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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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It's Always Something!

Zeus is limping. Not all the time, and not extremely. Yesterday afternoon, I thought I saw him favoring his front right paw, but wasn't sure. I asked my husband to watch him walk and he said he didn't see anything abnormal.

Today, I was outside with him and saw it again. Husband noticed it this time. Its like, every now and then he'll have these slight off balanced steps, and from time to time I'll catch him hovering his paw off the ground when he's sitting. I've touched every digit on his paw and up his leg to the shoulder, and he doesn't show any sign of pain and doesn't pull away. I've checked to see if something is stuck in his paw or between his digits, and there's nothing. But this evening, he yelped when putting his front paws on the couch. Y'all, I about cried. He never yelps. And I hate knowing something is hurting him and I dont know what it is.

He did a good amount of running YESTERDAY, which my husband is saying probably caused the limp. There's a hill at the park we go to and he likes running up and zooming down. Hubby thinks he might've pulled a muscle or twisted his ankle or something. Of course, I'm thinking worse.

He's not shying away from walking, and the limp isnt constant. He'll still run, though I haven't had him do so since noticing his limp. He goes up and down stairs fine.

I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow morning. They don't have any appointments available, so I'll be there for a while as a walk in. Hopefully it's nothing serious. And hopefully Zeus will behave himself in the waiting room for so long. He's not a patient boy.

And this is just me venting out my worries because my husband is being way too chill about this, and I'm over here fretting. Zeus, by the way, is also being very chill.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 09:31 PM
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Dobes are so good at making us worry. I'll be crossing my fingers for a cancellation at the vet's...best of luck.

Keep us in the loop.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 03:58 AM
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Good luck today Gamer.........just like us they can get real sore after a hard workout.
Vet is good.....and rest is good.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by gamermouse0213 View Post
...
I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow morning. They don't have any appointments available, so I'll be there for a while as a walk in. Hopefully it's nothing serious. And hopefully Zeus will behave himself in the waiting room for so long. He's not a patient boy. ...

The question above is whether the other four-leggers, inevitably on retractable leads, can behave themselves around Zeus?
If nothing else, chalk up your long wait to see vet as socialization training for your boy!

Hope your Zeus just has a temporary issue with his sore leg. Please update thread when you have new info!
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Ten Doberman Rules
Poke Everything.
It's New? Bark At It.
Moves? Chase It.
Doesn't Move? Smell It.
Liquid? Spill and Dribble It.
Treat or Food? Wolf It Down.
Not Food? Chew It Slowly, Be Quiet & Hide From Human.
A Toy? Shred & Destroy It.
Stuffed? De-Stuff It.
Bites You Back? Wrestle It!

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 07:54 AM
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Carry some treats with you to get thru shall we say "moments".........stupied humans at vet office fer sure !

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 09:45 AM
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Good luck at the vet's--sometimes stuff that seems to originate in the foot turns out to be in the shoulder (and running hills can often account for this--it's one of the reasons why good trainers don't want you to be doing dog walks, A frames and teeters with young dogs with immature muscling) and it can also be from a strain at the carpal joint (front knee).

Sometimes stuff like this clears up fast with restricted exercise and pain meds--keeping our fingers and paws crossed here that it's something minor and transitory.

dobebug
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 09:54 AM
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I going with Bug - I have seen ours do the same - and it seemed to be in there knee - rest took care of it pretty quick Gamer - there was one time Ali hurt herself, and would limp some - like you , I checked everything - ended up taking her to the Vet - I had missed it ! She had a small cut in between her pad - really it was almost impossible to see . Time also took care of that too

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 10:57 AM
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Keep us posted.

