"Perfect" new dog....but, health question?

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Margo_C-T

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I recently agreed to re-home a 7 YO red Doberman; a beloved pet, but in a busy young growing family who realized they were too 'on the go' to give her the attention she needs and craves. "Dayna" is a 'perfect' dog for me; loyal, loving, obedient, doesn't challenge the fences, gets along fine w/ my two elderly tiny dogs, totally happy to be able to 'be where her human is', up close and personal! I have come to love her dearly(and she, me), and feel blessed to have her.

She does have some 'anxieties', I feel,though most have dropped off since she settled in here. One was 'chewing her nails', according to her former owner; I noticed some licking of a couple of her feet; gently chided/redirected her when I observed this, and it does seem to have dropped off quite a bit. After being a city dog, who had access to only a part of the home via a dog door, but spent most of her time in the back yard w/ a couple of other dogs, she LOVES going out w/ me to the barn, barking at the cottontails and the barn swallows, then making sure to relax nearby while I go about whatever I am doing. She is on a 50 MG "Proin" for incontinence 1X daily, per previous owner, who offered to continue to pay for that for her; does fine, no issues at all. I 'blow her off' daily to remove the DUST of drought and the tiny 'hook' grass seeds she gets from rolling in last year's dry stuff; wash her feet and face at the end of the day when we come back to the house 'for the day...seems to help prevent the licking, and I think, makes her more comfortable.

Shortly after she arrived, I realized she was licking ONE front toe and ONE back toe.She has left off on the front one, but was continuing to want to lick the back one, the outside back right, which I noticed was becoing more and more swollen, and the pad seemed almost to be'split and bulging' in a couple of places just behind the nail. I have been washing off,w/ plain water, then toweling dry,her feet each evening when we come into the house for the last time, and occasionally dabbing on some 'Bag Balm'(which I found was recommended for pad health).The licking and (resulting?) raw spot seems to have abated, but now I'm noticing that the toe seems even more swollen, and is obviously tender; she 'hops' on it every few steps, and flinches a bit from touch. This AM I took her to my local pet vet...who stated that he has almost always had to AMPUTATE the toe in situtations like this, and that we 'could try' antibiotics, but he doesn't think that would help. He quoted a cost of $450-500 for the procedure.He said something about this being a 'growth', something about connective tissue 'overgrowing'??

Anyone ever run into this, and if so, how was it resolved? The surgery would be a big financial 'hit' for someone like me, but if it IS the only viable option, I will go into savings and do it, because I REALLY love this dog, and want her with me. I plan to get a second opinion,trying a clinic in Albuq. that was recommended to me by one of the folks at Doberman Rescue as being both good and reasonable in cost...then go from there..but would appreciate input from anyone who might have knowledge of such a condition.

Thanks,

Margo
 

Riverrose28

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Have you tried vetericyn topical and feeding her fish oil supplements in her food? If it's a tumor you may have no recourse but to have it removed after all else fails.
 

Sterling

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A couple of years ago when my Boxer started licking her toes (they were red and itchy) I took her to my vet. Came to find out her ph was imbalanced. My vet gave me a product to use on her called Micro Pearls Advanced phormula. It's a spray that I sprayed under her feet. That along with antibiotics healed her right up and it never came back. I would spray the phormula and take her outside for a walk so she couldn't sit and try and lick the stuff off. It would dry and soak in as we walked.
 

Boss Mare

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I love Dobermans, they are truly one of my favorite breeds. I grew up with three of them and have also been grooming dogs for over seven years.... Love them.

Sounds like it could be an allergy to me. I see many Dobermans with allergies. Anxiety too could be a culprit.

Also, do some investigation. Dobermans can be self mutilators, I had one and what controlled it was a mix of anti seizure meds and valium.
 

Margo_C-T

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Thanks for the input so far; please keep them coming if you have experience/knowledge!

