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Sunday, December 14, 2008

All I Want For Christmas is A New Toe

Wednesday night I sent the dogs outside for their last potty break before bed.  I called them back in the house and they both came racing inside.  Maggie came in the house holding up her back foot, but I didn't think too much about it at the time, thinking she just stubbed her toe or Bosley stepped on her.  The next morning she was still not putting any weight on that foot, so I took a better look at it.  The toe on the outside of her foot was very swollen and sore.  I gave her a few days of rest, but there was no improvement.  

Today I took her to the vet.  The vet looked at her foot and took some X-rays.  He called me to the back and showed me the X-rays and it was very obvious that her toe was broken.  The break is quite bad - it is broken at about a 45 degree angle and the bone is twisted so that there is no bone-to-bone contact at all.  In order for a break to heal, there must be bone-to-bone contact, so even if the vet put a cast on it, it would not fix the break.

The vet gave me three options:
1.  He can amputate the toe.  This is the easiest and least expensive treatment.
2.  The vet can surgically correct the break by putting a pin in the toe.
3.  I can take Maggie to Calgary to the orthopedic surgeon.  This would provide the best results but it will also cost the most.  The vet estimated that they would charge $1500 - $3000 to fix her foot.  He is sending them the x-rays to get a firm quote, so I will know in the next couple days how much it will actually cost.

At this point, I am really undecided what to do.  I am not sure if Maggie will be able to continue in agility missing a toe.  I am not sure I will be able to continue in agility after spending $3000 to fix her foot.  I need to decide fairly soon, as the longer I wait, the more difficult it will be to fix.

So it looks like this year for Christmas, Maggie is getting surgery (either losing a toe or gaining a metal pin) and I am getting a big credit card bill.


  1. Personally, and I know you didn't ask for it - I'd just amputate it. She will do just fine missing a toe in agility - she bears less weight on the outermost toe, and even if you do surgery on that toe, my professional opinion (I'm a vet) is that it will be a constant source of arthritis in the future.

    I know of one doberman currently competing with only 3 toes on her front foot - she broke her toe as a pup and had it amputated. she even finished her championship.


    you can see her missing toe clearly in the second photo down.

  2. ugh, i'm such a dolt - and above all - condolences to both you and maggie - i hope she feels better soon, no matter what you decide!!!

  3. Oh no, poor Maggie!

    That must hurt soooo very much!

    Whatever you decide will be what's best for Maggie. We know she will be just fine.

    We have our paws crossed for you. I'm sorry you are having to go through this sweetie!


  4. Poor Maggie! Do you have any idea how it happened?? I wouldn't think that missing a toe would effect her agility that much? But I'm not an expert. I have seen a three legged dog run like the dickens though!! Either way we are crossing fingers and paws here.

  5. Oh my my! You poor thing Maggie. Your toe has got to hurt pretty bad. Well, all we can hope is that your Mom makes the right choice. Whatever it is, it has ton be done & soon. Heal up soon my friend!

    Butt wiggles,
    Solid Gold Dancer

  6. What a crappy decision to have to make...keep us posted how things go, remember you have a ton of cheer leaders who will support you either way!


  7. Darn it, Kim, I'm sorry to hear about Maggie's mishap. I can't offer you any recommendations about what to do but can offer my support to you. We went through this exactly one year ago when our older girl tore her cruciate. The most difficult part of the whole ordeal was trying to decide what option to pick. With the support of others who "had been there" we were finally able to make a decision and, one year later, Sascha is bounding about in the snow. Give Maggie a hug from us; give yourself a hug too! It will work out for the best, whatever you decide.

  8. sorry I'm so behind in reading my blogs....soooo sorry to hear about poor Maggie...Tate sends kisses & hugs her way & says he will love her with a pin or without a toe..it's doesn't matter!