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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Out of step

My Golden Retriever, aged about 13 years, developed a bad limp in his front left paw, and licked his front legs bare. Over night his paw to ankle swelled up so much he couldn't put his paw on the ground while sleeping. The vet and I touched and felt all over his leg, pads and claws, and the dog didn't even wince. After an antibiotic injection, antibiotic tablets, and inflamation cream (Predniderm) for his legs, the swelling started to decrease. Four days later his pad (would be the thenar in a human hand) split from side to side with a very deep hole into his pad. It was an abscess. After more visits to the vet and another antibiotic injection and tablets, and cream (Predniderm) to put into the wound - not bandaging until a week a week later to enable any poison to carry on coming out - the hole is now slowly healing but the limp is still bad and he is still licking his paw and leg.

At the moment he still cannot walk very far and is getting very tired and some muscle wastage.

Other tablets he is on are:-
Fortekor F20  18.42mg  1/2 per day
Previcox 227mg  1/2 or 3/4 per day

He weighs 35k.

Is there anything else I can do, or is it a matter of time and wait?

I O’Donnell, by email

NB. Only a qualified vet can provide veterinary advice, but anecdotes from dog owners who have been in similar situations with their own pets can help hugely. You should always seek veterinary advice for any question regarding your dog’s health.

Alison Logan, vet, advises

An abscess in a pad must be very painful indeed, given that dogs walk on all four paws, so it is not surprising that your dog is still limping. It is probably a matter of wait and see, whilst completing the antibiotic course, but one would wonder whether there was an underlying cause within the pad, such as a thorn or piece of grit.

I would imagine you have an appointment scheduled with your vet to see how the abscess is responding to the antibiotic treatment, now that it has come to a head and burst. If not, then I would be returning to your vet at the end of the course of antibiotic if it has not fully healed. If it does heal but there is something within the pad then the abscess may well recur after the antibiotic course has been completed. 

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