Monday, February 13, 2017

This Little Piggy Went to . . .

If you follow us on Instagram, then you know we've had a rough time with toes lately.

On Tuesday, we had a warm rainy day that melted all of our snow and made my yard look like it had a moat around the edges. This is nothing I've worried about before because Barley avoids puddles like the plague. She hates to be out in the rain and I have no worries about her wading through muddy puddles.

Rye, though, might be part pig. The muddier she gets, the happier she is. We'd hadn't walked in several days because my neighborhood is one big sheet of ice when it's snowy and I don't trust Rye enough to walk on ice with her (unless I can find a bubble suit and a helmet somewhere). Shortly after getting home from work, I let her outside, thinking she'd come in when Barley came back in. She was wound up and got the zoomies almost as soon as her paws touched the grass. Barley wants nothing to do with Rye when Rye has the zoomies, and she took care of business and trotted right back over to the door.

Rye stayed outside. And she ran and she ran and she ran. Through the mud puddles, under the house, behind the shed. I tried to call her in a few times and she just ran faster. At that point, she was already soaking wet, so I just watched her run until she slowed down.

When she came back in, I tried to towel her off before she got mud everywhere, but that set her off with the zoomies again (note to self: shut the gate to contain her in the kitchen when she needs toweling off). During my attempts to toss the towel over her as she ran by, I noticed a few bright read spots on the towel. At first, I didn't think much of it--it was an old towel that was retired to being a dog towel ages ago, so the likelihood of having some discoloration was high. But then I noticed little red splotches on the carpet.

My toe might hurt, but that won't stop me from climbing onto the arm of the couch.

Once I finally got Rye wrangled, I realized her toe was bleeding. I quickly realized that she isn't Barley who lets me do anything I need to to her. When I tried to clean her paw up so I could get a better look, she growled at me. I was able to get her to hold still long enough to put a little pressure on it to get the bleeding to stop, but getting a look at it and cleaning her up was a long, drawn out adventure.

After a few more days of rest and regular applications of salve on her toe, and she's fine now. My carpets got an impromptu mid-week deep cleaning, but I'm still finding little spots that need cleaning. My best guess is that all of the rain and puddles made some of the glass that I keep finding where the dirt was turned over when the holes for the fence posts were dug made more glass surface (I think my house may be on top of a mason jar burial ground--where is this glass coming from?!) and she must have cut her toe on something in the puddles.

Is this the culprit?

As if that weren't enough for my poor floors, on Saturday I let the girls outside and went to wash Soth's bowl and make my coffee. Before I could do any of that, I heard the dino dogs next door grumbling at the fence, so I called the girls in. Barley came right in at the mention of breakfast, but Rye wants to play with the dino dogs and she doesn't want to come in when they're out, and I'm pretty sure she could hop the fence to visit them if she really wanted to, so I had to go wrangle her.

Once everyone was inside, I noticed blood on the kitchen floor. (Side note: In college, my roommate and I would watch ER and she would have to tell me when it was safe to look at the tv because I couldn't watch tv blood--my pets have changed me.) My first thought was that Rye had reopened her cut, but then I saw Barley sitting in the corner holding her paw up. One of her nails was hanging on at a right angle. She let me put a little pressure on it to get the bleeding stopped, but she cried and it looked awful. Our vet was set to open in 30 minutes and we have about a 20 minute drive to the office, so I figured our best bet was to just get dressed, hop in the car, and be there when they opened.

Even wen she's in pain, she's still smiling and trying to make friends with everyone in the lobby. 

The nail was not salvageable, so they had to numb her toe and cut the whole nail off. She came home with a bandage that matches her leash, some antibiotics and pain meds, and instructions to try to keep her foot wrapped up until Monday.

A rainy Sunday made the enforced rest a little easier, but Rye has made it her personal mission to try to help Barley get the bandage off early and took a nip at it every time she walked by her sister. She's ready to have a friend to play with again.

Keep your fingers crossed that my girls and their toes can all survive the rest of this short month that feels especially long already!


  1. We've had a toenail break of here before. It took about a month before Koira could do anything active without the nub of the regrowing nail starting to bleed again, and even then, we wrapped the foot for another month or so whenever we did anything to try to protect it more.
    Foot bleeding happens often enough here, though. Doing flyball, the dogs dig in hard enough stopping that they can burn their pads. We use vet wrap to protect feet, and luckily foot pads tend to heal very quickly.

    Hope your foot luck changes, and that everyone heals quickly.

    1. Thank you! Rye's toe was all better in no time, but Barley's definitely going to need some time to heal. I've ordered some new boots for her, so I'm hoping that they can protect her foot enough that she can get back to walks and agility class.

  2. They say, when it rains, it pours. Hopefully the dog injuries are over with now. Keeping a paw bandaged in such messy is no easy task either. At least you are alright. My mom with the broken ankle is really a pain for us all!

    1. I think I might have cursed myself--I came down with the cold that's been going around my campus towards the middle of the week, so poor Rye is feeling extra neglected since Barley and I have both been resting! I hope your mom is able to get back to doing all of the things you all love soon!

  3. Ouch, poor girls! Can't say I've ever dealt with a torn nail (and I hope to god I never do - that would totally unravel the thousands of hours Nola has into counterconditioning to nail handling), but my yard is fill with glass for some reason. Even after almost 5 years of living here, glass still pops up at random, especially after it rains. It's not fun!

    1. Thankfully, Barley has no problems with me messing with her other feet, so I'm hopeful she'll be ok with having her nails done next time. Rye, on the other hand, has never liked me touching her feet, so we've been doing all kinds of work to get her used to it (and it's taking forever, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to traumatize her by having the vet trim her nails soon). I'm sorry you have a glass-filled yard, too! Thankfully, mine is just right by the fence posts and in the summer, it's easy to find the pieces while I'm mowing the lawn, but I guess I'll have to start doing more searches during the winter, too!

  4. Gosh, you have been having a rough time of it lately! Nail injuries are my biggest fear for Luke. He won't let me trim his nails, he won't let me touch his paws, so I'm not sure how we'd handle it if we had to deal with something like this!
    I hope Barley is doing better by now, and you go injury free for a long while!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Barley's doing a little better--but I didn't realize just how bad things were until I got her bandages off. I think this is going to take a long time to heal :( Rye doesn't like me to handle her paws, either--we're working on it, but her nails are much longer than I'd like them to be, so I think she might have to go get them trimmed at the vet soon.

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