Nick’s new shoes arrived Friday afternoon. I unboxed them and fitted them. I was pleased to find that my measurements were good and that they fit nicely. Nick let me put them on and has been up and about some while wearing them. This article covers the initial boot use experience and some issues we discovered. It has grown over several days.
The new boot is on the left. The two are quite different. The new has Vibram soles and the instep is pleated to allow for a snugger fit. The new is also much narrower resulting in a boot that keeps its instep up rather than allowing it to rotate under foot.
Nick is having some difficulty with his gait, especially having difficulty with the right rear leg. This may well be a result of fatigue as Nick felt he should supervise soup making on Thursday and was on his feet for most of an hour. He’ll need a day or two to recover.
After supper, I removed the boots from Nick’s back legs. On trying to loosen the straps, I found them too tight. At bedtime, I reinstalled the back shoes more loosely. I suspect the tight strapping was interfering with Nick’s ability to sense what his feet were doing. But Nick’s unshod right rear leg was moving like on ice skates, it was sliding out on the tile and hardwood flooring.
Nick developed friction blisters on his hind feet, largely as a result of walking difficulties sliding the boots around on his feet. I removed his boots, gave a quick wash with wound wash, and applied gentamicin. Once the irritation stopped, the tenderness cleared quickly. Ironically, annoying boots removed, Nick presented a much improved gait. hind leg skating had mostly stopped.
Other boot users have recommended removing boots over night to allow feet to air and to prevent blister formation. Or athletes foot?
RuffWear does offer knit dog socks to go between dog and boot. Knowing I prefer socks, it may be a good idea to use socks under boots. Those would reduce friction.
They’re a Keeper
I’ve decided to keep Nick’s boots should he need them in the future. They are also useful to protect dog feet from tarmac in car parks during the Virginia summer. They are also useful to protect feet from snow melt salts when we have one of our occasional snows.