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Max has started dragging his back feet. #102331
11/08/10 10:53 PM
11/08/10 10:53 PM
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Washington D.C.
Charlotte Offline OP
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At the young age of 11, Max has started to drag his back feet. He is losing muscle mass in his back legs, (according to our vet this is normal for an aging dog). But his dragging if his feet has started to wear down the 2 middle nails on both back feet - to the point that there is only small "nubs" left. No bleeding but he does not like his paws touched, which I completely understand.

What has other people done in this situation? He still walks about 3 miles a day and is very happy to do so, but I am wondering if we should make him wear boots on his paws to help protects his nails a bit...or?? And if boots is the solution what kind should we be looking for??

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Charlotte] #102336
11/08/10 11:08 PM
11/08/10 11:08 PM
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Chicago
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Personally I would look into exercises you can do to help improve the muscles in the back legs. I did water treadmill therapy with my older dogs and the vet we went to for that also did acupuncture and chiropractic which can help too. She also showed us exercises that would help with their muscle mass, balance, and proprioception.


Bianca HIC CGC TT, ~ 6 years GSD, SHC Ambassador Dog, Therapy Dog
and the cats
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Chicago Canine] #102359
11/09/10 01:24 AM
11/09/10 01:24 AM
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McAlester, OK
Kayos Offline

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Wow it is cool he is still walking that far! My Max has also worn down his nails by dragging his back feet but he also has Spondylosis. He can't walk very far any more and when we do take him we keep to grass.


Kathy

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Kayos] #102383
11/09/10 02:13 AM
11/09/10 02:13 AM
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Southeast Missouri
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Tasha is 10 and has Spondylo as well. This year her rear legs have really lost muscle tone and she is dragging her feet a lot, wearing down the nails. She walks many miles like your dog and she also swims a lot in the creek. We have not tried any covering on her toes but I have thought about doing it as well. Although with her/our lifestyle I don't know that they would really work out very well. I'd appreciate any input/thoughts/experience about this as well. She walks mainly on grass here at our place with some gravel roads.


Here you can really see I caught the rear legs dragging.


She is definitely NOT a hock walker so that is not what is happening here.


www.crookedcreekranch1.com
Loyal ~ Noble ~ Intelligent
"of Crooked Creek "
Lana, Peter, Maia,
Anna & Ash vom Meisterdes Unfalles
Vaughns Analiya Sky

Tasha, Blackjack, Kira RIP
Mena, Nikita, Sally, Rika retired/rehomed

Ziggy, RIP
Isabelle new kitty
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Crooked Creek] #102393
11/09/10 03:06 AM
11/09/10 03:06 AM
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West Bay RI
SunCzarina Offline
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Lisa posted something something a while back, I think it was low incline hills being good for building rear leg muscle mass. Last week when I cut Morgan's nails, I notice her middle toes in the back looked extra worn. Her whole life she's walked on those toes, they haven't needed to be cut in a very long time. Now you've got me thinking I need to watch her a little more when she's out - most of her walking is on concrete.


-Jenn

Otto von Hena-c 5/23/08
Penny the Pocket Panther 8/2/10
Venus of Crooked Creek 1/25/13 Vivacious V!!!

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: SunCzarina] #102397
11/09/10 03:19 AM
11/09/10 03:19 AM
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Colorado
Kris Offline
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It's wonderful he walks that far still. I swear the exercise is what keeps them going. When my Max started dragging his one foot (his problem was also in his back), I got him these boots:

http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex?sc=2&category=11

He only wore them on one foot and only when we went for walks. He didn't mind a bit and it kept him from getting sores on the top of his foot. One boot lasted about two months.

The other thing that made a big difference for him was acupuncture. We did that for about a year and a half. He had gone to three hydrotherapy sessions when we lost him. The hydrotherapy really helps to rebuild muscle and strength.

Hoping that Max continues his long walks - that's terrific!


Kris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Samson, GSD, 10/13/07
Annabel, Keeshond, 4/21/11
Petie, Toy Poodle, 5/5/07
Kitties: Meezer, Bob, Mia and Dewey
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Kris] #102458
11/09/10 12:21 PM
11/09/10 12:21 PM
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Posts: 611
Rensselaer County, NY
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Originally Posted By: Kris
It's wonderful he walks that far still. I swear the exercise is what keeps them going. When my Max started dragging his one foot (his problem was also in his back), I got him these boots:

http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex?sc=2&category=11

He only wore them on one foot and only when we went for walks. He didn't mind a bit and it kept him from getting sores on the top of his foot. One boot lasted about two months.

The other thing that made a big difference for him was acupuncture. We did that for about a year and a half. He had gone to three hydrotherapy sessions when we lost him. The hydrotherapy really helps to rebuild muscle and strength.

Hoping that Max continues his long walks - that's terrific!


I am another who fully supports acupuncture. Now granted, Dakota had DM, but it did make a huge difference for him.

I found the ruffwear boots did not work for us...too stiff and uncomfortable for Dakota. He put up with the Muttaluk boots much better. I found the leather that was on the bottoms and tops held up a decent amount of time, even in the snow/wet conditions. However, I did put duck tape on the the tops of the feet to extend their life. Here are the boots:

All Weather Muttluks


Diana

Bentley...the light that brought me out of the darkness.

