Sunday, July 6, 2008


Unfortunately, I think Katie has busted a toe. With her left leg still having a residual neurological deficit (that sounds really smart, doesn't it? :-), it does some crazy things sometimes. The left hind leg doesn't always seem to respond as quickly as the rest of her body, so I was aware that it was more likely to be injured if she was running, jumping, and spinning. I try to maintain a healthy balance of restricting some activities to prevent injuries without asking her to reduce her active lifestyle. I suppose we are lucky it is just a toe. I am not sure if it is broken or dislocated. Either causes a toe to become painfully swollen. I will have it x-rayed next week to determine for sure. If it is dislocated (or maybe even if it is broken), I am tempted to go ahead and have it amputated. That sounds really extreme, but I have seen far too many greyhounds waste a year of life limping around on a bad toe that just won't heal. The problem is that if ligaments are torn, they do not grow back together without surgical intervention. On a 10 year old dog, I can't really justify orthopedic surgery on an outside, rear leg toe especially when such a toe is rarely missed by the dog. Best of all the dog can resume normal activity 4 - 8 weeks after a toe is amputated. I do not want to waste too much time making a decision or she will start to lose overall muscle tone from being inactive and also lose some of the neurological function she worked so hard to regain. Never a dull moment.

It is the little toe on your right. You can't see it in the photo, but it is very red and swollen on the inside. For now, Katie will have to stay on a leash and ice the toe a few times a day.