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Thread: Toe Amputation

  1. #1
    Senior Member P J's Avatar
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    Default Toe Amputation

    Does anyone have any experience with this type of surgery?

    My dog developed an infection in the bone attached to the nail of the medial toe on her left foot. It had to amputated two days ago. I'm curious what others may have experienced for recovery from this.

    At first, it appeared to be a skin infection. It started on June 29th with the toe swelling and her showing some lameness, we started Epsom salt soaks with iodine. Had her seen by an on call vet on the 30th when it was worse, he x-rayed it, no abnormalities were seen. He started her on an antibiotic, said to continue the soaks. Took her back to him the next day when the whole foot swelled and the skin started weeping fluid. He gave her a shot of antibiotics and changed the oral antibiotics to a stronger one and started her on a steroid. To make a long story short, prior to the amputation on the 16th, she had been seen by a vet, either the initial on call vet or the ortho vet treating her CCL injury 7 times in 18 days, with the toe being examined every time. The toe was not healing and her nail was starting to deteriorate. The ortho vet x-rayed it 2 days ago and it was visible on the x-ray that the bone had a notch in it. He recommended amputation and I agreed, knowing the bone would not heal and we did not want the infection to spread. He saved the toe and showed me the hole in it, a lot of bone had been eaten away. I asked prior to surgery that a culture and sensitivity be done, we will not get the results of that for a couple more days.

    Anyone ever experience anything like this?
    Paula

    Dixie's Southern Comfort IV, MH

    “The beauty of the Second Amendment is it will not be needed until they try to take it.” - Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
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    I had a dog loose a middle toe and he recovered just. He is just as fast and athletic as before. He is a quail hunting dog. He was a quail hunting dog before all the quail left Texas.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member P J's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding.

    I did a search on the topic and there just wasn't a lot of information. My vet did say it would have been better if it had been a middle toe, but it just didn't happen that way.
    Paula

    Dixie's Southern Comfort IV, MH

    “The beauty of the Second Amendment is it will not be needed until they try to take it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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    I hope that the toe was sent for pathology to rule out a possibility of a tumour. I've seen toes that looked like they were infected and it turned out to be cancer with a secondary infection and that was why it did not heal with antibiotics.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    A friend had a similar event, had to surgically remove the nail, then later an x-rays revealed bone infection and they had to scrape the bone. It healed up nice, only time you could tell was if you were doing her nails, No nail to trim, not even a hole. She hated having her nails done, so One less nail to trim was nice; Didn't affect performance, as even though she could no longer give him the literal middle toe, it didn't hinder her ability to give the figurative one
    "They's Just DAWGS"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
    "I train dogs, Not papers"

    GMRH HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast)
    MHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
    SHR Storm.. the Pup (Beginning Upland & Waterfowl Enthusiast)

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    we had one done a few years back outside toe..dog never seemed to notice

  7. #7
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrax View Post
    I hope that the toe was sent for pathology to rule out a possibility of a tumour.
    X2 even though amputation is generally curative for the most common cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the nail bed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member P J's Avatar
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    The toe was not sent out for pathology. The possibility of cancer was never discussed. We went this morning for a recheck and will go again on Monday, I will be sure to ask about the possibility.

    This is the second unusual infection she has had in the last couple of months. She had a retro-orbital abscess the end of May. At that time, the possibility of cancer was discussed, because there wasn't any purulent drainage, just white grainy stuff that resembled grits. He did find a small hole behind her upper molar when he tried to drain it.
    Paula

    Dixie's Southern Comfort IV, MH

    “The beauty of the Second Amendment is it will not be needed until they try to take it.” - Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    One of my Chesapeakes had to have a toe amputated for an infection/swelling next to a nail. From memory (this was about 20 years ago) I think they said the tumor was cancerous, hence the toe had to be amputated. It was an outside toe on a back leg and the dog was about 11 at the time. It healed fast and she wasn't even lame on it except for the first couple of days, though I think we had to keep it wrapped for several weeks. After it was fully healed you'd never have known she was missing a toe. She lived to almost 14.
    Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981

  10. #10
    Member laurelwood's Avatar
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    I had a dog develop several infections, one involving a toe also. It turned out that he had asymptomatic Ehrlichiosis, which triggered diabetes.

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