Dachshund with swollen feet needs help!
December 14, 2016 8:23 PM   Subscribe

We have a wonderful seven year old female Dachshund that has a recurring issue with swelling feet. The frequency has gradually increased as she ages. Primarily effects the front paws. Our old vet wanted to do exploratory surgery on all four to look for ingrown hairs! We declined and tried another doctor. A high dose of antibiotics were given back in August with short term success. Now the problem has returned and it’s the definitely the worst round yet. She has a doctor’s appointment in the morning. Any similar issues/solutions?
posted by EightballBill to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Have you moved, or laid new carpet, or are spraying some new chemical around the house, something similar? This sounds like an allergic reaction.

Poor baby. I hope you are able to get to the guts of the problem and help her out.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:32 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Have you ruled out grass allergies?
posted by cecic at 8:41 PM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Not enough info. My decision tree would look like this:

Is it the whole foot or the pad? If it's the pad I assume you've investigated contact dermatitis and blisters (my dog gets blisters from rubber floors). Are they itchy, has she been given a trial of anti-histamines and a trial of anti-inflammatories (separately and together)? If it's itchy and painful on the surface of the skin have you biopsied it?

If its the entire foot and not a skin issue have they x-rayed anything? Dachshunds are kinda inbred to the point of limb deformities she may have something like that that is causing her soft tissue swelling. Again, a trial run of anti-inflammatories and rest would help diagnose this cheaply.

Behavioral: is she tearing at her crate and damaging her feet under certain circumstances. Is she digging at the fence or the yard or running so hard she's injuring herself (frantically running).

If it's not structural and not an allergy I'd be looking at tick borne disease next- depending on where you live things like erlichia can cause lameness, swelling of the joints and other come-and-go type ailments. The temporary improvement with antibiotics kind of supports that.

Those are the obvious causes and I'd think your vet had ruled them out but you don't give us that info. If you could update the question it would help.
posted by fshgrl at 8:54 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Since it this an uncommon presentation with a chronic duration, it's appropriate to ask about a referral to a board-certified veterinary dermatologist (Diplomate of ACVD) or internal medicine specialist (Diplomate of ACVIM) nearby.
posted by metaseeker at 9:06 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not a suggestion on what could be going on, but if it is allergy as suggested above, try a set of booties. Inexpensive thing you can test while working with your vet.

Just remember to do bootie free time and regularly check her feet.
posted by MandaSayGrr at 10:40 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Something similar happened with our Golden Retriever Bailey. He had/has a bunch of food allergies--mostly to people food--but a strict limited-ingredient diet is enough to keep his paw-swelling away. Food for thought/thought for food.
posted by El_Marto at 3:08 AM on December 15, 2016

It was food allergies with my dog too and the vet prescribed an antihistamine in the short term (diet change for long term) which worked within a few days. Is your pup licking his paws excessively because they are itchy? That's what was going on with my dog.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 3:28 AM on December 15, 2016

Do you have a university near you with a vet school? For hard-to-diagnose problems, I would go there because they tend to have seen it all in their clinic.
posted by *s at 7:51 AM on December 15, 2016

We had a Great Dane who developed lymphedema in one foot for no apparent reason. It was probably hereditary in some way, but her foot would just swell up to twice its normal size, and then eventually go back to normal. We took her to several vets and specialists, with lots of x-rays and tests, and there was definitely no foreign body or anything in there.

At some point that foot was always a tiny bit swollen, but didn't bother her at all. We just called it her "big foot."
posted by thejanna at 9:41 AM on December 15, 2016

A relative's dog has many food allergies and sensitivities, and foot problems were among the many symptoms.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:01 PM on December 15, 2016

Do you have a university near you with a vet school? For hard-to-diagnose problems, I would go there because they tend to have seen it all in their clinic.

It's not just that they've "seen it all", it's that the teaching hospital (or specialty hospital in the case of a non-academic private setting) is staffed with board-certified specialists who are the top experts in their field. The list of things that cause pododermatitis in dogs is long: demodicosis (skin mites), dermatophytosis (ringworm), deep pyoderma/furunculosis (skin infection/rupture of hair follicles), Malassezia (yeast), autoimmune disease, allergies, vasculitis, superficial necrolytic dermatitis, squamous cell carcinoma, lymphoma affecting the skin only, various genetic/inherited diseases, follicular cysts, foreign bodies, and more.

Seeing a highly-trained specialist may cost a bit more in the short term but is almost always a good deal in the end.
posted by SinAesthetic at 8:46 AM on December 16, 2016

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