What’s the first thing I tried after my dog Victor had cruciate ligament surgery?
Toe grips. Little rubber pieces that slip over his toe nails (with a bit of effort and some baby oil). (Learn more about cruciate ligament injuries or ACL on Fidose of Reality here).
Why? Because Dr. Julie Buzby told me to.
Actually, she suggested my aging terrier-cross might be an ideal candidate for Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips. I met her several times at BlogPaws and even had a private consult in Myrtle Beach, two years after Victor’s surgery when he was still limping on his leg. Two years after the surgery wasn’t ideal, because he toes were turning upright, which led me to try canine physiotherapy for him. (More on that next).
But immediately after his surgery proved surprisingly effective (even if I did only put them on two paws instead of four – oops).
Dogs use their toenails for traction – apparently like soccer cleats digging into soft ground. But on indoor surfaces like wood floors and tiles, no luck. Lack of grip poses additional challenges for dogs recovering from leg surgery and aging dogs struggling with mobility.
According to Dr. Buzby, “Unlike dog socks and boots, which interfere with a dog’s paw and toenails (natural gripping mechanisms), ToeGrips create a Grip Zone™ that works with your dog’s innate biomechanics. The Grip Zone™ allows the toenails to meet the floor for traction with every step…naturally.”
But putting them on correctly, is essential. The front of the nail must touch the ground but the rubber cylindrical toe grip must touch the ground at the back, providing the ‘grip.’
Follow a demonstration – don’t wing it like me. You’ll save yourself some frustration:
Who are toe grips good for? Well, dogs clearly. But dogs that can walk on rugs, carpets and grass but are more cautious on slippery floors due to injury, surgery, disability or arthritis. (Victor now falls into two of those categories).
What I loved about this product? It’s economic – a $30 package of toe grips lasts one to three months; it works and it’s not medication so we’ve eased up the pill popping.
Check out a previous mobility issue suggestion here, and stay tuned for more of the six part series….