Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

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Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby Minnie » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Hi folks
I posted on here a lot when my whippet Minnie was young - she had horrendous separation anxiety and we had quite a traumatic puppyhood. She'll be 6 in January and things have been manageable for the last few years, mostly.
About 18 months ago she was diagnosed with a congenital joint malformation on her front left wrist, basically she has quite a bend at her wrist instead of it going more or less straight down to the foot. That was spotted after a month or so of on/off limping, but always weight bearing on that foot, more of a head nodding lameness, caused by arthritis developing in her outside toe joint as a result of the poor conformation. We were offered a referral for the joint to be fused but that could cause other issues, and she's so sensitive and terrified of the vets that we were reluctant. A week or two later it went away entirely, I think she adjusted her gait slightly plus I have her on some good supplements, and has been OK for over a year since, albeit not one for prolonged sprinting any more.

Then 10 days ago we were out walking as normal, she sprinted after a squirrel, again this is normal. About an hour later on the way back from the same walk she held that paw up a couple of times, but seemed otherwise OK. Then the day after (Saturday) she was seriously lame, as in not weight bearing except reluctantly, from the moment she woke up. I soaked her paw and found a tiny puncture wound which oozed a spot of blood when squeezed gently, so we went to salt soak and neosporin and no exercise. She was also really subdued in herself so fearing an infection i had her to the vet first thing on the Monday. Vet did a full range of movement exam to check for other causes of lameness, nothing, said she was sure there was no infection and gave us the usual Metacam.

We're now a week on. The metacam seems to make next to no difference (which it did in the past). She is still either non weight bearing or dipping heavily on that side. Her only walks have been potty trips of <5 minutes, or coming out with me in the car. I can see what looks like a small rubbed / bruised area between the toe which had the puncture wound and the one next to it ( the two weight bearing toes at the front, which the vet said was why she was so much worse with this than with the arthritic little toe previously). I have been soaking her foot twice a day in salt plus epsom salts, and applying neosporin to the rubbed bit just in case.

I need to decide whether to take her back to the vets, but she hates it so much, plus i suspect they can only really order more invasive tests at this point, which I'd prefer to spare her if possible. So my question is this - what's the most trivial injury that you've seen lead to this level of lameness, for this long (10 days)? Obviously if it's totally implausible that what i'm seeing (the bruised bit plus the puncture wound) is the cause of this, i'll have to go back to the vet. But if others have had something similar then I shall wait!
I'm Kate, Minnie's the pup, but I set this up all wrong when i registered :)
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby Minnie » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:02 pm

This is a picture of the dodgy paw, dark mark from the puncture is in yellow and the funny bruised bit in red....if it helps!
Capture.JPG
This is a picture of the dodgy paw, dark mark from the puncture is in yellow and the funny bruised bit in red....if it helps!
I'm Kate, Minnie's the pup, but I set this up all wrong when i registered :)
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby PAWhippets » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:01 pm

Sorry, but I think, especially with the complicated history, it's impossible to say what's going on and this needs to be seen by the vet. Most dogs would prefer to skip the vet visit; one of ours is still recovering from a lacerated tendon that required weekly vet visits for bandage changes, and I can sympathize! Please keep is updated on how Minnie is doing.

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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby chelynnah » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:52 pm

This does seem to be an odd one. It may be that she does have something embedded in the pad. Or, it's also possible that she may have a corn. Corns in whippets aren't uncommon and can be seriously painful.

It's so hard to say, I'm so sorry. It's awful when they're in pain and we can't find a cause or a way to help them :(
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby Minnie » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:14 am

Well, we're two vet visits down and really no improvement. The first time they said it was likely to be due to the puncture wound so she just got some Metacam, which as usual gave her nausea and vomiting after the first few days so that's back off again. Took her back, different vet, spent ages with us and gave her a really good going over in terms of checking range of movement, looking for sensitive spots. Minnie wasn't giving anything away, sometimes i wish she was the growly type but she just takes it which doesn't help us work out what's going on :( The second vet went with a week's worth of antibiotics on the theory that there just might be a small infection related to that original little wound, but he admitted he was a bit puzzled by her.

She's 3 days into the antibiotics and if anything, slightly worse, although it comes and goes. She has an odd gait anyway because of the wrist joint problem, and there are moments when her wrist looks horrendously "flat" to me (ie rather than going straight down, there's a more pronounced bend in the joint so that the first part of her leg above the foot is more parallel with the floor than it should be).

I don't have any faith that the antiobiotics are going to make any difference. I think there's something much nastier going on caused by her conformation problems, and the next step is going to be expensive specialist referrals followed by news i don't want to hear. She's also effectively uninsured for this because the first time she had a lameness issue, the insurance of course ducked out of covering anything else below the ribcage :angry-cussing:
I'm Kate, Minnie's the pup, but I set this up all wrong when i registered :)
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby chelynnah » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:58 pm

Oh that's such a shame about the insurance. I hate those policies that exclude after a claim.