I am making an app't. w/ the above-mentioned clinic for early next week; will see after that. It seems to me unlikely that she would quit licking one foot but not the other if it were self-mutilation(though I had read that was a possibility w/ Dobermans; seems such a shame for such a smart, loyal breed to have such issues....). Dayna really does seem more relaxed and 'at ease' the longer she is here...I have ascribed that to her being able to be close to 'her' human on such a close basis, which she just didn't really have before, and hope THAT change will work for her.

Margo
 

shorthorsemom

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Chat with some greyhound folks...they deal with that issue frequently with their rescue Grey's...ill ask a friend of mine later and post back if she has any good ideas..
 

drmatthewtaylor

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Many different possible conditions could have these signs. If you are going to amputate the toe then be sure to send it off for histopathology preferably a dermatological histopathology.

Dr Taylor.
 

AnnaC

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It may just be possible that she has had a mild fungal problem with her feet in the acutal nail bed and your treatments so far have settled all but this final area. I had this with one of my Great Danes years ago. Anti-biotics and other things helped a little, but one claw just kept reflaring and swelling again. Vet said only possibility was to remove the toe as there was a danger of the infection spreading to the other bones in the foot!! Then I read somewhere about Tea Tree oil being great for persistant fungal infections - theTT oil that is ok for use on the skin, not the oil you use in oil 'burners'. Well I tried it with almost instant success. Within days she had stopped trying to lick the foot and 10 days later all signs of the infection had gone (after 6 long months and quite a large vet bill!). But be warned, I stopped the twice daily swabbing of her toe once I thought it had healed. Wrong! Two weeks later it was back!! This time I swabbed for an extra full week after all signs had disappeared and this time it never returned.


No I have no idea if your sweet Dobi has anything similar to my Dane, but perhaps it would be worth a try with the Tea Tree for the next few days until your appointment next week? But whatever you decide, please let us know how she gets on. She's a lucky girl to have found you!
 

MajorClementine

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The problem is once it gets that bad amputation is almost always the answer. It's gone from a nervous habit to an addiction. That has lead to infection and no matter what you do she will continue to lick that toe. It will always have to be covered so she can't get to it and any time she can get to it she'll lick it again. Dobies are very loyal dogs and sometimes have a very hard time being re-homed. It takes them a long time to adjust. This is why a lot of dobies that are placed end up back at the rescue. It takes a special home (sounds like you're perfect) to take an older dobie with a few "dobie issues". I'd get another vet to take a look but in the end take their advice. It will save you $$ and heartache in the end to do whatever needs to be done in the first place rather than try a bunch of other treatments then have to amputate or whatever.

Just a side note, licking the skin off of body parts can be a sign of cancer sometimes. Just something to maybe take a look at. Dobies also have thyroid problems a lot but I don't know if that would cause nervous licking. Just another thing to maybe check.
 

MountainWoman

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Margo,

Licking paws and limbs can be a sign of many things but some dogs do lick to comfort themselves. It becomes an ingrained habit that is almost impossible to break and does lead to all kinds of medical problems. I'm not saying this is what is happening to your dobie because I'm not a vet but I think if I were you, I'd get another opinion from another vet about amputation and I'd also seek out a holistic practitioner and I'd also contact an animal communicator (Bonnie Fog who advertises on LB comes to mind).

I just found a product called Calming Collars. I'm using it for my whippet who is terrified of storms and it seems to help with her anxiety as storms approaches. Might help you. Here's the link if you want to find out more. http://www.calmingcollars.com/

You might also want to subscribe to one of the dobie mailing lists and post your problems there to get some advice.
 

CKC

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Our 13 year old Sheltie has been licking her leg and has opened an area that requires meds and bandaging. I googled this a few weeks ago and came across a site that sells a product called Derma Paws. Our dog.. Abby.... will chew off all bandages so I was looking for something that would help keep the wound covered as well.... I started the ointment and can actually see little hairs growing back and she seems to be slowing down on the licking. They have fours socks with a little harness that they created to help keep them on their legs. We are going to start the socks this evening.