I'm hoping it's something easily diagnosed and treated. Richter had an intermittent limp for a while. We couldn't figure out what it was with my regular vet, and thankfully we have a great relationship with a board certified sports/rehab vet, and she was able to diagnose it. He had sesamoiditis in his foot. I'm sorry to say it was kind of a long haul to get it healed up, due to his "Richter" nature, LOL. But, what I want to say is that if you can't get answers at your regular vet, sometimes a specialist is indicated. My regular vet is amazing, and I adore her, but some things are just really outside her area of expertise. She was really happy that we were able to see the rehab vet, and said there's no way she could have ever figured out what it was - it was just too obscure.

Hopefully, this isn't one of those situations, but keep it in the back of your mind. Hope your boy feels better soon!
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 11:04 AM
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Had to look that one up Meadowcat

Sesamoid disease is an orthopedic condition of large breed dogs in which the tiny sesamoid bones in the wrist (carpus) or ankle (tarsus) degenerate, typically sub-clinically. In some cases, however, severe pain may result.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 11:48 AM
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Had to look that one up Meadowcat

Sesamoid disease is an orthopedic condition of large breed dogs in which the tiny sesamoid bones in the wrist (carpus) or ankle (tarsus) degenerate, typically sub-clinically. In some cases, however, severe pain may result.
That is true, to an extent, but not a full explanation.

Richter's sesamoiditis was an inflammation of the sesamoid ligaments on the back of the top joint of the toe (MCP). What he has was actually quite common in racing greyhounds. We think it probably stemmed from his squirrel chasing, and was aggravated by lure coursing. One of the joints on his toe showed remodeling on x-ray. He had laser treatments and adequan, and had to have severe activity restriction. We also tried taping his toes together (which he promptly put an end to), and then tried a special boot recommended by the rehab vet when he went outside (on leash), again, no-go for him. We had to do modifications to his restrictions because of his personality. Both the tape and boot were intended to support the toe, but he just wouldn't have it. We also had a lot of exercises and stretches we did to help recover the strength in the joint.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Update time!

First of all, Zeus did amaaaazing in the waiting room! There were barking dogs and people coming and going, and Zeus (although interested in the people) didn't pay the other dogs any mind at all. I was afraid of him barking because he tends to bark when other dogs are doing so, and he was really bad at barking at other dogs when he saw them. And when we have to sit and wait for a long time, he tends to whine and grunt and grumble to voice his displeasure at doing nothing. Nowadays, I'm noticing he isn't doing that nearly as much! Maybe Age Two is the beginning of al little more mental maturity!

Zeus went with the vet tech happily, as he normally does. He's 89.2lbs now! It's crazy because he apparently has put on 5lbs since the last time we weighed him, which probably was in September or October, but I don't see it. People say he's getting thicker. I guess it's a filling out phase? He definitely isn't fat. Aw, my big baby boy is growing into a man dog!

And finally, the diagnosis .... Yeah, the vet didn't find anything physically wrong with his leg or paw. She said he doesn't have any inflammation and no tenderness when she examined his limb from top to bottom. She said she'd be more worried if he wasn't using his leg or didn't want to put any pressure on it at all, but the fact that he's walking around on it and doing normal activities makes it seem like a minor injury. She said they could run X-rays if I wanted, but she didn't think it was necessary. Her diagnosis was a likely soft tissue strain or sprain causing some mild discomfort. She prescribed pain medication (OstiMax). They're 100mg tablets, but Zeus only gets half of one, once a day for 6 days. If improvement isn't shown in a week, we're to bring him back. We're going out of town this weekend for the holidays, back to our hometown in Texas, so if he's still limping after Christmas, we're going to take him to our old vet to see what they say. Maybe get an X-ray at that time. @MeadowCat , I'm keeping what you said in the back of my mind. If time passes and he's still limping, there is a specialty vet clinic here in Albuquerque that I'll take him to, but we won't be back until Jan 6. If nothing else, while in Texas I'll take him to Austin as there are a buttload of specialty clinics there, and it's only about an hour's drive from where I'll be.

