View Full Version : Dog booties, toe amputation

November 30, 2002, 06:03 PM
My 3-year-old male field bred English Springer Spaniel may have to have a toe amputated!!!!!!!!!

He dove straight into a barbed-wire fence while pheasant hunting. The little bugger didn't realize the fence had four strands instead of three, three having more space. I'll have to teach him to count this summer.

He ripped the skin open on his shoulder, requiring several stainless-steel stitches. He also pulled out the outside nail on the outermost toe on the right paw. It became infected and two different types of antibiotics did not work. Two days ago, his foot swelled to the size of a tennis ball. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! (sarcasm)

He has been in the animal hospital for 24-hours with a cone around his neck to keep him from licking it. He has also had several expensive injections. My wife and I went to see him today, and the swelling is gone, so the toe might not have to come off. I'll find out Monday.

I'm thinking of ordering dog booties from Cabela's. Anyone here use these? I would like to prevent future paw injuries. A bootie can be replaced, a paw cannot.

Please help

Keith Rogan
November 30, 2002, 09:25 PM
I'm pretty familiar with dog booties of the type used for sled dog racing. I don't think they make sense for other purposes and might even cause your dog to injure himself in a fall or something.

On sled dogs they keep ice balls from packing in between the dogs toes. On bare ground they'd just cause the dog to have poorer footing and they wouldn't prevent injury from glass or wire in any case.

November 30, 2002, 11:47 PM
I agree with Keith. We have booties for our dog so he doesnt cut his feet on ice or hard snow. hes as awkward as a drunk with them on ice. We bought some fleece booties from a local store. They are not hard to make. if you have some fleece (or whatever material you want) and some velcro strips.

December 2, 2002, 10:10 AM
with a cone around his neck to keep him from licking it.

btw, that cone is really called a elizabeth collar. best wishes for you're dog healing and recorvery.

December 2, 2002, 10:33 AM
tried the rubber type on our springer years ago, he kept running out of them. even after we used surgical tape to secure them to his leggs he would run them off. springer are tough dogs hope yours comes home soon they do not like being away from their family.

December 5, 2002, 08:12 PM
Lewis Dog Boots are the best, bar none. I have heard of them coming off, but if put on properly, there should be no problem. My dog has never lost one, and he runs big.

Hunt your dog in sand burr country without them, and you've got a 20 minute dog. 20 minutes and then he's down for the count.

Cactus country, lots of lava (chukar country) or sharp rocks, these can really do a number on a dogs feet. The dog may be OK for a day, but try to hunt him the day after. Good boots will let him hunt a long time.

Make sure you get the right size, and if your dog still has his dew claws, a little modification to the bot is in order.

Check out the following site:


December 6, 2002, 09:09 AM
I’m real sorry to hear about your dog. Is he doing ok now? Hope so.

I did have a question though, You said he had to get “stainless steel” stitches, what are those? Are they staples, or some kind of thin wire that is stitched like normal “cat-gut”? Just curious.

December 6, 2002, 01:11 PM
Taxphd, nice link but seriously how much damage is done to dog feets?

{Hunt your dog in sand burr country without them, and you've got a 20 minute dog.}

It was my understand that their paw pad where more geared for running in the fields and such and it was hard asphalt & concrete that did damage if any. I just can't get over seeing a dog being effective with booties. Also I see the cactus and sharp leaves/branches being more damaging to the dog coat and mainly around the face area. I whent on a hunt where they used small dogs to flush quail and other small game and the palmetto leaves and underbrush torn the hell out of the dog lower jaw and face area,but they ran for a good 4hours + before being wornout.

December 6, 2002, 06:09 PM
As a person who uses dog booties for my dogs, I have to agree with Keith Rogan on this one.

December 6, 2002, 09:53 PM
My dog is back home, but he is still wearing that cone on his head. The toe has been saved -- so far. He is still on antibiotics and the toe is still draining. I am soaking the foot once a day in warm water, as per instructions from the vet. I am very frustrated it isn't healed yet.

I have a machine of a field bred English springer spaniel, and he will miss a month of the bird season. Arghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh well, I have about a dozen roosters in the deep freeze waiting to meet their fate in the crock pot.

The vet said recent bacterial infections he has treated have been resistant to most drugs. He said 30 years ago, one good shot of penicillin would have taken care of it. That is no longer the case because of over-use of anti-biotics in kids and others with the sniffles.


The stainless steel stitches are fine wire used to close the wound. Dogs are less apt to pull them out. They are not staples.

December 8, 2002, 10:43 AM
:) glad to hear your pup is back home, he will be much happier with his family. i am sure he is just as ready (maybe not physicaly)
to get back to hunting, hopr he continues to get better.

December 8, 2002, 01:36 PM
We didn't have sand burrs in Georgia, probably don't have them in Florida, either.

Picture a ball about 1/8 to 1/4" in diameter. Then, protruding out from the ball, 1/4" spikes in all directions. These will sink in through the dogs pads, get between the toes, and basically cover a dogs foot. If the dog continues to run after getting into sand burrs, the balls will eventually break off, leaving the spikes in the foot.

I regularly condition my dogs feet with Tuff Foot, and he has no trouble on rough rocky ground. I just hunted chukars with him for two days in Nevada, on very sharp rocky terrain. I didn't boot him, and he was fine.

On cactus, it isn't as much of a problem if the cactus is tall. The the dog will brush against it, and to a certain point, learn to avoid it. This will, as mentioned, tear up a dogs belly and legs. We have a low flat cactus here with very stiff spines about 1 to 1.5" long. Dogs will routinely step on these, and the spines can really play hell with their feet. I've removed spines that have penetrateed the web between my dogs toes, and broken off. Once, three days after a hunt, I felt something on his foot, and with tweezers removed a 1" cactus spine that had been buried in top of his foot. He hadn't been booted that day.

My dog gets booted anytime we are in sand burr country, and usually if there is cactus. Never any injury. The closest was the first time he wore boots, Max was running and tried to make a sharp turn, lost his footing and rolled a couple of times. After an astonished look, he was back up and going strong. It's never happened againg, and I have not noticed any performance difference, with or without the boots.

There are a lot of areas of the country where you wouldn't need them, but come out to the plains, and they become pretty important, IMO.