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Monday, 31 October 2011

Poorly paw

I have a big, beautiful Border Collie boy called Obi who will be eight years old next week. In June 2010 he cut his right fore paw, I don't know what on, but it sliced very cleanly through the sides of two toes, giving him two raw surfaces which rubbed against eachother, and also cut into the base of his foot. This took a very long time to heal, it was cleaned with salt water, I put different natural remedies on it, we rested him, etc, etc but even with a couple of courses of antibiotics from the vet it took around two to three months to heal and gave him a great deal of discomfort.

Unfortunately he was permanently lame on the foot even after it was healed and we had the foot X-rayed which led us off at a tangent because his outside toe was quite hideous when X-rayed with what our vet thought was a tumour but on sending the X-rays to a specialist vets, was thought might be Sesamoid Disease. That was treated with injections into the joint which worked on the lameness for a short time, but it returned and we were eventually referred to the specialist in October where they MRI scanned him and discovered he had five pinprick sized foreign objects inside his foot. He was operated on in November and managed to save the horrible toe which had been in danger of being amputated in order to get all the little bits out. Once his foot was healed from the operation, he was no longer lame and we thought the whole horrible business was behind us.

Unfortunately, at the end of January the operation scar split open, we couldn't get it to heal and when swabbed it was found to have stapphylococcus in it and he was put on antibiotics again. The scar mended again until April when it split open again. It was swabbed again, had stapph in it again and was put on different antibiotics because the stapph was resistant to the original ones. Since April it has split open again a couple of times and each time he's resistant to the antibiotics. We returned to the specialist in July for another MRI scan but there was nothing to be seen this time, although they did give us the option of another operation and probably removing his manky toe this time to make sure they got any nasties which didn't show on the MRI. We refused that option at the time.

Obi's foot is still not healed 100 per cent, we seem to get to a certain point and it 'goes' again. He does wear boots out when it's bad and we're now using a product to try to toughen up the skin and pads because their softness seemed to be part of the problem. About a month ago he developed a scabby rash on one back leg which quickly spread to the other leg and got worse despite washing with salt water and putting cream on it. The vet thought it looked like stapph and prescribed more antibiotics which cleared it up. It came back again last weekend at which point I called a halt to filling my dog with drugs.

I don't like giving my dogs antibiotics or drugs of any sort, preferring to rely on natural products, but this whole situation has been so desperate and awful that I took the vets advice and carried on against my personal feelings. Obi is on many different natural supplements for his arthritis and has a teaspoon of colloidal silver every day to try and help his foot. I have also now put him back on a teaspoon of Manuka honey every morning. I am currently washing his back legs with Hibiscrub and putting on Camrosa cream which between them seem to be working slowly. His legs and foot are covered by socks to stop him licking them.

I read Richard Allport's article on antibiotics this month, which came out at a very good time and have now ordered the following for Obi: Bee Health Propolis Capsules, Bee Health Propolis Cream for his legs and poor foot, Immune Formula capsules from Richard's clinic, Royal Jelly and I shall buy him some echinacea this afternoon. I am trying desperately to boost his immune system from within while trying to get rid of this infection in a natural way. I have also looked at Selenium ACE, although he does have Vitamins C and E anyway and he has liver once a week for his dinner as well as some homemade dried liver treats for treat toys and training and I'm not sure if extra Vitamin A would be a good idea. I can't seem to find Selenium with no ACE attached.

Obi has always been a healthy dog and I can only think that his problems are from too many antibiotics. My dogs are fed on Barking Heads which has some fresh meat added to it every day. They eat raw a couple of times a week, I was going to change them over completely, but Obi actually objected to raw every day and was miserable on it. There are no additives or preservatives in anything they eat, everything is high quality with no rubbish ingredients. Obi has around four hours of walks each day, including swimming, although this has been curtailed lately because of the foot and leg. He is a very happy and active dog, the problems don't get him down or stop him enjoying his life.

Please, if anybody can help with any suggestions for Obi, I would be so grateful. If there are any other immune system boosting miracles out there or anything that has worked for anybody in a similar situation, I am open to anything. He's such a lovely, lovely dog, he deserves to live his life to the full.

Thank you so much
Rebecca Kinnon, by email

1 comment:

  1. I think you should take the advice of the experts and have the toe removed. You seem to be going in circles here trying lots of different remedies. There is a danger that the infection could track higher up the leg and in fact, exercise may encourage that to happen.
    This seems to be a deep-seated infection which has been there for over a year. The blood supply to the infected tissue may not be very good so the antibiotics are unable to get to it in high enough concentration. You now have to contend with a recurring skin rash as well.
    Improving his general health has to be a good idea and I think that attending to his diet is fundamental to that. I believe that is even more important than adding supplements as you intend.
    Burns Pet Nutrition can advise you on the best way of feeding in order to deal with the rash and optimise his immune system. But I do think that toe should go!
    Best wishes
    John Burns BVMS MRCVS
    Burns Pet Nutrition