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#102331 - 11/08/10 05:53 PM Max has started dragging his back feet.
Charlotte Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 1564
Loc: Washington D.C.
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At the young age of 11, Max has started to drag his back feet. He is losing muscle mass in his back legs, (according to our vet this is normal for an aging dog). But his dragging if his feet has started to wear down the 2 middle nails on both back feet - to the point that there is only small "nubs" left. No bleeding but he does not like his paws touched, which I completely understand.

What has other people done in this situation? He still walks about 3 miles a day and is very happy to do so, but I am wondering if we should make him wear boots on his paws to help protects his nails a bit...or?? And if boots is the solution what kind should we be looking for??

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#102336 - 11/08/10 06:08 PM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Charlotte]
Chicago Canine Offline
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Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 461
Loc: Chicago
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Personally I would look into exercises you can do to help improve the muscles in the back legs. I did water treadmill therapy with my older dogs and the vet we went to for that also did acupuncture and chiropractic which can help too. She also showed us exercises that would help with their muscle mass, balance, and proprioception.
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Bianca HIC CGC TT, ~ 6 years GSD, SHC Ambassador Dog, Therapy Dog
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#102359 - 11/08/10 08:24 PM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Chicago Canine]
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11662
Loc: McAlester, OK
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Wow it is cool he is still walking that far! My Max has also worn down his nails by dragging his back feet but he also has Spondylosis. He can't walk very far any more and when we do take him we keep to grass.
_________________________
Kathy

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo

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#102383 - 11/08/10 09:13 PM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Kayos]
Crooked Creek Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1503
Loc: Southeast Missouri
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Tasha is 10 and has Spondylo as well. This year her rear legs have really lost muscle tone and she is dragging her feet a lot, wearing down the nails. She walks many miles like your dog and she also swims a lot in the creek. We have not tried any covering on her toes but I have thought about doing it as well. Although with her/our lifestyle I don't know that they would really work out very well. I'd appreciate any input/thoughts/experience about this as well. She walks mainly on grass here at our place with some gravel roads.


Here you can really see I caught the rear legs dragging.


She is definitely NOT a hock walker so that is not what is happening here.
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Loyal ~ Noble ~ Intelligent
"of Crooked Creek "
Lana, Peter, Maia,
Anna & Ash vom Meisterdes Unfalles
Vaughns Analiya Sky

Tasha, Blackjack, Kira RIP
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Ziggy, RIP
Isabelle new kitty

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#102393 - 11/08/10 10:06 PM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Crooked Creek]
SunCzarina Offline
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Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2157
Loc: West Bay RI
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Lisa posted something something a while back, I think it was low incline hills being good for building rear leg muscle mass. Last week when I cut Morgan's nails, I notice her middle toes in the back looked extra worn. Her whole life she's walked on those toes, they haven't needed to be cut in a very long time. Now you've got me thinking I need to watch her a little more when she's out - most of her walking is on concrete.
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Otto von Hena-c 5/23/08
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Venus of Crooked Creek 1/25/13 Vivacious V!!!


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#102397 - 11/08/10 10:19 PM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: SunCzarina]
Kris Offline
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Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 2173
Loc: Colorado
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It's wonderful he walks that far still. I swear the exercise is what keeps them going. When my Max started dragging his one foot (his problem was also in his back), I got him these boots:

http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex?sc=2&category=11

He only wore them on one foot and only when we went for walks. He didn't mind a bit and it kept him from getting sores on the top of his foot. One boot lasted about two months.

The other thing that made a big difference for him was acupuncture. We did that for about a year and a half. He had gone to three hydrotherapy sessions when we lost him. The hydrotherapy really helps to rebuild muscle and strength.

Hoping that Max continues his long walks - that's terrific!
_________________________
Kris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Samson, GSD, 10/13/07
Annabel, Keeshond, 4/21/11
Petie, Toy Poodle, 5/5/07
Kitties: Meezer, Bob, Mia and Dewey

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#102458 - 11/09/10 07:21 AM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Kris]
DnP Offline
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Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 606
Loc: Rensselaer County, NY
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Originally Posted By: Kris
It's wonderful he walks that far still. I swear the exercise is what keeps them going. When my Max started dragging his one foot (his problem was also in his back), I got him these boots:

http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex?sc=2&category=11

He only wore them on one foot and only when we went for walks. He didn't mind a bit and it kept him from getting sores on the top of his foot. One boot lasted about two months.

The other thing that made a big difference for him was acupuncture. We did that for about a year and a half. He had gone to three hydrotherapy sessions when we lost him. The hydrotherapy really helps to rebuild muscle and strength.

Hoping that Max continues his long walks - that's terrific!


I am another who fully supports acupuncture. Now granted, Dakota had DM, but it did make a huge difference for him.

I found the ruffwear boots did not work for us...too stiff and uncomfortable for Dakota. He put up with the Muttaluk boots much better. I found the leather that was on the bottoms and tops held up a decent amount of time, even in the snow/wet conditions. However, I did put duck tape on the the tops of the feet to extend their life. Here are the boots:

All Weather Muttluks
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Diana

Phoenix (Brightstar rescue) aka Booger...because I picked him.

RIP Dakota 1/5/93 - 10/23/2006

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#102477 - 11/09/10 09:23 AM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: DnP]
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11662
Loc: McAlester, OK
Likes: 240
I had apair of these some years back and they lasted about one week. I could never get Max to wear them so I gave up and gave them away.
_________________________
Kathy

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo

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#102479 - 11/09/10 09:27 AM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: DnP]
Charlotte Offline
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Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 1564
Loc: Washington D.C.
Likes: 49
Thank you so much hugging for all the great input. We do walk a low incline hill almost ever night but unfortunately it's all pavement. Living in the city has it's disadvantages for an old dog. We do try to get him to the park once a week so he can walk the trails (and for a change of scenery).

I will look into the water therapy, and also acupunture. Also thinking that I should also take him back to the vet for another check up. It was not that long ago he was in but I am thinking that may not hurt to have him looked at again.

We will keep up with his walks for as long as we can. We also firmly belive that the walks is what keeps him going - and of course the other dogs. He wants to participate so we will keep going.

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#102531 - 11/09/10 12:40 PM Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Charlotte]
DnP Offline
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Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 606
Loc: Rensselaer County, NY
Likes: 10
Originally Posted By: Charlotte
We will keep up with his walks for as long as we can. We also firmly belive that the walks is what keeps him going - and of course the other dogs. He wants to participate so we will keep going.


I agree with you that walks are what keep him going. I know Dakota, bless his heart, LOVED going for walks, even near the end when that consisted of barely going to the end of the road and back (about 100 yards total). He got all excited when I grabbed his leash.

The beauty about the acupuncture is that it treats more than the physical. I poo-poo'd acupuncture until I saw what it did for Dakota. Not saying that every dog will respond to it like he did, but it made a believer out of me.

Lots of hugging to you. Sometimes it is tough watching our old guys struggle.
_________________________
Diana

Phoenix (Brightstar rescue) aka Booger...because I picked him.

RIP Dakota 1/5/93 - 10/23/2006

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