A couple of days ago, Udo began showing some discomfort when he’d get up. He’d limp for the first few steps on one of his legs, but after moving around for a minute, he’d be okay. He’d run around the house at full tilt, shaking toys with abandon. But each day, it got a little worse. We wondered if his joints were starting to bug him, since he’s getting relatively old now. Rotties often start to experience joint problems by 5 or 6 years old.
We checked his feet and his joints and nothing seemed amiss. Mr. Bear is a real priss about his feet. It’s always a challenge to get a good detailed exam. We expected to find a burr or foxtail, but nothing. Just smooth black pads.
Another day went by and he was hopping on it more. There was clearly something bugging him about THAT foot, not the joints. We got him inverted and Mom held him down while I threw a leg over him and dug in. After a few minutes, I felt a tiny rough nub on his pad. A poke with a tweezer brought a grunt from the dog. A hard tug rewarded me with a quarter inch of black thorn, exactly the same color as his pad. It had gone in a soft part of his pad where we couldn’t see it, and it was only with the tip of a fingernail that I barely felt it.
Mr. Bear frantically loved us up and seemed to feel better, then went to bed and punished me for my betrayal by wiggling his hairy self all over my side.
He got to stay for a while, since he’s a poor, poor injured baby who almost didn’t survive his horrible encounter with a nasty, evil thorn the size of Mars. He also got four treats. And ice cream.
We’ll update as he (hopefully) heals up and gets back to normal. If he doesn’t, it’s off to the vet for some better eyes and skills to figure out what his issue is!