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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you know that Zeus has 3 toes on his hind leg.

We have been really careful outside on hard surface to see if any of the pad will grow between the middle and the side toe. Well some of the pad did grow, but not enough to call it a toe or supportive. He is getting bigger and requires more of a workout before he is tired. We toss a ball in our room on carpet, this weekend we introduced him to the pool. He is not ready to swim for a long time as he is building muscle strength. He jumps and runs in the pool area. Usually not for long until he lays down.

Today we tried to take him on a short walk and it's challenging to walk him as we had no practice and after we passed 5 houses I noticed him limp! I panicked, looked at his bad toe, and it's mostly fine, but I did see a slight sore on the side, it's so small that it will be gone tomorrow. What was weird about his walk after he was on hard surface is that during his limp he was almost twisting his foot outward while walking. I guess that's what I should expect with a supportive toe missing?

We tried walking him on grass, but he will just lay down, roll around and rip at the grass, he wont move!

Do you guys think we have any options besides swimming? it is still a bit cold to do it everyday after work.

We have puppy shots this Saturday and I will mention the limp to the vet, but last time we showed him the toe, he was not really concerned, i guess it's my baby so I am allot more worried than they are!

Anyways any feedback would be great =)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe some booties?
I was actually thinking about this, not sure where to get some. I will ask the vet if there is a way we can bandage it or put a foam insert so there is support when he walks. No idea...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jean, this is a great resource thank you so much! right now it might be impractical and expensive because he grows so fast, but once he is full size, I think this might be a great idea! I looked at the gallery and there are dogs in full play mode with the brace on their leg. If they can make a custom fitting for his paw with a foam support for where the toe is missing, this will be amazing.

Our vet also mentioned that when he is neutered, he can remove a sliver of bone and combine the side toe and middle to make it look like he never had a 4th. Not sure how well that would work and if he would have enough support/balance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Little pad looked healed over this morning, but I took him potty and he was still limping a little. Poor little guy, I am just heartbroken to see him like that and really hope we find some solution.
 

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Poor baby. Why is he missing a toe?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It is ether a birth defect because we noticed there is a small issue on the other foot, but its nothing, will not cause problems.

But he was a first born from a brand new mom, she must have gotten him on accident, or on purpose if she saw there was an issue.
 

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Neko,
I think I remember little lace on boots, to protect the pads of those on ice and so on...

I think I would look into that. Very brave of you to carry on...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks lone ranger,

He stopped limping! I guess no street walks for us for a while. Grass, pool and carpet only. I will look into the shoe and talk to the vet/surgeon on Friday. I wonder if we can glue some memory foam between his toes so there is no gap to roll his toe into and put a shoe on so he does not bite the foam off. Just to delay any surgery, he is too small!

It's brave, but compared to what some other dogs/owners deal with. Our issue seems like a scratch. =)
 

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Hondo only has two toes on his hind leg. I keep him off hard surfaces. No pavement. No gravel. When I take him off property, it is for short visits (like to the feed store etc. ) I do not ask for a lot of repetitive movements. No jumping to catch a ball. No spinning to come back to me. Fetch is a slow game, not a lot of excitement from me. He loves to sit and play 'catch'.

We also built a pond on our place. He'll swim often. I let him decide if it's too cold. If he wants to go in, I let him. When he swims, it's slow an easy. He's like a duck, just circles around for a while. He seems to really enjoy it.

Because of limited exercise, I limit his food intake. My vet wants him thin. Less weight on the hind leg. He is a large framed dog with long hair. So just visually watching his body type doesn't work for him. I weigh him often. 92lbs is our goal. My vet allows me to just show up and use their scale for no charge.

Watch how your pup walks. Video it if you can. You may notice a slight 'twist' in the leg as it walks. This twisting motion can cause soreness in the actual leg and not actual pad damage. With Hondo, the twisting became more noticeable as he aged. Because of the twisting, he can no longer wear the standard boot. It rubs him raw. I have a friend who is trying to come up with a custom boot.

Because he is young (3 years old) we have elected not to use any type of pain meds yet. Eventually he will be placed on pain meds when deemed neccessary. If the twisting of the leg damages his hip joint, we will take the leg instead of fixing the joint. We are monitoring the hip joint via x-rays. So far, kennel rest is all that has been needed when his leg starts bothering him.

Last night, while at the barn he saw a rat running from an out building towards our barn. He gave chase and nearly caught it. His leg slows him down because he doesn't have the strength in his hind end as a normal dog would. But it doesn't keep him from trying.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Lilie, thank you so much for sharing. I will post a new picture, everything looks very different from how it looked when we first got him. It looked like skin before, a stub. But now it is black, looks like a thin layer of his pad formed. A 5 minute walk is hard on that thin pad and rubs it down. I did see the limping with a twist, but it's been two days and both the limping and twisting stopped. I will post a new picture.

Because he is missing only one toe vs two I am really hoping that the surgery or a foam padding for the missing toe will help. The vet mentioned that if the bone was removed and the outer toe moved closer, he would have a smaller paw with large middle toe and should adjust. He sounded encouraging and told us we can play sports and he will be just fine. I am just over worried because this is all so new to me and I don't know anyone who had an issue like this before. I know with small dogs, it's never an issue and they grow fine. I will post an update after our Friday check up and let you know if vets opinion has changed. I just want him to have a normal life, he is such a smart and stunning boy!
 

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Is there a park nearby where you could take him for leashed walks in the grass?

Also, booties would be worth a try. I wonder if you could write to Ruffwear and see if they have any extra single boots in different sizes or could maybe give you a discount since he's growing? They are a very nice company. Ruffwear Bark'n Boots Skyliner? Dog Boot - Singles
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is there a park nearby where you could take him for leashed walks in the grass?

Also, booties would be worth a try. I wonder if you could write to Ruffwear and see if they have any extra single boots in different sizes or could maybe give you a discount since he's growing? They are a very nice company. Ruffwear Bark'n Boots Skyliner? Dog Boot - Singles
You know... it's worth a try!!! I will write to them =)

And about the park, yes! we are just waiting for another set of shots. We did take him once already, but there is a huge parvo outbreak here so we are to scared and the vet told hold off and get another set of shots in. So soon, i will take him there everyday after work!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We took him to the vet, they think both of his back feet have congenital defects, but the vet is still not worried at all. She wants us o try to slowly callus that little stub since it has a little bit of a pad on it. I will post pictures. I am happy with good news and we will se how he develops.
 
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