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Main > Deformed Dog Feet -- help??? (23 replies)

by jc.carroll on 17 September 2010 - 14:09

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My parents' neighbors have a chihuahua who has the most deformed feet.

They asked me if I've ever seen anything like it, I have not. Nor has the vet. I'm hoping
someone here might have some hope or suggestions for Bella the Chi and her people.

Backstory: Bella came from a breeder. She was purchased with a health guarentee and
full breeding rights. When e arrived it was quite evident her feet weren't right. She wan't
walking much, and moving appeared to hurt her. Her owner called the breeder, who
said take the dog to the vet.

The vet said he's never seen anything like it. It's like her feet are flat. Her nails grow straight
up. He gave her booties to wear to keep her from tearing up the undersides of her toes,
but she always chews them off. Bella can barely walk, and the undersides of her feet are
all fur-bare and calloused.

The breeder says it's something Bella's folks did, so she won't cover it under her health
guarentee (which also includes free from genetic defects).

The vet says it's not an act of abuse but a defect.

I'm wondering, has anyone else seen anything like this? All four of her poor little feet have
the exact same problem.

(Yes, Bella's toenails are long, but it's the results, rather than the cause of whatever this is.)

by jc.carroll on 17 September 2010 - 14:09

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That second-to-last pic shows how the undersides of her feet are all worn down. You can see the toe pads up near the top of her foot. The bald areas are where the arch should be.

by Kimmelot on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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Looks like she has flat feet/ loose ligaments. This could have been caused by poor quality food while it was growing. German Shepherds ( ie American line) can get a similar look to them where there whole ankle is almost touching the ground because of loose ligaments. Does this dog also suffer from patella luxation?
The Vet might try to snip the ligaments behind the foot, stich them, and cast the foot up so that the damaged ligaments have a chance to heal.

Little dogs should never be alowed to jump up on or down from furnature, which can damage ligaments- especialy knees and even backs ( ie dachshunds). If this dog while it was growing had poor nutrition, coupled with the genetic weakness of having loose ligaments and also was jumping up and down from the couch -I would think would cause this.

I know that horse foals can get this laxisity , so I looked it up..
It says that its actualy a muscular issue, even though the ligaments are affected.. maybe the dog needs more excercise and nutrition.  
   When GSDs have this issue we tell people to use Vita C, feed better dog food, and let them free play. ( we tell them one other thing altho I cannot find any support for this item at this time so I won't mention it)

by BabyEagle4U on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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Looks to me like the dog has 2 extra pads @ the toes.

by jc.carroll on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 02:39 pm


That's what I thought too when I first saw her, but after prodding at her feet for several minutes, all it is is fur-bare skin that has been calloused where the arch of the toes would normally prevent them from touching.



I'll ask them. I don't know for sure all of Bella's history or past actions. From everything they tell me, it sounds like she's had mobility issues since day1. The kicker is, all four of her feet are affected. As you can see in the last picture, even her rear toes are curled up like gecko-feet.

by GSDtravels on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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Certainly no expert here, but I would never presume that this is anything but a congenital deformity.  Since all four feet are affected, I doubt this could be the result of hopping up and down from furniture, as that, in itself, presupposes an underlying, preexisting condition.  How old is the dog?

by Keith Grossman on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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Do they ever trim her nails?

by jc.carroll on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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She's a young adult. Full grown, but I think not too old.

by GSDtravels on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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I feel really bad for the dog, it looks painful.  My focus would be on comfort for the dog, first and foremost.  I'd go to a specialist for a definitive diagnosis.  Some Universities offer low cost care for the experience with unusual conditions.  OSU comes to mind, but not sure where this dog is located.  Talk to local schools to find which offer Veterinary courses.

Secondly, I'd take this up with the breeder and wouldn't allow them to squeak out of the contract.  Was the dog seen before it was purchased or was she shipped?  I'd think this condition should have been noticable from the get-go.  About the only thing this poor littel girl has going for her is her size... could you imagine a large breed contending with this?

by Bob McKown on 17 September 2010 - 15:09

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Dog needs nails trimmed badly!

by GSDtravels on 17 September 2010 - 16:09

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The nails do appear to be in need of a trim, but they are up and away from the bed.  Normally, part of the nail would be buried, so I think they actually appear worse than they are.  JMO

by Rugers Guru on 17 September 2010 - 16:09

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DOUBLE TOES AND PADS! Very interesting!!!

by Elkoorr on 17 September 2010 - 16:09

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Seen it before with a Lady who I met at the dog park few years ago. Her Chi's nails looked the same way and he was lux too. After giving it a few months she decided to have all nails surgical removed, and the Chi wore some kind of booties for support. He was around 1 year old then. Dont know the overall outcome as I stopped going to the park. I would guess its bad breeding and bad genetics. Good luck with the little guy.

by Sunsilver on 17 September 2010 - 18:09

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I would get a really competent veterinarian to take x-rays, and then write a report stating his/her findings.  No way would I let the breeder wiggle out of this!  That foot is NOT normal!

If it were just one foot affected, I might think it was an injury, but with all 4 affected, there's no way.

by Louise M. Penery on 17 September 2010 - 19:09

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I have seen carpal and tarsal subluxation in GSD  pups. They generally out grow it with dietqry chqnges;

by Doddlebug50 on 17 September 2010 - 20:09

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I breed and show chihuahuas also and have never seen anything like this.  It would help to cut back the toenails.  Also, try "Sure Grow 100"; that should help the carpal problem. Good luck.

by PowerHaus on 17 September 2010 - 21:09

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looks like double pads to me....I would CERTAINLY trim those nails!


by Kimmelot on 17 September 2010 - 23:09

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I am not sure where people are seeing Double pads ? I see normal foot conformation until there is weight put on it, 4 toes and the foot pad, plus the ankle pad on the front foot.

by GSDtravels on 18 September 2010 - 04:09

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Look at the first picture.  The actual toes/pads are right below the nails.  There are four calouses that look like the pads, but are not.  The foot seems elongated with a large space between the back pad and the toes.

by Abby Normal on 18 September 2010 - 21:09

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Although you are in the US it might be worth emailing Noel Fitzpatrick (the 'bionic' vet) in the UK to see whether he has ever come across anything like it. He is a pioneering vet, and I am sure it would be of interest to him, and he might be able to suggest something.

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