Dewclaws. Such an unnecessary evil for a dog. In August, I noticed Harley limping. At 11-and-a-half, she is a bit stiff-legged at times from arthritis, but this was a more pronounced limp and she was having an extra tough time sitting down. She seemed very uncomfortable. She was also becoming a bit snarley, especially when I was touching her paw, which is something that never typically bothers her. Upon further checking, I noticed an odd lump around her dewclaw on her right leg, thinking it was possibly a pulled dewclaw, maybe a splinter, thistle, or even a bee sting, she became extremely agitated when I touched it.
Off to the vet we went.
Harley's paw was shaved and it uncovered a very large inflamed area surrounding the dewclaw and beyond, as you can see in the below photo. It was infected. No wonder she was snarley! I would be, too! We surmised that it became infected after a round of "Get the Groundhog" with the other FiveSibes, digging in the dirt, chasing it across the yard, including running down a wooden ramp, over some twigs and rock, and cornering it under the ramp. Harley was placed on antibiotic for two weeks. After a few days, it had greatly improved.
Fast forward a couple weeks...
I woke up in the middle of the night to sounds of licking. Flicking on the lamp, my heart stopped when I saw Harley's face covered in blood. I honestly can not remember my feet ever hitting the ground as I jumped out of bed and went to her. How in the world could she be injured? We were all sleeping. The other Sibes were snoozing (until the light went on). I washed her face off, and thankfully, nothing there. Then I noticed her paw. The lump by the dewclaw was back...and bleeding.
Back to the vet we went. An X-ray has shown it is a tumor, it is infected, and it appears to be eating into the bone. Yes, my heart dropped with a heavy thud.
Harley has once again been placed on antibiotics and is schedule for surgery for immediate removal of tumor and digit Monday morning. My vet has assured me this does not necessarily mean what I am fearing, and that the removal of the dewclaw and tumor is a fairly straight-forward surgery. I pray our girl does well in surgery, that there is nothing else underneath, and that the pathology report all comes back clean.
If you could join us in a #pawcircle of prayer and healing for our girl, it would be greatly appreciated! I will post an update after her surgery.
And please, be sure to check out those paws and dewclaws.
*Post-Surgery Update HERE*