Ok folks, this one puzzles me a bit.
A few weeks ago I noticed that Jack scrapes his rear toes occasionally. I'd notice it perhaps once or twice in about 2.5 miles. An important detail here may be that it's been hotter here and he seems to do it more towards the end of the walk, a few miles in.
I went to the vet and he's taken xrays of hips and performed a very thorough exam feeling movement in hips and knees. He watched his gait walking and running and no problems were observed. He suggested that this occasional foot dragging may be heat related in the form of exhaustion. Thing is, Jack does seem to get affected by the heat (I'm in Texas) but I wouldn't say he's completely spent. Felt like the vet was competent as he's been very thorough in explaining what he was looking for during the exam and x-rays. He went so far as to show me the texbook x-ray of healthy hips vs Jack's. Again - no issues were found there.
I'm still a bit concerned as it keeps happening. It also concerns me that it keeps happening more on one side - the right rear.
Any thoughts, guys? Is this normal to happen once in a while? Am I being super paranoid here?
Here's a picture of the top of his rear toenails, that shows the scraping wear. There's no other irregular toe wear.
I have a foot dragger. Just the way he walks. I worked with a physio for awhile to see if we could strengthen his back end and develop back leg awareness. I didn't keep up with it.
My boy is well excercised, I forgot to add. He does 4 miles daily and strenuous hiking with me every weekend. Vet complimented on his very strong muscular build during the exam. 2.5 years old.
Today we were out for an hour an a half and he was tearing around as usuall. Steep slopes, 3-4 foot ledges up and down - no issues, no balance problems and no foot dragging at the end when he was in heel positiin for about half mile. No weird gait issues.
So am I crazy? I keep pondering this only because everywhere I read online, it makes it seem like dogs never should drag their nails and if they do, even occasionally, it is generally a sign of issues. Don't meen to sound redundant and paranoid, but Jack is familiy. Y'all understand.
well exercised and muscled doesn't equal hind end awareness. My dog gets tons of daily exercise and is in good shape, the physio was to strengthen a specific part of his body (back legs) and get him to lift the back legs and stop being lazy.
I am sure it can be a sign of a major issue. But with my guy it appears to be laziness more than anything else! I've had my dog looked at by many professionals and they said his gait was weird but did not appear to be the sign of any orthopaedic issues, at least none worth exploring too far as his was active, in good shape and with good quality of life.
my almost twelve year old does it,
but its cause he is getting weak in the rear
and losing muscle mass.
we started PT for him
How often does yours do it, Tanya? And for how long has he done it?
he's always done it as far as I can remember. I got him at 18 months. he does it regularly, it's how he walks. maybe not each step but generally.
Bumping this as it's driving me crazy.
There seems to be no pattern here. Two weeks ago it was the right foot, now its mostly left. Sometimes he will draf it once over a three mile walk, sometimes 4 times over half mile.
When he walks or trots through any kind of unever terrain he lifts his back feet like normal. When walking on smooth even surface like a sidewalk, he lifts thsm 'just enough' resulting in an occasional scrape.
Vet found nothing 2 weeka ago after xrays and exam. Talked to him today and he didn't know what direction to go in but was very kind at promising to do research over the weekend and askdd me to call him Monday for a more solid consultation and direction.
I think this whole issue is giving me OCD and keeps me worried.
Tanya's experience was helpful and I'm looking for further input before I talk to vet again Monday.
To add: He has zero issues running, jumping or being highly active. No other symptoms what so ever. He tears around as usual with no signs of discomfort during or after.
No expert, but since he's been thoroughly checked out, it could just be laziness!
We have friends who have four German Shepherd rescues. Their eldest experiences periods of lameness from what have been called mini strokes; the first time this happened they were told to lay a ladder down on the ground and have their girl walk over its length. This forced her to lift her affected rear leg to clear the rungs. Over time, she began to walk normally again. Recently she had another stroke which affected both rear legs and they brought out the ladder again. In December, she walked with a sling; this June we went camping and Flame was walking almost completely independently again.
While your boy doesn't have the stroke issue to deal with, perhaps using a ladder as part of his training schedule will help combat what appears to be laziness?
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