Dog has recently hurt her paw (instant - so not arthritis and not stepped on as she wasn't near the horses, and no cuts, slivers or anything else in paw). No heat or swelling.
Hops on 3, and over several days progressively goes back to 4. Then steps wrong - or something mysterious - and is back to 3 paws for a few hours.
Could get vet to x-ray or U/S, but what would the fix be? It's in the toe. Sprained, dislocated, broken???? The most sensitive spot is right on the inside front toe . It seems to splay slight more than the opposite side. As I tend to be the "rush everyone to the vet type", the household debate lies in, if it's this or that, what would the vet do (besides charge you for all the diagnostics)? Splint, wrap, cast, sedate, advise to keep inside, etc.? I've had my toes stepped on and broken enough times to know that they can't do much for me.
If you've had experience with a hurt toe on a front paw - please share. For an althetic dog, this one is not graceful on 3.
I had a dog that did that and we thought it was his toenail. It looked torn, so vet cut it way back. Dog was still in pain several days later. Went back to vet and X-rayed. It turned out that the dog had a benign tumor in the nail bed that was killing off the bone in his toe, and apparently causing severe pain. Vet amputated the toe past the point of the tumor. Within a couple of days, dog was walking on it with a little limp. Within a couple of weeks you'd never know he was missing a toe.
That's my only "toe" story. Are you sure it isn't in the shoulder?
Jetsmom - interesting - hadn't had that thought yet! Was your dog's pain fairly instant, or slowly progressive. I initially wondered the same, but it is definitely the toe on her paw that hurts her, not in shoulder.
I would take them. Even if it is something as minor as a sprain you'll know how to treat it. If he needs splinted, casted, wrapped, etc. you'll be able to give him the proper treatment even if that is just anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers. Not treating it could make it much more severe even though most likely it's something minor. I would take mine in honestly.
If it is broken toe then nothing - restrict outside time for your dog, keep outside on lead, no wild running and jumping, and in few weeks all will be ok - it is like with humans - if you broke one of the minor bones of your feet, Dr. will say the same - no casts or anything.
If it is something else...
How old is dog, size, what breed?
Young dogs 6 - 9 mo old sometimes are having that growth spurt and limping is not welcomed but normal.
Checking nails also would help, as described above. But the main thing - free movement restrictions, calm lifestyle and walking on leveled surfaces. No running around pastures, no jumping in forest... Until it is gone.
We just took in a rescue pup with a similar issue. Turns out he had a microscopic puncture at some point in the past that got infected inside the foot but healed the skin area. No real lump, just a limp. They said it could have gotten worse tho....
They pinched around his foot tillthey found the sorest spot, did a needle aspiration and found the infection pocket. He's three days into antibiotics and doing MUCH better.
Just thought I'd update on vet visit. X-ray has shown chip in bone above inside toe on LF. Vet said getting a chip out of that area causes more damage than is of help. Suggested waiting 10-12 weeks to see if it fuses. Then consider ortho surgery.
She's a German Shorthair Pointer and nothing makes her happier than galloping all over the property, so this may be curtailed. ha, now the dog wants SMB's!