Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Scourge of Athlete's Paw

Last Sunday night I noticed my dog was conspicuously in the floor beside my bed. He wouldn't come up on the bed no matter how much I called him, and he was whimpering a little bit.

A late night trip outside showed that he was limping. His little black toe pads turned out to be so swollen that there was a lot of puffy pinkness surrounding the black parts. No wonder he was limping and crying.

I thought there might be something between his toes making them sore, so I soaked his paws in warm water hoping to wash it away. No relief there.

The next morning his toes were just as swollen, and I decided to take him to the vet when I got home from work. His toes on two feet were cracked and bleeding by the time I picked him up at home. :(. Two feet. I was worried he had cut his feet on broken glass Thursday night walking around at the tornado memorial.

The vet that examined him said that he had a bad case of athlete's foot - doggie athlete's foot. Humans get it from a fungus, but for dogs it comes from a yeast naturally found in their rectum, among other places. (My research - the vet didn't tell me this.).

Did YOU know dogs get athlete's foot? I certainly didn't. I'm guessing the poor fella licked his rear then chewed his foot, and that was all that was needed to create an 8 pound disaster.

THAT was the yeasty smell the other vet had noticed two weeks before when I was having his flea allergy treated. I wish she had looked at his paws then -- it would have saved him two weeks of suffering.

Once upon a time I had a boyfriend with such a nasty case of athlete's foot that his feet cracked open and bled, and the skin came off in sheets. He said he was too broke to go to the doctor, so he tried a home remedy of gentian violet. He said it was helping, but we broke up before his feet were healed.

Oh, his feet were his own fault. He wore the same swampy sweaty shoes to work in every single day and wouldn't buy new ones. He had the money to see a doctor; the real reason he wouldn't go is that it would make it easy for his baby's mother (I had no idea) to catch up with him.

So the vet gave my baby ten days of Prednisone to help his paws heal, and a spray bottle of ChlorHex to treat the infection directly. We both hate the nasty stuff. It causes me sneezing fits, and he tries to hide and fights me on getting his paws sprayed.

But it seems to be working so we will keep using it. His paws aren't swollen top and bottom anymore and the pads are beginning to go back to normal. They still look slightly crusty. Ew.

And as for my own paw? I'm positive I broke my toe now. Though I can bend my toe carefully downward, it still hurts a bit. However, putting any pressure on top of that toe is near-excruciating. But what can you do for a broken metatarsal?

Uh, nothing. Just don't press on it where you broke it. And ensure that stoneware won't fall onto it next time.

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