The part of the leg between the foot and the wrist is called the pastern. What your describing is that she's low on her pasterns. That can be troubling, but some dogs are naturally low, just as some are more upright than they should be. If it's specifically confined to that one leg, then it could be cause for concern, or a result of her wrist injury that you mention.

These dogs are such wusses when it comes to little pain things, but when it's real pain, and they're at the vets they are so stoic. Like you it frustrates me that they won't show the vet where it hurts. It's so frustrating because we want to help and can't.

I really hope that you can find an answer soon. I really do get it. We have some ongoing feet issues here.

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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby PAWhippets » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:42 am

Yes, I second what Wendy said. And unfortunately, most of them ARE stoic (well, unless we're grinding nails, and then all of them are drama queens :lol: ). Based on our experiences with foot and toe issues, which has also been quite a bit, regular vets aren't always able to figure these things out, but if you can find a good orthopedic vet and/or one who has a lot of experience working on Greyhounds, they are worth their weight in gold, and worth traveling to. Hope you can find some answers for Minnie.

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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby Minnie » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:07 am

Thanks folks - yes i get the feeling we are heading for specialist territory. I know lots of whippet owners locally so should be able to get a bit of help. I've also found a canine osteopath very nearby who does home treatments, and i'm going to give that a go - can't help but feel she'd be getting physiotherapy if she was a human, rather than just diving straight in to surgery, so maybe that will help her!

Thanks for the terminology Wendy - will be faster than saying "that wrist-y bit" every time i'm trying to describe the problem to a professional :D
I'm Kate, Minnie's the pup, but I set this up all wrong when i registered :)
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby RickieArlie » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:47 pm

Apologies if this was mentioned and I missed it, but if none of the vets has done imaging that might be a good idea, in case of foreign body, for example a glass shard, sliver of wood, etc. If deeply lodged soaking might not draw it out.
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby chelynnah » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:47 pm

Minnie wrote:Thanks folks - yes i get the feeling we are heading for specialist territory. I know lots of whippet owners locally so should be able to get a bit of help. I've also found a canine osteopath very nearby who does home treatments, and i'm going to give that a go - can't help but feel she'd be getting physiotherapy if she was a human, rather than just diving straight in to surgery, so maybe that will help her!

Thanks for the terminology Wendy - will be faster than saying "that wrist-y bit" every time i'm trying to describe the problem to a professional :D


I'm glad you took that the way I intended - just as a letting you know what it's called and not me correcting you :)

Teya has an ongoing issue with a corn that I mentioned above. Most of the time it doesn't bother her at all and I've been taught by the vet how to 'shuck' it out when I can. I thought I had it mostly sorted, but we've just put out rubber mats on our deck for the winter. They have holes in them for water to drain through so mould doesn't grow on or under them. She has never limped on the paw with the corn until we put those down this year. She limps really badly walking across them. It's either that or they slip on the wet or ice that builds up on the deck through the winter). It's breaking my heart. But it goes to show that you just don't know how something that doesn't bother her 90% of the time really hurts in a particular circumstance.

I still think it's worth investigating the corn route, or as others have suggested, getting an xray to see if there's something embedded. I really hope you get to the bottom of this. It's the worst feeling knowing they're hurting and we can't do anything.
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby WhippyChick » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:09 am

Sorry to chime in so late here & hopefully you've got it figured out by now, but I wanted to mention that my guy had the same "dot" on his pad and was limping for several days after a hard romp in the yard. The vet found a teeny tiny little pebble, almost microscopic, embedded in his paw. She removed it with sharp tweezers and he was fine! He also gets bruising between his toes from time to time, I have no idea why, but it comes and goes with no apparent reason.
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby MikeHerts » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:13 pm

I had a similar problem with my whippet. He grazed his paw - a very slight graze but was hopping lame for nearly two weeks. Took him to the vet, thinking there was a more serious underlying problem, but the advice was to let it heal. The frustration was that he needed to be taken out in order to let off steam. It's happened twice to my puppy so I guess they are quite sensitive to superficial injuries of the foot pads. I having been trying to Harden them up by more road walking now.
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Re: Severe limp with minimal paw injury - anyone had this?

Postby MikeHerts » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:09 pm

Please see my recent post. I had a similar problem - what appeared to be a minor cut caused severe lameness for almost two weeks. I think you might have to be patient to let it heal and confine her walking to soft grass areas. I was convinced mu dog had done serious damage but it simply was the slight puncture wound on his front pad. I've heard this so often with whippet owners recently - it seems to be common.
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