Before Elsa and I headed out to the beach the other day; Luke and I hit the park. He can no longer walk as far as Elsa; sad but a reality, so we do our own old guy walk. He is a funny guy; as soon as we get to our destination he throws it into overdrive and has a burst of speed. So for the very first bit of our walk I'm power walking; just like the old days with my boy. But it is very short lived and we slip into a slow but steady meander. Luke sniffs everything that there is to sniff. He loves to lift his leg on just about everything; although he takes forever, making sure that he is hitting just the right spot before the actual lift.
As we made our way around the park; stopping often to have a little snack (Luke loves to snack on walks); I noticed him dragging his back right foot. Before this day it had been every once in a while but it was now almost every step. We walked and I watched that foot with much concern. I stopped and asked him to see his toedie; lifting up his foot I could clearly see the two middle nails were worn down. The rest of his foot was fine; it didn't seem to be dragging anywhere but those nails at this point. This in itself was good news, it meant that the height of his leg lift when walking is the only thing that is lessened; a common occurrence in older dogs with arthritis. I placed his foot back down on the ground and he gave me one of his unbelievable face connection. He reached up, gave me direct eye contact and touched my face with his. What a guy.
As we continued our walk, I thought. I could wrap the toes but then the tape would be stuck on the fur of his foot which he would hate. Maybe a boot? Like a protective winter boot that dogs in cold places wear? Maybe someone had already thought of this old dog dragging foot thing; and come up with a foot protector? It has to have protection at the front of his foot; the pad is fine and not the problem. I would need two, even though only one is the problem. I think one would throw his gate off too much and perhaps cause more problems.
One thing for sure, Luke is not going to like boots. He will of course get use to them like anything else. Luckily for now it will just be for walks. But if we can walk on grass he won't need to wear one. Not walking is not an option; walking is essential to keep what little muscle mass he has in shape. Plus he would be far too upset not going out with Mom. So the search begins. If anyone reading this knows of a special boot made for foot draggers I would love to hear about it.
Have a great day.