Author Topic: HELP!!! Missing Toe  (Read 9701 times)

Offline anniemae

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HELP!!! Missing Toe
« on: June 10, 2005, 07:19:01 pm »
I am wondering if any of you ever experienced a dog with a missing toe?
I have a puppy (bernese mountain dog)  and he is missing a toe on his right hind leg. I took him to the vet and an x ray was done, my vet said it is a deformity , not just the toe is missing, but the muscle digit as well. He also has a very small ankle bone. The vet feels this will cause problems down the road. With that I contacted two other vets by phone and they had the same opinion with out seeing him.. but is familiar with this type of deformity. All three of them said once he grows, (he will be about 110lbs) the  lack of muscle and toe  may not be able to support the weight and this will lead to problems.( I do notice he is not walking normal and has trouble getting down five steps to our patio.)
I felt since all three vets had the same opinion , I was going to bring him back to the breeder.  
My brothers girlfriend had to bring her cat to her vet and while she was there asked him his opinion.. to my surprise she said her vet was a deformity he was born with and should do fine with it..he will adjust and live with it. That is three to one.. kind of threw me for a loop that one out of three had a positive out look ..I would like to know if any of you had experience with this or knew of a dog who did..or maybe there is a vet in the house?? I have been very upset this entire week, I love the pup but I don’t want a huge heart break  later on.. Your help will be appreciated!
Ann Marie


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Re: HELP!!! Missing Toe
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2005, 07:25:27 pm »
I think it's going to be a wait and see problem.  If you love the dog enough and don't want to take him back, then start putting money aside for vet bills and what not.  On the other hand, if he is healthy, he might not have any problems.  You could also start physical thearapy now.  There is alot of new programs out there for dogs that can help, other than pills, but it will also depend on your location.  One thing I would do is call the breeder, they should have known this was going to be a problem and if there were other pups, they might have it as well.  If they are a good breeder, they should offer you a few choices.  I wish you and your baby the best luck.  Let us know what happens in the future.


Offline lburrell

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Re: HELP!!! Missing Toe
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2005, 07:35:28 pm »
Hi Ann Marie,

So what happened with the puppy?  Did you take him back?  I've seen dogs adapt amazingly well to deformities, and the one you describe does not sound all that debilitating.  I can see where a small ankle bone could be a problem for a  large dog, but I would guess with exercise early on aimed at keeping his leg muscles strong and keeping the dog on the lean side, this shouldn't pose any great long term problem.  I guess for me, I would be more devastated to hear that my puppy has severe hip dysplasia.  With that, you are guaranteed to have to spend serious $$ on surgeries and care. 

In the end, it comes down to your own personal choice.  Surely, it is better to return the puppy to the breeder now while he is young and can be more easily rehomed.  Like the previous poster said, talk with the breeder and get second and third opinions from qualifyed vets before making the ultimate decision.  I know it must be breaking your heart, as he had been with you for several weeks and I am sure you are already in love with the little one.  There is a yahoo email group for people with Berners that is an amazing resource with over 1600 members (owners, breeders, and vets).  I bet if you post this issue to the group you will get very good information about this particular deformity. 

Let us know what happened!