Help with an infected toe?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Go Buckeyes!
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '08 1:03pm PST 
Hi everyone, I need a little guidance. When I found Shinji, he had a broken toe (among other injuries). When he was about 6 months old, the toenail on this toe started growing out the side of the toe instead of the front like normal - it just kind of made its own hole.

I've asked multiple vets about it, and they've all told me that as long as it isn't painful for him or infected, it's fine. However, if it becomes a problem, the only solution is to amputate the toe just below the pad because the nail is attached to the bone. It would basically be the same kind of thing as declawing a cat.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, the toe became very inflamed and infected and Shinji has been licking it non-stop to the point where it's red and raw. The vet gave me Clavamox and Deramaxx (an anti-inflammatory) to treat it, but after 10 days, I haven't seen much improvement other than the swelling has gone down slightly.

At this point, I am strongly considering the amputation, because the toe really seems to be bothering Shinji. However, the surgery will cost about $800. It will take my fiance and I about a month to save this amount, so in the mean time, I'm not sure what to do. I don't really want to pay the vet $100 every other week for medication that barely does anything, but I'm not sure what to do to treat the paw until I can afford the surgery. I feel terrible watching him lick it non-stop.

As of right now, I've just been keeping it clean with hydrogen peroxide and discouraging the licking when I see it. Shinji also has a magical skill that allows him to lick himself no matter how big of an e-collar he wears, so that's not really an option for me. I'm not sure what else to do. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The Wee- Beasties

The Wee 3 are- now the Wee 7!!!
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '08 5:02pm PST 
Would the vet allow you to do some sort of payment plan so that you could go ahead and have the surgery now? Some vets do this, some don't. Some vets have a credit-card sort of thing for this...I think it's called Care Credit? thinking There have been other posts that list several different resources to help with paying vet bills. If I can find one of the posts, I'll p-mail you...

Have you tried bandaging it? Peaches had a toenail break that went into the quick. The vet wrapped her in two differet kinds of bandage tape for about 1/3 of the way up her leg. We left it on for a week then changed it out for a second week. It kept it clean and protected while the nail grew out.

Go Buckeyes!
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '08 1:02pm PST 
Unfortunately, my vet will not allow a payment plan. They said they might consider it if this were a "life or death" surgery, but it's not.

I have tried bandaging and covering it just about every way I can think of, and he always chews it off as soon as he's left alone.

Lenny Our- little- kitkat Angel-

Rub my Belly and- I am YOURS for- LIFE
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '08 2:57pm PST 
I had one of my toes infected and the vet told mom to soak it in salt water 2-3 times a day and to squeeze it gently to get the infection out....and then rinse to get the salt off my paw and to pat dry...mom did this for 10 days plus I was on meds and it cleared up...no problems sincesmile