Acute becoming long-term interstitial inflamation of soft tissue of toe and nail in dog

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    [b][/b]Hello I am new to all this, so please be patient. My 12+ yrs. old Chihuahua has somehow achieved an injury to the outer toe of her right foot, at first it was merely swollen and looked inflamed, but later it appeared that by chewing the toe-pad had become infected or may have occurred by laceration or toenail being caught on something but regardless her toe and the associated nail and soft tissue became very painful and swollen, and enrofloxacin *(beytril) was recommended and given though I now feel that Amoxicillin may have been a better choice as the beytril has been largely ineffective after more than 10 days at 11 mg. BID, and a trained nurse has told me that floxacin based antibiotics are usually given for bone involvements and that it works by interfering with DNA replication of the organism (I thought that could also interfere with healing), so that Amoxicillin though having shown some resistance in some organisms might be better for this “Soft Tissue” infection since it only interferes with Protein Synthesis? The Nurse agrees that this should be tried before the next recommended step of amputation is utilized, what do you say and think, the tissue is into interstitial inflamation at this point but I am soaking and gently massaging to try and keep good blood flow, as swelling in soft tissues appears to hinder blood flow to areas like this at times….what is your thought on this problem? Please, advise soon, if possible, as she is in some pain constantly….though probably not as severe as a human would be, I realize, but this is going on 3 1/2 weeks and I am sure it is certainly tender enough as evinced by her cries at the slightest touch of the area….Please respond as I don’t know what to do and don’t want my baby to lose her toe…thank you so much in advance for a rapid response……signed Charlie.
    p.s.- sorry for such a lengthly post…

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Thanks for posting Charlie. No apologies necessary. You posted like an “old pro”.

    There’s a lot that you can do before amputation. Was this a known injury? What is she eating and what is her life like on a day to day basis? For example, how much exercise and outdoor exposure does she get?

    Does she have any other prior or current problems?

    Have you spoken with a surgical specialist or veterinary homeopath?

    Dr. Jeff


    She lives like the queen of the world on what little I can provide for her, as far as outdoor activities she gets very little but on a very regular basis cause we live in a Downtown apt. building for the disabled and disadvantaged (we get little money as I am disabled with HIV/AIDS which I have had for more than 20 yrs.)But she goes outside every 3 to 4 hours for at least 20 to 30 min. for defecation/urination reasons and walks on warm days in winter (she suns on my 8th floor balcony) and goes on extended walks more frequently in summer (before this happened. I don’t know how this happened she and I visit friends in the country for 3 or 4 days every 2 to 3 weeks and she dearly loves to go, there are 2 other dogs there which she has been around most of her or their lives respectively, one other chihuahua is like her little brother or even her baby he is only three and she’s known and played and cuddeled him since birth, the other a tricolor beagle who loves her dearly she has bonded with for more than 8 yrs. and they are like best friends or siblings *(sometimes like all sibs they fuss at one another and yet they are best friends 2 to 5 min. later) She is fed “DRY” Ole Roy “Crunchy Bites and Bones – complete balanced nutrition with 21% protein, 9% crude fat, Fiber 4.5% max, Moisture 12% max, Calcium min. 1.1%, Phosphorus Min. 9%, Zinc min. 180 mg./kg., Vitamin A min. 10,000 I.U./kg.,Vitamin E min. 100 I.U./kg., Omega 6 fatty acids 1.19% This brand used to list things like Boron, Molybdenum, copper, etc. but for some reason they have stopped (I just noticed) printing this information on the bags. She is much loved by 3 grown Men who all try and care for her (myself and my 2 best friends-who own the other dogs) I am on a limited income and can not afford much (less than 800 dollars per month for all living expenses) but from what I have I buy and give her everything she needs even before my own needs excepting that I must pay all living expenses first or we would have no where to live, she is the most important thing in the world to me, as she is my only companion and I am very frustrated by all this and have not slept very well in the past month due to the constant worry (and some are telling me “over-care”) cause I can’t help but blame myself for not being more financially able to provide for her. In Summer she and I go for long sunny walks in town on the sidewalks, unless they are too hot and then I carry her so that she won’t be uncomfortable on her footpads. I don’t think that there is a Holistic Vet in the Chattanooga Area, and if there were it would probably be more than I can afford, as I am drastically in debt to credit cards for moving expenses etc. and have had to put those on a payment program to survive as my rent controlled building will not allow anyone with poor credit to reside there…..all that being said, I have taken her to a Traditional Vet, who is working with me payment wise but doesn’t seem to understand that my income can’t support every-week visits @ 30.00 each and prescriptions and exam costs of 20.00 each and all this comes from the meager 60.00 a month that is sometimes available (if I have enough food for us both after foodstamps)after all expenses are paid and my food and Trixie’s (my chihuahua)food costs are met. I don’t want to tell him (The Vet) cause he says that he’s already working with me on costs, and he is the only Vet anywhere in Chattanooga or near there that I can get who would see her and take payments at all, so I can’t afford to lose him, however, I have several friends who are somewhat medically trained and have said that maybe a more Universally Targeting Antibiotic like Amoxicillin would have been a more broad-spectrum and effective treatment for her foot infection, it is (according to a nurse friend) more like a generalized “Cellulitis” at this point and while the nail is involved it is mostly cause it’s in the soft tissue surrounding the nail and due to the infection in her footpad she has tried to chew quite a bit of that tissue off (it’s the extreme right-hand exterior toe of her right rear foot, odd but no other toes have been or are being effected) and I am keeping it as clean as I can and bandaged with Neosporin Ointment and a friend helped me with a sterile ‘Potato Poltice’ which we used to try and ‘draw’ out any inflamation that we could slowly overnight, but it is ‘interstitially inflamed’ and so we did not get much exudate from the attempt, and it goes, therefor, without saying that the swelling in the toe abated very little, but I guess every little bit could help, at least I hope so….the nurse friend has access to a small amount of Amoxicillin left from a human prescription which was 500 mg. capsules and he says that at her weight of 9 lbs. he thinks she should get around 11 mg. per pound or about 99mg. BID, but we need advice on this as he treats people not pets, and therefor is only guessing…..this is all I can tell you, I am not a very fast typist and I have to have help with what to say or ask about all this to you….PLEASE PLEASE help me if you can, some advice would be wonderful and whatever happens help me to save my baby’s toe….thanks again for replying to my post, I am quite desperate …thank you again…signed Charlie.