Not sure if this would help, but I thought this might be useful information.

http://www.dermapaw.com/
 

Margo_C-T

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Thanks to all of you for your input!

I have emailed the original owner to let him know what is going on. Please know, her original home was NOT a bad one; she had a responsible owner who loved her, but their life situation evolved(he, w/ two small boys, remarried my good friend's daughter, and after the heartbreak of miscarriage, became pregnant again.) All this combined to mean that Dayna just wasn't getting much attention, and they wanted to find her a place where she could have that...and 'her own' human. It really was a 'perfect' match, and she sure seems very happy(and less anxious)here; her manifestations of such have lessened, certainly.

I tried to make an app't. for a second opinion at the Albuq.clinic recommended to me by a nice gentleman w/ the local Dobie rescue...one that is both 'good' AND reasonable in cost..but they are SO busy that aren't taking any new clients until at least late fall. Will wait until I hear back from the original owner, but right now, I imagine that I will go ahead and arrange w/ my longtime local vet to do the amputation.

I must be honest to say, it will be a challenge for me to even cover the cost of the amputation; I long ago had to face that I will have to make hard choices if/when serious health issues arose w/ ANY of my animals(I have two tiny elderly dogs, Dayna, and 5 miniature horses(and plan to try to reduce those horse numbers to three as soon as reasonably possible). Flame me if you will, but I will not be financially able to cover costs of such expensive things as chemo, radiation, and the like...nor extensive, expensive tests that might show that an animal has something that I then cannot afford to treat, 'in hopes of' extending their life by ????. I am nearly 71 years old; things didn't used to have to be this way for people who considered themselves 'middle class'...but then, relentless increase in what is CHARGED FOR NEARLY EVERYTHING has happened(despite gov't claims to the contrary...), and what once one could 'manage' on, is no longer enough...

I have already faced the fact that I may never again be able to offer a loving home to more than ONE SMALL dog, and can only HOPE to be able to continue to keep three 'most-beloved' minis for the duration of their lives. You know, life is 'less' without the love and companionship of one's animals...I work VERY hard to be the best possible 'manager' of my resources so that I CAN do as much as I can for them, but I will admit, it makes me sick and sad that the world has changed so as to come to this for people like me, through NO fault of our own.

Sorry; didn't intend to sound like a 'pity-party'...Just that it is very disheartening to know that you can only manage to do 'so' much, no matter how much you might wish otherwise.

Will let you know how this goes, in any event.

Again, thanks for the input and well-meant advice!

Margo
 

Marty

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Hey Margo, our Devin who we recently lost had been self mutaliting chewing his leg for the longest time like two years until he practically destroyed it. I'm pretty sure it started when he began to loose his eyesight. I put every thing on it known to man but nothing worked. What did work a little bit was to re-direct him to doing something else when he started like going out or eating treats to get his mind off of it. It slowed him up quite a bit.
 

Helicopter

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I don't know what you feed her but I always think in terms of diet for ANYTHING like this. Try a bland diet of chicken, rice and vegies. No processed anything. No tins. No boxes. No bags. Just good wholesome clean food.

Can't hurt to try.
 

Margo_C-T

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Marty-

Yes, I've been doing that, and redirecting her HAS been a lot of help in at least lessening the activity; you and I must think alike!

Haven't changed her diet, but would be open to((though I have added a fishoil capsule to her daily feed, per Riverrose's suggestion..
...but first this UPDATE: Her original owner stepped up to the plate, offered to have her see the vet he'd used for her, and to pay for bloodwork and meds; also, if THAT vet suggests amputation, to share that cost...so, a HUGE load off my mind, and big plus for Dayna. In the past couple of days, she has also been back to eating a bit better, licking the toe less, and basically being more active and seems a bit more comfortable in running around...thank goodness! Our app't. w/ her 'old' vet is Friday PM, set up by her first owner, who will meet us there. I am anxious to see what that vet has to say, and will update once we have some results and/or a specific course of action.

