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Congenital paw deformity | Accidents, Injuries and Malformed Limbs

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Congenital paw deformity
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
6 September 2017
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6 September 2017 - 11:59 am
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I have a 5 year old black lab I rescued from a marina. 2 labs got together and had puppies, but apparently the mother had a hereditary form of mange and wasn’t supposed to breed. So the puppies had mange and my pup was the litter runt born without a toe. Apparently the father had a missing toe as well on the same front right paw. Needless to say, I spent alot of money at first for a busy and penniless college student. The pup also had an allergic reaction to heartworm meds during the mange treatment. The last few years have been great and he turned out to be the best dog ever. He has followed me across mountain hikes, up tree climbs, backpacking through high current rivers during floods on adventures and has been my greatest companion. His coat also grew in after his first year to be a shiny, thick and soft coat. During our adventures I’ve tried to protect his deformed paw with wax, socks, shoes, etc. But the missing toe left a portion of his paw where the soft skin with hair poking through actually folds over it so it is contact with the ground. Over the years he has shown some sensitivity toward the paw. He is 5 now and has developed a hypothyroid. His meds have corrected his labs and he has some of his puppy like energy back.  But I’ve noticed him limping on the same leg. At first I thought it was maybe his paw or a pulled muscle. But the limp has stayed for a couple months now regardless of rest or medicine. His paw looks okay. Im terrified the congenital paw deformity is somehow related to additional problems that could be affecting his leg in other areas. I’ve had trouble finding anything related to toe deformities. The vet said it was not arthritis and just gave us Vetprofen for bad days and said it should get better with time. I’m scared it could be a bigger problem considering his history. Does anyone have experience with this? Should I demand an xray or some other imaging or procedure?

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 25092
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25 April 2007
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6 September 2017 - 12:38 pm
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Hi Ashley, welcome. Thanks for registering as a member, your future posts won’t need approval so post away. What’s your sweet doggie’s name? He sounds like such a sweetheart, I imagine he is very grateful to be living the good life with you.

First, remember that you know your dog better than anyone else. If your vet feels this should get better with time, what exactly is the diagnosis that made him/her reach that conclusion? 

Your gut instinct is telling you this could be a problem so if your vet isn’t following up as you’d like, seek a second opinion from an orthopedic specialist. Personally, it’s what I would do. A limp is not a small thing, even if it seems like an animal’s in pain. Pain medication will only treat the symptoms, not the cause. If a pet  is limping, they hurt, and it’s best to get it checked out sooner rather than later.

Let us know what you decide to do, we’re interested in how he does.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 September 2017 - 7:33 pm
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Yep,DITTO Jerry!    And we’re all vig on second opinions around here too.  Xrays should help determine what’s goi going and how to best treat it.

Your pup sounds like a strong and fit feisty fella’.  Goodness knows he hit the Puppy Lottery when you took him into your home and your heart.

Update js when you can and let us know how he’s doing.  And we’d love to see pictures of this special boy! 🙂


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Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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