Rocky’s Poorly Paw

Kit you need to keep your hound’s teeth and wound dressings apart. A quick survey of protective greyhound footwear concludes the post.

Rocky came in from the dog garden with a limp one evening. Dismal Wizard looked for foreign objects between the pads of the limping leg and found all clear, no blood, no cuts, no sticks, stones, acorns, or pecans. So next morning when Rocky was still limping, it was time for another look. Oh, and Rocky was licking the affected foot. That needed to stop before further complications developed. So, we tried the obvious, the satellite dish E-collar. The reaction was somewhat violent! It didn’t stay on long enough for a photo. The tabs popped loose and off it came.

Time for plan B, and C, and frantic shopping, and consults with our rescue…


  1. 2023-05-13 Original


  1. MediPaws Healing Boot
  2. Birdwell Muzzles and Stool Guards
  3. James River Greyhound muzzles’
  4. Kong Inflatable E-collar
  5. Proactive Paws Greyhound Boots
  6. RuffWear boots
  7. Hunnyboots

Vet Check

Our primary care veterinarian confirmed that the toe was broken by imagery. We sent the imagery to Couto Veterinary Consultants to second check the treatment plan. Dr. Couto confirmed that the toe was too badly injured for splinting and would need amputation or repair using orthopedic hardware, likely pins. The ligaments were torn preventing splinting. Remembering family physiotherapy following a simple ligament clip to treat trigger finger syndrome, I took the amputation option believing it would offer equivalent function and less fuss for Rocky.

So my first task was to continue to keep Rocky tongue and teeth away from the poorly paw which he was licking to a right proper inflamed look. The foot became infected so it was antibiotics and move up of his surgery by a week. But he had to live with the injury for 10+ days until an elective surgery slot opened. So keeping us both sane and Rocky away from his foot became a full time task. It took several days of trial and error to achieve success.

Plan B

Lets try the kennel muzzle. So I dug out Crash’s kennel muzzle. Rocky is happy to be muzzled at night so that should work, right.

Rocky wears a blue kennel or yard muzzle commonly used when greyhounds are gathered in loosely supervised (off-lead) groups. Rocky is also wearing a hiking boot on the injured foot.
Rocky in kennel/yard muzzle and a RuffWear boot

Rocky quickly learned to operate the velcro loop and remove the RuffWear boot. With the muzzle fitted. Rocky was not keen on shoes, at least now with his foot hurting like hell.

Unmatched Sock and VetWrap

Next Dismal Wrangler tried a low sock from his extensive collection of unmatched socks that he secured in place with VetWrap applied between the wrist and hock. That worked no better.

Rocky peels the sock off, VetWrap and all. It took all of 5 seconds.

Improvised Kennel Muzzle

Then I remembered kennel muzzles could be fitted with a stool guard. But I didn’t have one. Could I fake it? Of course. We’ve got VetWrap. This worked but the VetWrap would slip off. So I added a couple of zip ties. This was adequate but not optimal. So off to the shops.

Rocky wears an improvised tooth and tongue guard

Official Stool Guard

Dogs eat poo and other found things that may or may not be wholesome. So kennel/yard muzzles can be fitted with a cup to keep teeth, tongue, and external objects apart. These slip either inside or over the basket and a zip tie secures them.

Rocky in new muzzle with stool guard

This device has proven highly effective. I have several muzzles kept over the years. Most recently, yellow and blue purchased at James River Greyhounds reunions. I ordered two stool guards, one from JRG, and a second from Birdwell via Amazon.

There are inzies and outzies. Rocky is wearing an inzy. Guard shape is specific to the muzzle so be careful to get same size and product. If you are unsure of size, order from easy returns Amazon. Confirm seller and return policy before hitting the clicker.

Kong Inflatable E-collar

We didn’t get this far, but a number of terrier types have been seen in the inflatable donut style E-collars like this one by Kong. I ordered one from Chewy (their size selection is clear on this item). Missy models it below.

Missy models the Kong E-Collar

Missy is pulling a face but she didn’t chomp me or pitch a fuss afterward. A buckle collar (Fostex Clip) secures these. You supply the collar. To inflate this puppy, I used the car tire inflater with the beach toy nozzle fitted. These are some effort to inflate by mouth.

When considering one of these, remember how bendy greyhounds are and donut size relative to the greyhound snout length. Kong gives sizing in imagery at Chewy. Size is by neck circumference. I measured using some packing twine and a Sharpie to mark, unrolled, and measured with a carpenter’s tape. It worked. Remember to fit with the split up

Keep the dressing dry

A dog’s got to do what a dog does. What goes in comes out. So they have to go out in the dew, rain, and snow without getting their dressing wet. After consultation with Trina at James River Greyhounds, we ordered a MediPaws Boot for Rocky. Chewy.Com has these. A photo shows the sizing instructions. Trina helped with sizing, “medium”, but a different brand and it worked. For a greyhound dressing, 3.5 inch width or about a 12 inch circumference works. These can be floppy. Floppy is good as it goes over the dressing easily. Greyhounds don’t take well to fussing and fiddling with legs.

Foot Protection

There are several choices. When you go where the search dogs go, you can wear RuffWear trail boots. These protect pads from sharp rocks and rubbish and are popular with search dogs working disaster rescue and recovery.

Image courtesy of RuffWear

Rocky quickly removes this style. He daintily peels the velcro open and pulls the boot off by the tip.

HunnyBoots out of Australia offerers a third alternative offering sophisticated CAD modeling design and a front zipper for easy fitting. No threading the feet through the narrow wrist opening. Because these are more conformal than the RuffWear, they may be better tolerate. Please visit their website to see images of the summer boot, winter boot, boot socks, and T-shirts. As with all dog footwear, these boots may or may not suit your hound. But they are designed to avoid road salt and protect from hot pavement. Some find they comfort corns also.

ProActive Paws offers sewn to order high top boots that come over the hock (rear leg) or knee (front) that may solve the issue of comfort. Rocky is keeping his MediPaws boot on so he may keep these on. These are taller boots than the Hunnyboot or the RuffWear boot.

By davehamby

A modern Merlin, hell bent for glory, he shot the works and nothing worked.