Recently Katie has had a hard time walking. Indoors her back legs will slip and sometimes she will collapse. Outdoors we went for a walk and her back right foot would drag a little, causing a scrape on the top of her foot. I don’t think she is in pain since the damage seems to be neurological, but falling down and getting scrapes can’t be good either. I do think the exercise helps. I had some of that tacky stuff that goes underneath area rugs to keep them from slipping so I put some of that underneath towels and comforters so she could get some good footing in places. But I couldn’t do the whole house. The comforter in the living room has become almost like a pen that she doesn’t want to leave. When I come home she stands up and stands at the edge, waiting for me to come pet her.
So I looked into getting some shoes. I had forgotten about Grant getting shoes for Isaac, but the vet recommended a couple of places and I ended up buying some of their heavier duty indoor/outdoor summer shoes from NeoPaws. The winter shoes are made for dogs walking in snow or extreme cold, which we don’t worry about too much. The shoes have a rubber bottom and toe on them like sneakers. Then they have a velcro closure and a long velcro strap that you wrap around the ankle for support. David helped me get the correct size by tracing Katie’s foot on a piece of paper. I ordered the shoes last weekend and they arrived on Friday. They aren’t that easy to get on correctly, mostly because dogs don’t have a heel that fits nicely inside a shoe. There is a video on the NeoPaws website where the shoes came from that was helpful. It works better if the dog is standing up, but it is easier to put the shoes on Katie while she is lying down since she won’t try to walk off.
She wasn’t crazy about the shoes, but it has been interesting. They are very grippy so they work great in the house and Katie definitely has more confidence while wearing them. However, they are also bigger than just her feet and tend to get caught on the comforter so sometimes they seem to trip her up a bit. She still collapses sometimes just because her legs don’t always do right, but it is definitely less frequent.
Outside she has better grip on the ground with her bare feet, but the shoes do protect her from scraping at least. I have started her on steroids, which may give her the strength to pick her feet up a little better, in which case maybe we can do without the shoes outside.
She doesn’t really mind the shoes. She isn’t crazy about the process of putting them on, but she does so much better walking around in the house with them on, that I think she understands how they help. And she doesn’t chew on them ever, so I can leave her in the shoes for a long time, though I won’t leave her alone with them on and I do try to leave them off if I know she has settled down and will just sleep for a while. Dogs sleep with their chins on their feet, so I don’t think it would be as comfortable to put her chin on sneakers, though the sneakers do probably keep her feet a little warmer than otherwise.