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Dog With Possible Arthritus In 3Rd Toe


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Hi Everyone,

My 6yr old beagle Charlie has been licking his paw for quite awhile, and me being the naieve loser that I am, I just thought he was grooming himself - I feed raw and thought he was getting blood, bone and gunk off on a regular basis.

It wasn't until it was time to clip his nails, something I rarely do because they naturally wear down, that I realised he had a major issue with me touching that paw. I also realised there was a small lump on the top of his toe where jhe licks regularly.

Off to the vet because I was worried about the lump, albeit a small one, its a lump none the same.

Vet took a thorough look, and advised that she believes that the lump has come due to the constant licking, and its the actual 3rd toe (the one he has been licking the top of) that he has issue with. She thinks he has hurt it, we have missed it (very very upset about this) and that it has developed arthritus in it. She put him on a week of pain killers and it made such a difference, he was playful and running round and having a great time with his sister. He had been quiter than normal before this, but he is a quiet dog by nature so just thought he was being himself.

He has finished his course of painkillers and is now back to licking the top of his paw and not being as playful. The vet said that if this was to happen, we need to look at coming back and getting an xray - which is no issue, money is not an issue when it comes to our dogs, we will get it done. I just have to call on Monday and make the appointment.

Has anyone experianced anything like this? My poor Charlie was in pain and I didn't know it. The vet says that because its not the whole paw, it would be easy to miss because if it was the whole paw, he wouldn't be able to put weight on the entire paw - this is just a toe, so it can be compensated for by the other toes.

I have been thinking of increasing his intake of sardines, adding fish oil and glucosamine to his diet to help with the possible arthritus.

I welcome any thoughts or ideas regarding this.

I know this is about Charlie, but I am also feeling like a terrible owner for missing this for him. I am meant to look after him and I let him down.

I am at work so if I do not reply to any messages immediatly this is why.

Thank you for reading my thread.

Kind Regards,


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Don't feel bad about missing it - they are awesome that not showing pain/ injury. Mine broke his toe and the only sign was the limping - did not make a sound. As a consequence, he's getting a bit of arthritis in it and as he's getting older too I've just started giving him the Green Lipped Mussel with Tumeric vitamin (human grade) - http://www.chemistwarehouse.com.au/product.asp?id=72060&pname=Blooms+Green+Lipped+Mussel+500mg+With+Turmeric+1500mg+100+Vege+Capsules+

Perhaps consider something like this?

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Yes thats a great idea, I have heard about Green lipped mussels as being very good for bones/arthritus in dogs, thank you for the suggestion.

Sometimes I wish they could talk human.

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I was blissfully unaware my boy was suffering from Arthritis in his hips. He is 6 years old. If your dog does have Arthritis. It can be managed.

I, like you, felt so guilty. How could I miss this??? ????

Most dogs are very stoic really. They just don't let on they are in any pain.

After a spine, hip & rear leg Xray Sonny is on daily pain relief & anti inflamitories.

Also I give him golden paste (turmeric,cold press coconut & cracked black pepper) which I make. Dried mussels. As well as Omega 3,6,9 +E. plus Technyflex supplement ☺

Edited by BC Crazy
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Honestly, if it bad - and caused by a fracture along a straight bone etc - all the fish oil in the world may not help ..if it's not in a joint . Amputation of the toe may be a solution down teh line .....

Edited by persephone
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I have missed a ligament damage on one of my girls toes. She didn't even miss a beat at flyball!! It is really easy to do because they only care about the end results so they just continue on.

Please don't feel guilty!! Seeing many similar situations made me write this blog

Best to get a concrete diagnosis before getting too worried or plan too much. It may even be soft tissue rather than bone. So give him a big hug and do whats right once you know whats happening.

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I'd recommend getting the x-rays because then you'll know what you're dealing with. I've seen great outcomes of Golden Paste (Turmeric & ground pepper) as well as NZ Green Lip Mussel.

What you'll want to try and deal with going forward is compensation issues if the dog isn't putting full weight on the foot and you can work through this with your local massage or physio therapist.

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