Wednesday, April 13, 2011


If you were born and raised in the deep south, then you're probably like me. I prefer to go barefoot - especially outside. My neighbors marvel at my ability to walk on asphalt that is well over 100 degrees in the dead of summer without shoes. I mean, why would I put on shoes to go get the mail?  Gravel, sand, acorns, dirt - it really doesn't matter the surface, I prefer to be one with the earth. I know this comes from my southern roots, and since I live in the country, I continue to embrace this behavior. And yes, I wash my feet.

For the past 8 months Seka has been going barefoot too. No boot. No sock. No nothin' on that bad back foot. We've hiked a couple of trails. We've walked on the local paved greenway. We've strutted our stuff around the neighborhood. All without the support of that therapaw. She has proven that she is like her mother - barefoot is the way to go.

Unfortunately, and rather suddenly, she stopped using her back left leg all together this past week. After I've had several greyhound friends either lose a dog or have a cancer scare in the past month, I freaked the f out (to put it lightly). So off to Doctor Hottie we go.

We did a set of x-rays of her hips, leg, knees and toes. And because I spend so much money at their practice I am Dr. Hottie's favorite, he did x-rays of her chest and stomach to calm my nerves about that scary C word (which were all clear btw).

While comparing her x-rays from 2009 with the new ones we could see that the space where her missing toe once was was free of chips, which was our initial thought based on how she presented. That's good. What it did show is that her outside toe has actually twisted and started to grow over the top of the sesamoid bones of the missing toe. Ouch. She also had a small, old break in that outside toe and a lot of arthritis. Seriously, the GBD has a bunion that would rival that of any broke-down prima ballerina.

She's not a surgical candidate since her missing toe was a weight baring toe and removing the outside toe on that foot may make her not be able to use it again and put too much stress on her hips. There's nothing to do but try to reduce the inflammation and relieve the pain. Now we're on a Rymadyl/Tramadol cocktail. I'm cautiously pleased to report that after just three days of treatment, she seems more comfortable. She won't run in the backyard yet, but she is using it, which is a good start.

I hope we can get back to our walks soon. I'd like to get at least 5 lbs off of both of us this summer, but that'll be hard without some form of exercise. I feel like the pool may be calling her name!

PS:  I do wear shoes when walking her in the neighborhood. I'm not one of those crazy barefoot runners you see in Central Park, dodging hypodermic needles. And even if I decided to go shoeless all I would dodge here are beer cans and the occasional snake in the road.


gyeong said...

Hey, I resemble that remark :) Just finished a 5 mile jaunt, with the last 2 miles barefoot. Kris and I are barefoot every chance we get too. We freak out every time one of the kids limps. Never know when C will strike. Hope the cocktail helps Seka go barefoot again.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Yes, I prefer barefoot too as long as it's warm enough:)

Poor Seka. But thank goodness it wasn't the Big C! Hopefully she'll soon be back to her old self. Will she have to be on the meds forever now?

Hiking Hounds said...

I hope the meds. help and she's up and walking good soon. Wouldn't be great if vets gave a cumulative discount every time we spent, oh say, another thousand dollars? I'm pretty sure I'd be getting free services by now. :-)

Mad Red Hare said...

I prefer barefeet too! Like my good ole family practice doctor told me, God didn't put you on this earth with shoes on!

houndstooth said...

Oh ouch! I'm cringing just looking at that x-ray! Poor girl!

I love to be barefoot, too! I hate winter with all those layers of stuff we have to wear. I soon as I can get the shoes off, I'm much happier! My mom reports that I refused to wear shoes even as a baby.

BrittBeah said...

I've been meaning to post about poor Set's lost toe. He is now missing the second from the outside, aslo a weight bearing toe. Unfortunatly, he's had some complications since surgery so we've been on a very long road of recovery. I was warned after taking the toe off that he would probably be cronicly lame due to the nature of the amputation. I thought he was a freak to have that toe injured instead of an outside toe, it is nice to know he is not alone with the weird injury. We also did the 'freak out' over the C word xrays and his were clean as well thankfully.
Hope your sweet girl gets to feeling better soon.

greytblackdog said...

@gyeong - don't you wear Five Fingers? I'm kinda jonesin' for a pair, but I really want to try them on first.

@Greyhound Can Sit - we're going to do the Rymadyl 2x a day for five days, then once a day for 5 days and see if we can get her off it all together since it is hard on her kidney/liver. The pain meds are 3x a day for 10 days and then we'll go to 2x a day and try to maintain at 2x a day. If we can move to 1x a day that would be even more awesome, but they aren't convinced that this can happen. She likes her peanut butter pills :)

@britt - Seka lost that toe at exactly 2 years old. We've had nothing but problems from day one since it is a weight baring toe. We feared issues with her hips, but nothing there. She coursed for 2 seasons and did well when she was younger. We're doing supplements as well for the arthritis, but it's so bad they probably do nothing for it since that joint doesn't have fluid in it like a knee or hip. Jump on pain management quickly, as these guys' brains will trick them into thinking that it hurts, when it doesn't and they are lame for no reason. The tramadol helps with that they say. Hugs to Set.

gyeong said...

I switch between VFF (Vibram Five Fingers), Racing Flats, and Barefoot. My soles aren't tough enough yet for barefoot only. There are many styles of VFF, including 'Bikila' for running. Try 'em on and see what ya like.

IHateToast said...

i like my VFFs, but i'm not going to take them to work, which is where i run during lunch.

i used to go barefooted, but because i live near a train station and drunks with bottles are a bad combo, i prefer the official shoe of australia: the thong. yes, thong. my husband and i pick up cans and bottles to recycle when we walk back from any trip. honestly, we run out of finger grips.

i miss the old suburban street i grew up on. glass free.

i hope her toes descramble soon.