Our dog's third toe, right foot is split/sliced in two (as a bagel would be sliced) down the middle. She walks

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Customer: Our dog's third toe, right foot is split/sliced in two (as a bagel would be sliced) down the middle. She walks willingly, but when standing holds the foot off the ground, and licks it constantly. Is this something that needs a vet's visit?
Answered by Dr. Deb in 2 mins 8 years ago
Dr. Deb
30+ years of experience

22,620 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Hoover.

Could you please clarify if the toenail on her foot is split or if it's the toe itself that's cut?

Thanks, Deb

The toenail only but split up to the base of her pad.

Thanks; that's what I thought.

Unfortunately, this is a fairly common type of injury, especially at this time of year when snow and ice can significantly injure toes and toenails...although these sorts of injuries can really happen at any time.

These types of injuries don't always require a vet visit unless they become infected, which can happen, especially if the dog is allowed to continually traumatize the toe.

The following would be my suggestions as to how you might deal with this injury at home:

1. Gently clean it with dilute Betadine or iodine (to the color of weak tea); you could use a small bowl and dip the toe/foot into it for about one minute.
2. You can smear over the counter antibiotic ointment on it after it's dried.
3. You could lightly bandage the foot or place a sock on it with ducktape affixed at the top so it doesn't fall off; just be careful that it's not too tight so circulation is affected. I'd clean the toe and change the bandage every day for at least 3-4 days.
4. She may need to wear a cone to prevent access to the area if you do decide to bandage it and she won't leave it alone. I know she won't thank me for suggesting it but you really do need to prevent her from over-licking the toe.
5. I'm a huge fan of Vetericyn (LINK) which is a spray that is perfect for such wounds. However, it may not be available at local pet or grain stores but only on the internet.
6. You could also give her Aspirin at a dose of 10 mg/lb twice a day if she's not currently taking any other n'said medication. I advise that it be given with food to avoid stomach upset.

The nail will eventually grow out, of course, although it may take a few weeks. In the meantime, trim off small amounts from the nail every week to keep it short and less likely to snag on something.

If the toe starts to look red or if you notice a discharge or a smell, then she may need systemic antibiotics. The largest percentage of dogs will improve with topical treatment alone, though.

I hope this helps, Deb
Thanks so much for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'd like to check back in with you in a few days to see how Hoover's toenail is healing.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Good luck. Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.
I’m just following up on our conversation about Hoover's toenail. How does it look? Deb

We've tried everything imaginable (including Hoovie wearing a cone) but she continues to get the sock off (all night in her crate gives her plenty of time without being told to "leave it!"). We continue to treat the toe and pad twice daily with Betadine and antibiotic ointment. The toenail (at least the top portion) has turned black (I'm guessing from personal experience that this means it will be dropping off soon) and we're watching it, her behavior and the socks as she succeeds in getting them off. So far it doesn't seem to hamper her; she walks, runs, and plays without hesitation.

Thank you for your concern. We're going to keep treating her and monitoring her closely, but she's a rascal and it's virtually impossible to keep her "stifled."

She certainly sounds like a very determined dog, alright:)))

But it sounds as it the toe/nail isn't worse to the point of needing systemic antibiotics; it's also good that it's not slowing her down at all..

Good luck:) Deb
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Dr. Deb
22,620 satisfied customers
30+ years of experience
Dr. Deb
+ years of experience

22620 satisfied customers



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