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Puppy limping - dew claw infected

March 28th, 2010, 08:44 PM
Hey all,
I made a post awhile ago about my puppy and a sprain. Well it's been on and off, whenever she's at home she's fine, once we go out she limps after she comes back in. Well just today we noticed her dew claw on the side she's been limping is BIG time red and swollen (X's 3) and WILL NOT let us touch it and to think of the past she always flinched a bit when touching her toes but I thought she just didn't like me touching them cause I clip her nails and she hates it! I've never hurt her clipping her nails either, I leave space inbetween the outside and the nerve.

She's limping pretty bad and I've put hydrogen peroxide on it and we've cleared it out, there was scabs and gunk in it, since then she's not limping as bad.

Could this have been what was wrong the whole time???? Should I have them removed when she goes in for spaying?

Gail P
March 28th, 2010, 09:12 PM
If it's infected that bad you should have her seen by your vet, who would probably want to put her on antibiotics to help clear up the infection.

Is the infected dew claw on a front foot or a back foot? It's quite common to remove rear dew claws, especially when the pup is already put out for spay/neuter surgery. The rear dews are often not well attached to the leg and sometimes tend to flap around a bit and can get caught on things more easily. Front dew claws however are usually well attached and are a functioning toe/claw. Their purpose is to help stabilize the dog during fast stopping and turning (i.e. agility, disc, flyball etc.) Removing the front dew claws removes that stabilization and can lead to a higher risk of sprains in a dog that is active in those type of sports. There are some people who do have reasons for removing them (i.e. sled dogs often have them taken off so that booties don't chafe where the straps would put pressure on those claws, but sled dogs travel in a straight line, no skidding around so they're less at risk for spraining other toes). If you're thinking about having the front dew claws removed you should first consider what you're going to be doing with your dog and talk it over with your vet.

March 28th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Is there an actual pus filled infection there or is it just red, swollen & sore?

If there is a true infection she should have it cleaned & wrapped by the vet. Depending on how it looks the vet may want to xray to rule out slivers/splinters

Is she licking it?

Dogs have an instinctive behaviour to lick wounds, even if it's just a sore muscle or sprained ligament they will wash the area that's hurt, sometimes to the point of irritating the area even more than before.

A properly fitted E-collar so she can't reach her food, vet-wrap or a sock on the foot will all help to stop her from direct contact with the area to allow for healing.

Dew claw removal is major amputation surgery at this point in her life, and I doubt it's necessary.

March 28th, 2010, 09:47 PM
It's the front paw and there is no puss, but it's very red and swollen..

She has been licking at her leg/paw for the last week or so.

I will be taking her to the vet, they weren't open today and she's not in need of an emergency.

March 28th, 2010, 09:53 PM
Sounds very familiar - several years ago my dal x bumped his front foot coming up the stairs & started licking that foot and wouldn't leave it alone, he ended up w/it swollen, red & twice the normal size. Xray confirmed it was just soft tissue inflammation from excessive washing.

March 28th, 2010, 09:57 PM
You can also try soaking the foot/dew claw in some warm salt water if she will let you. It may help to draw out any possible infection and will help irrigate any unseen wounds.

March 28th, 2010, 10:31 PM

Took her for a 15 min nice warm bath, she's limping 50% less.

Could this dew claw have caused the limping from the beginning? She started limping after going to get a tennis ball, she puts on the brakes and rolls her paw in all weird ways.

March 28th, 2010, 10:36 PM
If there is a sliver/splinter in the claw/surrounding area then it's possible but if she was limping before the licking/swollen/redness started then no the dew claw isn't the cause it's an aftereffect

March 29th, 2010, 05:53 AM
She may also be periodically lifting the claw from it's nail bed (kind of like when you catch your nail and pull up or bump a toenail on the furniture) which is causing her discomfort. Dew claw removal is a good option for dogs who are regularly tearing them or catching them on things despite keeping them short-clipped. One of my galpals had her Golden's dew claws removed for this reason ~ said it was a piece of cake as far as the surgery and recovery went.

March 29th, 2010, 10:02 AM
Another possibility is that she's broken the dew claw bone--a not too uncommon problem with dew claws. Once your vet has looked at it, he'll be able to make a recommendation for or against removal. Our first setter had his dew claws removed sometime in his first year (can't remember exactly how old he was :o) and the recovery was pretty easy.

