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deformed footpads

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I need some advice on my 6 monthes old B.C. I recieved him from a friend's sister, who rescued him from a breeder who was going to put him down. He's an affectionate puppy, who loves to play and has no problems with running, but has a slight limp, and often holds his front paw up. His back pawdoesn't seem to bother him. Both front and back right paws have fused pads, and missing nails.

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First off, let me congratulate/thank you for caring and adopting a little guy who sounds like he needs love and proper care.


If I am understanding this right, you have gotten (I'd call it "rescuing" because this little guy was slated to be euthanized) a youngster who was going to be euthanized because two of his feet are either deformed from birth or have been injured in some way as to be deformed.


I guess the first suggestion I would have, no matter what else, is to take him to your vet to make sure he has been given a thorough check-up, including receiving any puppy shots that he has not yet received (including rabies, as he is plenty old enough for that), a fecal check for worms or other parasites, and an evaluation for general health. Since he appears to be favoring that one paw/leg, he may be experiencing some discomfort and that should also be looked at.


I have a youngster that I was given with a birth defect - he is overshot (bottom jaw is too short). He also was cryptorchid (only one testicle descended - the other was retained abdominally). Someone said to me, and I can't remember but think it was the vet, that an animal with one birth defect may often have others, which may be minor or less noticeable. Hence the need for a thorough check-up with your vet.


There are some Border Collies that get through life with some real challenges, and they meet them head on, don't fret over them (that seems to be our job as humans), and deal with what life hands them. A dog will often (usually?) cope much better than the human when it comes to dealing with problems of a physical nature - we worry about it and they just get on with it.


Your vet should be able to advise you on whether or not he/she thinks it is a birth defect or injury-related issue and how to care for and handle any issues (soreness, lack of traction, etc.). There may also be others on this board who have experienced something similar and can give much better advice than I can.


I would advise caution in slipperly circumstances or rough surfaces where either lack of traction or absence of toe nails might result in abrasion on the pads, especially when he is old enough for more vigorous activity (like fetch games). Physical exercise is important for a Border Collie but mental exercise may even be more important. If he isn't capable of vigorous physical exercise, give him gentle physical exercise (like walking) and lots of mental exercise, to keep him content and happy (and watch his diet carefully, if he can't burn up too many calories being as active as many dogs are).


And, very importantly, please see that he is neutered.


Very best wishes!

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A friend of mine has a lovely little cocker spaniel that was born missing a toe, including the pad, on one of her front feet. Because of the difference in pressure distribution on that foot the pads have developed strangely, not fused but flattened and spread. She gets sore on that foot from too much running and playing cause the remaining pads don't absorb shock properly and will wear til they are raw easier than a normal foot.


Her vet has her on a pad cream that is supposed to toughen up the remaining pads and told her owner to keep an eye on her and be ready to stop the play if she is getting too sore but to be sure to let her be a normal 1 year old as much as possible.


She loves my Griffin boy and they run around and play like crazy whenever they get a chance. She doesn't know she has a problem and if she starts getting sore and we stop the play she fights the leash, wanting to continue the running.


I would get your pup to a vet to get those feet checked on. You might also want to discuss starting joint supplements now in case the deformed feet cause arthritis later in life.


Good luck! We'd love to see pictures of the little guy!



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