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Thanks again for writing Charlie.

    My approach to problems like this is both internal and local. Potato poultices are a great idea as are warm epsom salt soaks combined with gentle massage of her toe. This will help any cellulitis and increase local blood flow and healing.

    I’d personally also use the homeopathic medicine hypericum. For a small dog, I’d add 1 pellet (usually a blue tube of pellets carried by most human health food stores) into 1 cup of bottle/filtered water. From this cup 1 dose of 1cc (~1/4 tsp) is given.

    If my patients have not responded in 24-48 hours or if they improve then worsen, give the bottom of the original cup of solution 10 whacks against the counter or a soft book. This activates and potentiate the medicine. Redose 1cc once daily [b]until there is a change and then stop dosing.[/b]

    Homeopathic medicines can be very powerful and help the body heal itself. As nature intended.

    I’d also strongly advise upgrading her diet to a canned dog food as these are both better for her and contain more of the meat that she needs to heal.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Jeff


    Thanks so much for replying once again and if I had thought that the first post was long, the second made the first look like a mere comment. However, I was attempting to give a more in depth look at the whole of her treatment and environment.
    I still don’t know how much Amoxicilllin to administer to her at 9 pounds of body weight, but thank you so much for the advice concerning the “St. John’s Wort” which is what I believe Hypericum is. I was aware that Hypericum was a reasonably effective Anti-depressant or has anti-depressant effects, but I was amazed to learn of its’ anti-viral/anti-bacterial and healing acceleration benefits, Wow! what a great suggestion!
    You’ll never know how much I appreciate you as there are no words to describe the relief one receives just to know that what they are doing and have done is ‘good’, but to get such Renowned Expert Advice just by merely asking shows your Humanity and great Compassion as a Professional of your caliber and quality. I am certain to advise any and all of my friends, family, and even acquaintances to use your services if at all possible, thankfully most of them are far more financially solvent than I am…..and again I apologize in the extreme for my embarrassing lack of money…But let ms say, that I could not have received more compassionate and prompt attention to my request than if I had paid the premium price for such advice and service to my pet’s needs……I cannot say enough to make you understand the depth of my gratitude….and Trixie thanks you too….signed Charlie.

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Charlie and Trixie-

    Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate them.

    I hope she gets well soon!

    Dr. Jeff

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