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"ER" Fergus..


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Spring has come,  along with the foxtail, thorns and Spring Fever.

Fergus RR paw developed a cyst in betweenn 3, 4, so off to the Vet.

She found a small thorn that had slid into the soft flesh in his paw.

(Dollar amount omitted to prevent heart attacks) and 3 hours later he was ready to come home. Aftercare included ointment, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic tablets 7 days in the cone.

I've been religious about checking his feet after every outing, but in this case , I doubt if I could have seen this little boogeyman if it had already penetrated his paw.

Fergus feet are like magnets for these things. Is this a Cairn thing? I'm trying to find a way to clean his feet out but the only way I've found is to use my fingers and a tiny brush.





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One sure  way to get Fergus riled up...attempt to put little rubber shoes on him.  (You know we tried!) 

Back when he was a whelp, he had a foxtail in one of his front paws. After surgery and a 2 week cone sentence, I got a pair of those little rubber booties. It was about as futile as you can imagine.  Not sure if it's a Cairn-Specific trait, but Fergus prefers that we keep our mitts off his paws. He tolerates my foot inspections, only because I make it a ritual after every walk.  




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Yeah putting stuff on feet can be a struggle. Elroy wears rubber booties (all four feet) for scentwork. We found Paws Jaws invaluable for getting the wee balloons onto feet.



Dundee wears them only on the back feet and we use a muzzle to get them there. I think he'd benefit from better traction with all four but at 14 Peggy won't subject him to the stress or endure the struggle.

Our guys wear size orange but some bigger Cairns wear the red. Naturally the "pliers" are different sizes, grrr. We bought both sizes of booties and pliers at first to get what we needed and then sold the size we didn't end up using to a dachshund friend. 

I would consider these virtually disposable outdoors as they would get punctured eventually and inevitably, but they would probably trap or slow down the seeds before they got too far. 

Ugh, foxtails in particular are the stuff of nightmares. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks so much for your suggestions.

Id give anything a try, ...just today I found and removed 2 more foxtails after his walk with Diana. He was uncharacteristicly cooperative with me, too as I used my fingers and a tiny whisk tool to clean his paws. This usually is a test of his no-bite training. 

I think Fergus would love participating in scentwork. One of his favorite games on rainy days is Find It.

I pick a frequently touched (by me) object, like my wallet or phone, get him to associate it with a treat he likes, then hide it somewhere in the house.

Then it's "Find Phone.".or "Find Wallet". It took time for him to be able to distinguish between these, of course. But as you know Cairns will figure it out and are enthusiastic players of games that involve rewards.

I'm going to give those paws jaws a whirl. The question is, will he just gnaw them off, or head to his "pouting fort" under the bed and pretend he doesn't know me.

I guess Portland / Northern Oregon isn't any better for foxtail infestations than Northern California.  Even during our recent drought we had a tsunami of evil seeds . I've never seen them as numerous as this year. Now after 2 very wet Winters the dampness has really encouraged the weeds. 









Edited by Moto-Rama
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Pouting fort…love it!🤣🤣

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


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