Could a broken dew claw have caused a limp? You betchya! Owie!!! :eek: :o

I hope your girl is feeling better soon! :goodvibes:

March 30th, 2010, 12:03 AM
Vet appointment today! Something has punctured Luna's toe (dew claw) and NOT broken! so it's swollen and slightly infected but she's on meds incase of a secondary infection if there is anything stuck in the wound that the vet couldn't see.

The limping she said may be from this but also could be growing pains, I forget the actual term, but she'll grow out of it if it is. She's on a strict walk only for the next 8 days until the follow up exam, if she's still limping she gets xrays that day.

Also, I made sure Luna was limping when we went to the vet but as soon as we got there, LIMP GONE! for a whole hour! She walked normal and everything! The vet looked at me funny when I said she's limping bad...... Then as soon as we left the vet she started limping again!:loser:

March 30th, 2010, 12:07 AM
That disappearing limp thing seems to be a universal doggie practical joke! :rolleyes: It happens to us frequently! :laughing:

Glad to hear that the dew isn't broken :highfive:

Hope Luna heals quickly and doesn't have any repeat occurrences! :goodvibes:

March 30th, 2010, 12:08 AM
Happy to hear the result is not too bad & nothing's broken :thumbs up

Did the vet wrap it &/or send you home with an e-collar to prevent further licking?

:goodvibes: Speedy recovery Luna

March 30th, 2010, 01:01 AM
E-collar.....and Luna can't STAND it, she's whimpering, barking, not moving for hours, so I had to take it off for now (while its bed) and just hope she doesn't lick in her sleep. lol. Although she always has slept through the night with no problems.

Thanks all, I'll follow up

March 30th, 2010, 01:25 AM
Poor Luna :grouphug:, I've never seen an animal that didn't hate! the e collar :goodvibes:

April 2nd, 2010, 06:49 PM
Alright so it's been about 4 days since she's been on anti-biotics and a strict leash only regime and her toe looks less swollen but still very red and irritated. I've been giving her epsom salt soaks once a day for about 10 mins each time, which seems to relieve her wanting to lick it.

Here's a couple pictures, let me know if I should call the vet and tell her that it's not getting any better. I have an appointment on Tuesday.

Don't mind the dirt, she was just outside peeing.

April 2nd, 2010, 08:01 PM
Ouch! It's still pretty swollen and irritated, but if you've seen improvement she can likely wait till your appointment on Tuesday.

Is she still in the DEC (Dreaded Elizabethan Collar)? :D Our dogs actually like them--they've found that there are some advantages to wearing them. For instance, they can monopolize a drinking bowl. They can scoop tossed treats intended for another dog right out of the air, then drop and snatch up the purloined tidbit. And, of course, there's the ever popular 'let's gore Mommy's calves with the edge of the DEC until we have her properly trained to get out of our way!' :laughing:

I hope Luna's feeling better soon, Stinkycat! :goodvibes: Sore toes are no fun...

April 8th, 2010, 05:04 PM

Luna is 90% better. It seems the limping was either because of her dew claw or a sprain that has healed, the vet can't tell exactly which one cause she's no longer limping after 8 days of strict leash walking.

Her dew claw is still a bit swollen but on the road to recovery. Thanks all!

Hopefully I won't be posting on this category anytime soon :fingerscr

April 8th, 2010, 09:49 PM
Great progress update :thumbs up :fingerscr this is the end of troubles for Luna

Now how about some pics :fingerscr :D of more than her foot :laughing:

April 8th, 2010, 10:41 PM
I'll second that request for pics of the rest of Luna! :D

Glad she's finally on the mend! :goodvibes:

April 9th, 2010, 01:48 PM
I'm glad she's doing better! I bet that hurt!

The "growing pain" condition that your vet mentioned is called panosteitis. The bones themselves actually become inflamed and causes a limp. In pano, you would see the limp change legs, and it comes and goes. Pano would not cause a chronic limp on one leg.

April 10th, 2010, 12:08 AM
The vet said it could be the pano if it switched legs in the next little bit. But she doesn't seem to be limping at all, she's happy to be out and running around again. MOST STRESSFUL THING IS TO HAVE A BORDER COLLIE PUPPY ON HOUSE ARREST! I mean 2 hour walks don't even phase her!!!!
Anyways we're all happy she's back to her monsterous self, here's a link to the pictures in the photography section.