Katie’s New Shoes

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.

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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.

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9 thoughts on “Katie’s New Shoes

  1. They come in red, but not purple. Purple would have matched her collar, but I think red would clash. They’re really not that noticeable. She clomps around in the house and then takes little tiny steps with her front legs for extra stability. We went around the block twice yesterday (she didn’t want to turn back, so we just kept going), which maybe was too much because she didn’t seem to do as well this morning.

  2. Katie has been doing great and going for walks every day. The result is she has been putting a lot of wear and tear on her shoes. The treads are pretty worn down, plus the sides have holes. The holes are my fault because the shoes would get loose and she’d end up walking on the sides and it doesn’t take long to wear a hole when she is walking on the cloth sides. So time to order a new pair of shoes!

  3. Katie has already worn a hole in the bottom of the second pair of shoes. I think she is shuffling her feet more which really scrapes up the bottoms (just the heels actually). I was looking around on the website for the shoes and saw that they sell Shoe Goo and realized that is what I needed. So I picked some up yesterday. The problem is that it takes 24-48 hours for Shoe Goo to dry and Katie takes 2 walks a day in her one pair of shoes. I put some Goo on the bottoms of both shoes last night and left a fan on them overnight and they seemed to have done okay.

    She is taking a half a steroid tablet every 3 days or so which is a pretty low dose.

  4. Katie continues to do pretty well with her shoes. We saw a dog and its owner jogging and Katie trotted for a while trying to keep up, which was pretty amazing. Mostly she plods along, but she loves going for walks and enjoys getting to decide where we go (usually we end up at the park down the street). I re-soled the second pair of shoes about 4 times with Shoe Goo which got me a couple of extra months of use out of the shoes, but now there are holes in the nylon mesh tops. The velcro on the first pair went bad, but the velcro straps worked the whole time with these. For a couple of dollars more they have a version of the shoe with leather that might last longer than the mesh alone, so we’ll give that a shot.

  5. The site owner talked me out of the leather shoes last time, so I ended up with a third pair just like the first two. They lasted longer and were re-soled with Shoe Goo several times, but the nylon mesh wore out near the base of the shoe again (always the left shoe). They were out of that particular model, so I got a slightly different model this time. It has some plastic reinforcement where the other ones would tear, so that’s good. But the rubber seems softer which seems like it will wear down faster (it’s also quieter). She seems to like them, but she was doing pretty well yesterday in general. These shoes are red. I’ll get a picture when I get a chance.

  6. The red shoes wore out pretty quickly. The softer soles weren’t that bad, but that model doesn’t have rubber over the toe and Katie stubbed her toe pretty early on, tearing a hole in the toe. This was right at a seam along the top and that slowly worked itself undone. I ordered another pair of the original kind I had used and Katie was back in step today.

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