Thanks again,

Margo, and Dayna
 

Margo_C-T

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Brief update: Took Dayna to the previous owner's vet Friday. After a general exam that showed things(heart rate, temp., etc.)to be normal, vet suggested doing a needle aspiration, and sending it off to hystologist if it was 'questionable'...which is what happened. The previous owner She did provide both Rimadyl and a tablet form of antibiotic for Dayna; so far, I have been able to get both down her w/o incident(have to hide the tabs in cheese, but it is working!),AND get her to eat enough along with the meds. My gut is telling me that amputation will end up being suggested; can only hope it is 'something' that can be removed that way, and not require chemo and/or radiation. To me, the toe appears to be 'defining' a tumorlike appearance on one side.

I feel blessed to have the privilege of having this great dog to share our lives, but with her still-loving previous owner happy for her, and willing to share in the costs(and Friday was already expensive...at least to the likes of me!)of such as what is happening.Vet said she hoped to have the cell analysis results back by Monday...then we go from there.

Margo
 

Margo_C-T

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Realized I should update this thread. Original owner's vet(at a nat'l. 'chain') notified me that the hystologist(?) said the cell analysis showed something 'benign'...wanted to see the toe again, try to decide if it was something that could be 'separately' removed w/o amputation. After much consideration, I opted to wait and watch for a time. Vet had given me to understand that their charges would be considerably more than what my local vet had quoted for amputation (this verified later when I spoke to the orig. owner after he was also spoken to by the 'chain' vet...not to mention what it might cost to 'try' a 'partial' amput. first.) The course of antibiotics DID seem to make a difference. Dayna is eating better, moving soundly at all times(no longer 'hopping' or flinching in any way on that foot. Over time, the toe looks slowly better and better. The amount of 'enlargement' of one side of the toe is gradually less, and the pad looks somewhat healthier(though there is still somewhat of a 'crack' in it, it is dry, not draining or moist in any manner.) She also has hardly if ever been licking it, evidenced by its appearance.

Honestly, I do not think my local vet is the 'best', but he has been in practice for many years, has lots of experience, and a decent area reputation. I am keeping 'set aside' the amount quoted by him for amputation, but for now, based upon Dayna's behavior and the appearance of the foot, am just keeping a close eye on all aspects, and will continue to. I truly believe she has fully transferred her allegiance and affections to me, and that she likes her life here, where she can be in the house with me, sleep in my room, be out with me when I'm out...she LOVES to check for the presence of pesky cottontails, bark at them to 'warn them off', patrol the perimeter, then come into the barn(or whereever I'm at) and plop down! When I am working a horse in the arena(have been grounddriving/longeing one a good bit, not driving anybody, but will be soon), she does her 'rounds', then rests nearby in the shade to keep me in sight, but doesn't try to 'chase' or get in the way; has adapted well to being a 'country' dog, after all her years in the city. I do rinse off her feet every evening when we come in for the last time, as well as giving her face and ears a good wipedown...it's been very hot, and VERY dry and dusty, and my gut says that is a 'good thing to do'.

I put a tiny bit of Bag Balm on her pads every so often, also.

I will continue to watch her closely, but am encouraged by how she is doing now. She is SUCH a great dog! (Turns out, she does NOT like other large dogs(orig. owner didn't mention to begin with,until he mentioned not being able to foster a sweet male Dobie for Dobie rescue because Dayna just wouldn't accept him(though in her defense, the space available for them to 'co-exist' in would not, IMO, have been adequate.)No issue, though, because all the dogs that frequent here(my daughter brings hers every couple of weeks)are all small-breed, and Dayna has become quite comfortable w/ all of them.

Margo
 

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