This dog was rescued from by Saving Grace Animal Society this weekend because of the obvious quill in his face. As I we pulled him out of the kennel we noticed on of his front legs appeared shorter than the other…
Upon further examination, we noticed he was missing part of his foot!!! He his main large paw pad but was missing a significant amount of his toes. The foot was completely healed so we assumed it was either an old injury or a congenital abnormality. We took X-rays to confirm what was going on.
You can see on the X-ray that he is missing a few bones in his right foot. He is missing all of the distal and middle phalanges AND half of the proximal phalanges of digits 2, 3, 4, 5.
ANATOMY LESSON: The little bones in dogs (and our) fingers and toes are called phalanges. The one closest to the dogs leg is called the proximal and the furthest is the distal. The declaw is similar to our thumb (or big toe) and is labelled digit 1. The most outside digit (similar to our pinky or pinky toe) is digit 5.
Based on the way the middle (mid diaphysis) of the proximal phalange appears, we can conclude that this is an old injury. Apparently, the dog was caught in a snare as a pup.
Since the dog is non painful and there does not appear to be any major issues with the foot at this point in time, we will not do anything medical or surgical to the foot.