the vet to do radiographs and get a consult via email on his feet. We do have a member whose dog's feet are quite problematic, maybe she will post her thoughts.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 07:42 PM
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Hi! I think I’m who Robin is referring to. My 16 month old was diagnosed with congenital malformation of the sesamoid bones (small flat bones in the joints of the toes) last winter. He was around 7 months old. His toes never tipped up, but did have swelling and they splayed apart. The sesamoid bones are sandwiched between nerves and tendons.

Are they painful ? Does he limp? Are they swollen? I’m curious about his breeding. It’s very hard to tell anything from the pictures.

My guys feet were extremely painful, one more then the other. I learned quite a bit going through our ordeal, but I’m not sure your having the same problems.

Definitely trim the nails. Try to touch and feel to see if he reacts as if there is any pain.

An X-ray read by a veterinary sports medicine orthopedist would be my recommendation. You can send one to them for review. I spent a lot of unnecessary money to find out not many people specialize in feet/toes. There are many treatment options available if you find out what it is. (If it’s not what Robin mentioned above). The vitamin C will be recommended even if it is an ortho problem, so it won’t hurt.

If it helps my guys feet had several specialists scratching their heads and he’s fine now. We are careful with him, but he dock dives and runs normally. It was a long road, but he had a lot of pain.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 09:25 PM
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Get it xrayed to see what the bone is doing.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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More pictures and background...

Hi to all! Thanks for your input.

Prism:
You’re right about her nails, she is due for a trim. But I think only those that have not had contact with the ground are too long. The rest have seen normal wear from walks outside and are shorter; the quicks too! (If I'm wrong, please educate me.)

I never heard of “dropping pasterns”, that is until I looked it up. I found one “vet advice” site calls this condition “carpal hyperextension”, but I can't find it in the Merck Veterinary Manual. Maybe there's yet another name. I went back to look at her legs/paws/toes with a more educated eye and don’t see the extent of hyperextension I found in photos online. That said, we will start the Vitamin C and already do have a vet appointment on the books. I also included a couple more photos for all to see.

Regarding the Vitamin C, I wonder if her diet may be a contributing factor. The breeder and our current vet both recommend Royal Canin GR Puppy food. On the other hand, one regional pet food chain near us won’t carry it and Whole Dog Journal’s list of dry foods for 2019 does not list it. There seems so much conjecture on the topic that I’ve become confused. I’m open to thoughts on this too.

DblTrblGolden2:
No pain, limping, licking, nibbling, or swelling. Although I am concerned about how her hind legs/hips work; she seems not to be able to run as fast or as long as other dogs her size. That’s another question for the upcoming vet appointment.

I agree that an x-ray or two may be helpful. Thanks for the suggestion to seek a consultation with a specialist. I’m glad your boy is better now!

Megora: As above, we’re going to get some x-rays.

To everyone, thank you again for your input. Sorry for the long reply. I’ll keep you all posted!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 06:24 AM
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something doesn't look right on the feet- it may be as a function of how you are grooming the feet, and not the skin, but the skin looks too dark to my eye. Are you cutting the hair growing between her toes? If so, how? Cutting the hair between the toes can cause a dog to move incorrectly, imagine pokey things jabbing every move! Neatening the feet consists of 1. trimming the bottom of the foot even with the pads, 2.trimming around the bottom of the foot outline- think level w the ground, 3. either blowing up or brushing up on top of the foot and cutting the long hairs between her toes level w the top of the toes- never between the toes either from top or bottom, and never cut the hairs on her foot top other than the long hair between toes.
Her skin looks black-ish to me in the second set of photos. I doubt that would make her toes lift, but maybe. Certainly the feet show dietary lacks pretty fast in dogs, so I would lean to that area then orthopedic. That may not be actual, just the photo. But if it is actual, that too may be contributing. It also looks in the second set like you are cutting her foot hair all around and on top, not just the long slipper hairs.
I am not finished w the left foot in this pic but took it for the grooming client yesterday who was all kinds of worried the feet would be 'messed up'. I had already trimmed the hair on the bottom of this bitch's feet.
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Last edited by Prism Goldens; 08-05-2019 at 06:39 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:36 AM
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I agree with Prism that something just doesn’t look right. I’ve attached a picture of Moe’s feet while he was recovering. I don’t have the ones I would like to attach on my phone. Notice how on his right foot he is tipping all the toes up, not resting normally? He did this until his feet healed. It has more to do with the nerves and tendons being painful then the toes. Moe’s 2nd and 5th digit were affected. They are non weight bearing when a dog runs, but the other problems they caused when he flexed his foot made it very painful. After many consults I was told “never do surgery on feet”. They can inject the toes and numb them, and have many other options.

I really don’t think this is your problem, but something is wrong. I wanted to caution you that if anything at all is wrong in the front end it will cause them to seem like something could be off in the back end. They don’t run the same. They can’t get up from sitting or laying down the same. It changes how the distribute their weight. In my experience feet and elbows cause more problems then hips, and can make you think you have a hip problem. Even at his worst Moe would try to run, but then slow down. He was in field training and would run out for a retrieve but walk back with a slight limp. He seemed lazy. Thankfully our trainer had worked with him enough to know he was not lazy and we went to the vet immediately.

It took 4 sets of x-rays and several vets before anyone really looked close enough to figure it out. We were diagnosed with Pano, a soft tissue injury, maybe FCP.... A vet From Atlanta knew immediately what was wrong. (Robin recommended him) A ortho vet from a Blue Pearl Hospt in GA saw the CT scan and confirmed the diagnosis, and then I went to VOSM in Maryland for a surgical and rehab consult at everyone’s recommendation. (I’m in Delaware)

Something doesn’t look right, but if there’s no pain I doubt it’s anything like my situation.

Does that nail look any different at the nail bed then the others? Thicker? Is the pad cracked or thickened just under the nail?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:45 AM
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I have no help here but do have a question... forgive me if it sounds really dumb but can dogs have flat feet like people? My structure knowledge is limited to viewing what seems off. Robin is this what you were observing?
The entire structure of the ankle? seems to be off. It's like the weight load isn't coming down to the feet normally. I see it more from the side view. This has to be extremely painful, poor baby. I hope you get some answers with the rads.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:06 AM
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dropped pasterns are a developmental thing- and yes, dogs can be flat footed, that dog would walk on his wrists- GSD teenager is good example of that. I don't know but suspect Vit C helps the suspensory ligaments get right.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 08:49 AM
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Well I certainly hope he comes back, really curious what the rads will show!
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