RIP Phoenix (Brightstar rescue) 2006 - 5/6/2017

RIP Dakota 1/5/93 - 10/23/2006
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: DnP] #102477
11/09/10 02:23 PM
11/09/10 02:23 PM
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McAlester, OK
Kayos Offline

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I had apair of these some years back and they lasted about one week. I could never get Max to wear them so I gave up and gave them away.


Kathy

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: DnP] #102479
11/09/10 02:27 PM
11/09/10 02:27 PM
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Posts: 1,564
Washington D.C.
Charlotte Offline OP
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Thank you so much hugging for all the great input. We do walk a low incline hill almost ever night but unfortunately it's all pavement. Living in the city has it's disadvantages for an old dog. We do try to get him to the park once a week so he can walk the trails (and for a change of scenery).

I will look into the water therapy, and also acupunture. Also thinking that I should also take him back to the vet for another check up. It was not that long ago he was in but I am thinking that may not hurt to have him looked at again.

We will keep up with his walks for as long as we can. We also firmly belive that the walks is what keeps him going - and of course the other dogs. He wants to participate so we will keep going.

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Charlotte] #102531
11/09/10 05:40 PM
11/09/10 05:40 PM
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Rensselaer County, NY
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Originally Posted By: Charlotte
We will keep up with his walks for as long as we can. We also firmly belive that the walks is what keeps him going - and of course the other dogs. He wants to participate so we will keep going.


I agree with you that walks are what keep him going. I know Dakota, bless his heart, LOVED going for walks, even near the end when that consisted of barely going to the end of the road and back (about 100 yards total). He got all excited when I grabbed his leash.

The beauty about the acupuncture is that it treats more than the physical. I poo-poo'd acupuncture until I saw what it did for Dakota. Not saying that every dog will respond to it like he did, but it made a believer out of me.

Lots of hugging to you. Sometimes it is tough watching our old guys struggle.


Diana

Bentley...the light that brought me out of the darkness.

RIP Phoenix (Brightstar rescue) 2006 - 5/6/2017

RIP Dakota 1/5/93 - 10/23/2006
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: DnP] #102533
11/09/10 05:46 PM
11/09/10 05:46 PM
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Posts: 19,487
Northern CA
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Big thumbs up for both acupuncture and hydrotherapy - I use both for my Max.

Indy had periods of paw knuckling - there's a thread about it somewhere here on the forum. Chiropractic care helped a lot.

Towards the end I also added a touch of ginkgo (had to be careful of her heart), and that seemed to help her circulation. I'm also a big believer in Alpha Lipoic Acid for nervous system issues, and scullcap for acute pain flair-up.


MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

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Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: MaxaLisa] #102565
11/09/10 07:07 PM
11/09/10 07:07 PM
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New Milford, CT
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I can't agree more about the chiropractic care and acupuncture. We've been doing that for Aodhán ever since I saw her knuckle a rear foot a few months back. It's made a world of difference for her and she's much more energetic and playful than she had been for a while. (Admittedly, I think I caught her problem pretty early.)


Johanna

Caleb (aka Caleb-Moose)
Ciara(aka Ciara Belle, Black Devil)

RIP Aodhán, Rica, Max, Kelly - gone but never forgotten - forever in my heart
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: DnP] #102569
11/09/10 07:17 PM
11/09/10 07:17 PM
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Chicago
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I forgot to add, the things I mentioned were what we did with my Golden who had spondylosis and DJD and at 11 she was also walking 2-3+ miles a day; and also with my terrier who had arthritis.
Vets who saw my Golden as she got older and her spondylosis got worse could hardly believe it was that bad until they looked at the x-rays, because she moved so well. My vet said a lot of that was due to keeping her exercise level up. We also did supplements and the acupuncture, chiro and hydrotherapy as I mentioned...


Bianca HIC CGC TT, ~ 6 years GSD, SHC Ambassador Dog, Therapy Dog
and the cats
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Chicago Canine] #103168
11/11/10 04:38 PM
11/11/10 04:38 PM
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Posts: 1,564
Washington D.C.
Charlotte Offline OP
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Washington D.C.
Max used to be on Rimadyl for arthritis and bad elbows, but we switched all that around earlier this year to use only supplements and that made a huge difference for him. His current daily combo is Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Ester-C and Fish oil. And we have the full support of our vet in doing this for him, she really likes the improvements she has seen in him since we started this. And of course, she really likes that we keep him active.

I have found a couple of places around here where they do acupunkture and I will get something set up for Max next week. Also ordering him some boots smile

Thanks again for all the great suggestions. I will update on how we are progressing.

From this past summer - hard to tell since he is standing in water but his rear end is starting to "sink a bit" . Will get some better ones this weeked.

Last edited by Charlotte; 11/11/10 04:47 PM.
Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. [Re: Charlotte] #103206
11/11/10 06:33 PM
11/11/10 06:33 PM
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Northern CA
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Sounds like you have done great with him so far, glad you are trying the acupuncture too!

I hate that "sinking hind end". I see it here in my Max too. He has some significant back issues.

Looking forward to positive updates!


MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
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