So for now, Zeus is going to rest his leg for the week. No running or jumping....so if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep an active two year old doberman still for seven days, I'm all ears!
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 02:34 PM
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Good news!! (except for having to keep him quiet for a week) Maybe it's a relative thing and all you have to do is keep him just a tiny bit more quiet than usual.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 02:41 PM
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Update time!

First of all, Zeus did amaaaazing in the waiting room! There were barking dogs and people coming and going, and Zeus (although interested in the people) didn't pay the other dogs any mind at all. I was afraid of him barking because he tends to bark when other dogs are doing so, and he was really bad at barking at other dogs when he saw them. And when we have to sit and wait for a long time, he tends to whine and grunt and grumble to voice his displeasure at doing nothing. Nowadays, I'm noticing he isn't doing that nearly as much! Maybe Age Two is the beginning of al little more mental maturity!

Zeus went with the vet tech happily, as he normally does. He's 89.2lbs now! It's crazy because he apparently has put on 5lbs since the last time we weighed him, which probably was in September or October, but I don't see it. People say he's getting thicker. I guess it's a filling out phase? He definitely isn't fat. Aw, my big baby boy is growing into a man dog!

And finally, the diagnosis .... Yeah, the vet didn't find anything physically wrong with his leg or paw. She said he doesn't have any inflammation and no tenderness when she examined his limb from top to bottom. She said she'd be more worried if he wasn't using his leg or didn't want to put any pressure on it at all, but the fact that he's walking around on it and doing normal activities makes it seem like a minor injury. She said they could run X-rays if I wanted, but she didn't think it was necessary. Her diagnosis was a likely soft tissue strain or sprain causing some mild discomfort. She prescribed pain medication (OstiMax). They're 100mg tablets, but Zeus only gets half of one, once a day for 6 days. If improvement isn't shown in a week, we're to bring him back. We're going out of town this weekend for the holidays, back to our hometown in Texas, so if he's still limping after Christmas, we're going to take him to our old vet to see what they say. Maybe get an X-ray at that time. @MeadowCat , I'm keeping what you said in the back of my mind. If time passes and he's still limping, there is a specialty vet clinic here in Albuquerque that I'll take him to, but we won't be back until Jan 6. If nothing else, while in Texas I'll take him to Austin as there are a buttload of specialty clinics there, and it's only about an hour's drive from where I'll be.

So for now, Zeus is going to rest his leg for the week. No running or jumping....so if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep an active two year old doberman still for seven days, I'm all ears!
Sounds like a good plan! (Nosework searches in the house are always a life saver for me. Stuffed Kongs. Puzzle toys. Obedience work. Working on impulse control. Teaching a new trick. Anything to make their brain work.)


DSC_0133
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 02:59 PM
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All I have ever had to do when ours needed some time off - I would look at them and say - You need to rest for a week and that's it ! They will just lay around - sometimes go to the window and look out , then they walk back to there bed or the couch and take it easy - really pretty simple
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
Good luck at the vet's--sometimes stuff that seems to originate in the foot turns out to be in the shoulder (and running hills can often account for this--it's one of the reasons why good trainers don't want you to be doing dog walks, A frames and teeters with young dogs with immature muscling) and it can also be from a strain at the carpal joint (front knee).

Sometimes stuff like this clears up fast with restricted exercise and pain meds--keeping our fingers and paws crossed here that it's something minor and transitory.

dobebug
Hey Bug! I forgot I had a question for you regarding your comment. Zeus is in beginner's agility (which he won't be doing until at the very earliest, Jan 11) and he hasn't done the A Frame or teeter, but he has done the dog walk. At his age, is he still considered a dog with immature muscling? I know when he was young young, jumping and hard running was a no no because of growth plates and such. Even now, his jumps remain low. But now that he's a little older, I haven't been super cautious with his physical activity (obviously I mean before his limp manifested). At the park, his favorite thing to do is sprint after his tennis ball. At what age is a doberman considered fully developed, or at least developed enough to let him run and play freely? Thanks for your time!
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation

Update Two!

