Greyhound limping is a condition that sometimes will occur in retired racers. Retired racers sometimes tend to have sore feet when walking on paved roads. They are not used to macadam or cement so their pads are tenderer than other dogs. Most of their life they have been on grassy or dirt areas and the tracks are sand. Their toe nails also are sometimes really out of control which can lead to foot problems.
Nail trimming a chore
Most dogs that are walked on sidewalks and streets keep their nails at a respectable length by the constant scraping on the pavement but since greyhounds aren’t walked on this type of surface their nails grow to great lengths. Nails that are too long can lead to broken toes.
Since their nails have been allowed to grow the quick also grows making nail trimming a chore which often must be addressed by a professional. If the quick is nicked during a “mani/peti” it is painful for the dog and will bleed quite a bit, so it is better to let the professionals do their job. Most dog groomers will only charge only a few dollars and it is well worth it.
Our little Elle had nails that were very long and she began to limp and developed sore feet, once the nails were trimmed on a regular basis the quick began to recede and her gait improved, she really enjoyed our walks.
Greyhound limping can be the sign
Greyhound limping can be the sign of several different issues aside from long nails. As I mentioned greyhounds right off the track have tender pads and you need to build up their resistance to rough surfaces to avoid damaging the pads.
Short and frequent walking will begin to toughen up the pads and make life more comfortable for everyone.
If the limping continues, check for burrs between the toes. Carefully lift the foot and see if there are any foreign objects between the toes. Be prepared to back away because even the most loving dog may nip of they are hurt. Remove any foreign objects and apply a soothing salve. I have always found Bag Balm to be a wonderful product for all type of abrasions.
Greyhounds evolved from desert canines and therefore have webbed toes. This type of toe structure may cause mud, snow, sand and other things to become clogged in the web area of the foot. I have found that taking the foot and placing it in a bucket of warm water will dislodge any dirt and keeps it from being tracked all over the house.
Remember that walking
dogs on very hot days can damage their feet just like walking barefoot on the
street. When the weather is hot I try
and walk the dogs early in the morning before the pavement heats up.
In the cold weather
In the cold weather, when there is snow or ice on the street, be very careful about salt and other chemicals that’s spread on the street. This can burn their pads which may encourage them to lick their feet. Ingesting some of these chemicals can be dangerous. Some dogs will permit you to put rubber boots on their feet to protect their pads, my dogs never liked this so we would find other places to go for our walks.
Should you find that your dog has stepped into something on the walk such as oil, antifreeze, lawn fertilizers or any foreign substance give their paws a bath in some warm water and gentle detergent. My little angels have also been known to step in poop—you definitely want to remove ALL of this before coming inside. So keep a little bucket in the garage so you can do a foot wash outside if this happens to you.
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