We had a little scare earlier today.
My husband had taken our dog, Midnight, to a beach here in Toronto where you can let your dog off leash and where they can swim in the lake. It’s called Cherry beach.
We’ve taken her there several times, and being a Labrador Retriever, she just loves the water. She plays with other dogs, steals their toys and pretty much stays in the water until we beg her to come out.
I didn’t go today, but it sounds like it went much as it usually does with Midnight playing in the water and mingling with other dogs. After she’d been in the water for about two hours my husband started calling her to come in, but she wouldn’t. Usually she’s not to bad about coming to us if she’s had a good amount of time to swim and play so this was unusual.
Finally she came to shore and started limping right away. Perhaps she’d stayed in the water longer because she already knew that she’d hurt her feet?
My husband noticed that her feet were bleeding. He thought it was only two of her feet that we injured at first, but it turns out ALL of them were injured! He used the Cell to call me at home as he tried to get Midnight to the car. He’d already looked at the feet that he thought were hurt and determined that she didn’t have glass in them, but being covered with sand from the beach he couldn’t tell exactly what the problem was.
Being a nurse I started assembling things at home to try to take care of my dog once she got home. I grabbed a magnifying lens so that I could look at her feet closely for any glass, some gauze 4 by 4 squares, a sterile bottle of saline solution and some cotton balls. I had it all out on the coffee table for when they arrived. My plan was to wash her feet off with the saline solution and then take a look at them to see if there was any glass or sand embedded in her wounds.
I also called our vets office. They had just closed, but the doctor was willing to stick around until I’d taken a look at Midnights feet in case we needed to bring her in.
When Chris got home I ran out to the car. he’d put some towels on the back seat and they had blood spots all over them. Midnight limped with me into the house and I finally got to look at her feet.
Somehow she’d shaved off all of her toenails on all four feet. Right down to the nub. So they were bleeding and I’m sure there was some nerve pain. otherwise the pads of her feet looked ok. So I called the vet to tell him what had happened and depending upon how her feet look in the morning we might see him tomorrow. Nice of the vet to stick around for us though!
I don’t know what happened to her. Chris said he took her where we always take her and she’s never hurt herself before. Maybe the city put more rocks into the water in that area since we were last there? That’s all I can think of is that she scraped her nails repeatedly on rocks that were underwater.
Her nails were too long and I was planning on cutting them this week. Perhaps that made he nails more vulnerable to getting hurt in the first place? But still, even if her nails were short prior to her beach visit they’re now down to bare nubs.
We applied pressure to all of her feet to help stop the bleeding. That must of hurt a bit because she was shivering. Poor thing. This is the first time she’s really been hurt since we got her two years ago. Once the bleeding stopped I cleaned her nail nubs by putting some sterile saline solution on a gauze pad and dabbed at her nails.
Luckily she’s always sleepy after a good romp at the beach, perhaps more sleepy after the anxiety of being hurt – so she’s been sleeping quite a bit for the last two hours.
That’s fine by me because if she’s sleeping she won’t be licking her paws!
So we’re just sitting around watching TV and trying not to move around too much because we want her to rest and stay off her feet. We don’t usually watch TV on Sunday afternoons! There sure is a lot of commercials for acne treatments and fitness products!
Anyway … have any of you dealt with something like this with your dog or another type of pet? Any suggestions? I think if we can keep the nail nubs clean they’ll heal just fine. Hopefully they don’t get infected!
I’m just trying to figure out how to keep her from licking her feet constantly. She’s awake right now and all she’s doing is licking. Sigh.