Ok it's about 11:15pm. Zeus has been snoozing on the couch. I checked his paw for the umpteenth time, and now I see that one of his toe pads is swollen! Should I take him back to the vet tomorrow, even though we just went today? His paw wasn't swollen before when we went, and the medication she prescribed is supposed to help with both pain and inflammation, so would it possibly take care of the swelling? I'm doing my best not to go into full panic mode. He's still walking on the paw. I touched the swollen digit, pressed it, rubbed it gently, and he didn't react at all so I'm not sure if it's causing any pain (or if his pain meds are working to mask the pain). Does this look like something serious, in your opinions?

Here's the picture. It is the left most digit.


20191218_230650 by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr

Here's his other uninjured paw for comparison. Please excuse the dirty blanket. He had an edible chew there and it left residue.
20191218_230645 by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 04:02 AM
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Maybe call the vet in the morning, describe the change you're seeing and ask whether you should come back in?? It's possible that she would use the same treatment and have you continue to watch for new developments before she changes anything.

I generally make it a practice to ask any vet my dog sees for a problem under what circumstances I should call and what symptoms mean I should come back in. I don't know that it really helps, but sometimes it takes away a little of the agony (really...we've been there) of indecision.

Last edited by melbrod; 12-19-2019 at 04:06 AM.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 06:29 AM
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I would do lie Mel Gamer - I would call the vet and give them a update .
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 01:18 PM
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Update #3 ????
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamermouse0213 View Post
Hey Bug! I forgot I had a question for you regarding your comment. Zeus is in beginner's agility (which he won't be doing until at the very earliest, Jan 11) and he hasn't done the A Frame or teeter, but he has done the dog walk. At his age, is he still considered a dog with immature muscling? I know when he was young young, jumping and hard running was a no no because of growth plates and such. Even now, his jumps remain low. But now that he's a little older, I haven't been super cautious with his physical activity (obviously I mean before his limp manifested). At the park, his favorite thing to do is sprint after his tennis ball. At what age is a doberman considered fully developed, or at least developed enough to let him run and play freely? Thanks for your time!
Hiya Gamer,l

Males with rare exceptions would have growth plates closed by 18 months--at that point you don't have to worry a lot about growth plates and at over two his muscling (it's always sounded like he got a good bit of exercise) should be sufficient for early agility.

I think in general that males are considered to having the maturation process still going on up to around 3 years. But that would mostly be muscular development.

The intermittent limp means that you shouldn't let him be a total wild man.

Did they check for a nail bed infection--did they x-ray the foot. Nail bed infections are fairly common and sometimes hard to detect and may or may not be painful. But singular swollen toes are pretty common with nail bed infections (My apologies to Ken--I failed to send you a post about that and MrB's licking of his toe).

I always hope that when you start agility that you get one of the trainers that start A-frame and dog walk with lower than full height and teach dogs to slow down on the down side so they aren't slamming into a two on two off--I'd rather have them teach the dog a running down to make sure they are hitting the off contacts. I've known enough dogs who have had shoulder, carpus and foot injuries that are attributed to needing to hit contacts--which often means very sudden stops.

Good luck finding the cause of the limp and I'd probably call the vet and describe the swelling--ask if she'd like to see the dog or for the time being if she like you to send the pictures. They are pretty good shots.

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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Update #3!

Upon waking up this morning, I immediately checked his paw again and the swelling has gone down. Called the vet's office anyway and told them what was up. The vet said that since the swelling wasn't seen yesterday when she examined him, I could bring him back in again today and possibly get X-rays done, or I can give his medication another day to work to see if it helps the swelling to continue to go down on its own. Since the swelling looked less today and he's not limping as much as yesterday, I am going to try to wait it out and give his medication a little time to work its magic. Here's a picture for reference of yesterday to today. He's still moving around normal, though for most of the day yesterday I had him resting on the couch. Today is more of the same, but I can tell he wants to run around because he keeps getting up to walk around.

Paw Swelling by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr

@dobebug Thanks for the info regarding growth and muscular maturation! They didn't do X-rays yesterday as she didn't think it was necessary, but I could elect to do so if I don't see any improvement. I looked at the area where his nail meets his toe (is that the nail bed?) and it looked the same as his other nails. I tried to get pictures, but I don't think they're the best.

20191219_142319 by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr

20191219_142412 by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr

If the swelling continues to resolve, I'll leave it be. But if it flares up again, I'm taking him in first thing tomorrow. Today, they closed early for their company Christmas party at 2pm, so they advised that if I wanted to bring Zeus in after 2, I'd have to go to a different ER.

I hate that it costs $90 per ER/walk in visit, but it's definitely worth making sure that he's ok. Thank goodness for pet insurance.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 04:56 PM
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I'm looking at that little pinkish area where the hair looks a little thin, on the inside of his toe where it joins the rest of his foot. Does that part look like that on his other foot?

Anyway, it does look quite a bit better than yesterday.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
I'm looking at that little pinkish area where the hair looks a little thin, on the inside of his toe where it joins the rest of his foot. Does that part look like that on his other foot?

Anyway, it does look quite a bit better than yesterday.
It does not look like that on his other foot. That's the area where the swelling is coming from. I looked to see if there was some sort of bug bite there, but I don't see any sort of puncture, nor is there anything embedded from what I can tell. Going to keep monitoring. He's not licking the area or biting at it in any way, and he's continuing to walk on the paw with no indication of distress. .. Ugh, if only I could go into his mind and feel what he's feeling so I know what it is exactly!
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 06:06 PM
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Gamer,

the nail bed is behind and under the hair covered skin that slightly covers the nail. One of my vets was a dental specialist as well as a general practice vet and he had x-ray equipment for doing dental x-rays (now with digital more clinics have the kind equipment that you need to get very good individual toe s-rays. A lot of nail bed infections are dx'd when cause of a foot problem can't be determined and they do an exploratory and take tissue from the nail bed to sent out to a pathologist.

Sometimes x-rays can show an area of infection but it looks to me like that swelling is resolving. Feet on dogs (and cats) are so well laced with nerves that it doesn't take much swelling to make things painful. And conversely it means that when swelling is reduced-(sometimes only slightly it makes things feel a whole lot better fast.

OstiMax sounds like it's some class of NSAID--did your vet say? They are used for a whole lot of stuff--they reduce pain--essentially they reduce pain by reducing swelling. The swelling often is the actual cause of the pain. So that may take care of the problem--without actually knowing what the problem was.

There are now so many NSAID's (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) in so many classes I can hardly believe it. Plain old aspirin is actually a NSAID. And one of the very common early ones was (and still is) Rimadyl (the generic is Carprofin) and I know people who are so spooked of some of the side effects (gastrointestinal irritation is one common one) they won't give anything that is called a NSAID.But I know so many ancient Labradors and Goldens who have gotten years more of pain free life taking them that if owners foilow direction and check liver function every six months they are life savers and quality of life providers.

Keep us posted.

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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I have no idea if the meds he's taking is a class of NSAID or not. The vet didn't specify. Whatever they are, they seem to be working as today he's not limping at all, though his toe remains a little swollen. I've been back and forth about going back to the ER. I feel like I'm overreacting and am hyper focusing on his paw so much that things that are probably normal or have always looked a certain way seem off to me.

I feel like I needn't worry so much since he's doing everything normally. Jumping on the couch and bed. Walking. Going up and down stairs. He hasn't cried out or yelped except for that one time when I initiated this thread three days ago. I've been touching his toe and paw, pressing on him, and he doesn't cry out or pull away (or at least, he doesn't pull away more than he normally does with both front paws). Sigh! I don't know!


Screenshot_20191220-121716_Gallery by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr


Uninjured paw. Front left (Front right if facing him)
20191218_230645 by Crystal Robinson, on Flickr
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