Before my whole neck thing, I used to be a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP), obviously now that is no bueno for my neck. I worked with a lot of dogs who had trouble with traction on slippery floors. The owners and I were always so sad to see them slip and fall.
Shoes were very troublesome since they'd slip off or twist around. There are some shoes that look like heavy duty balloons, they work, but you can't leave those on all the time or they will make the skin slough off, and you don't want your dog to eat them. They also don't feel natural to your dog. From my observations of many of these dogs, they feel some shame and a sense indignation wearing these and other shoes.
I heard about Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips from the CCRP group. I went to the website, checked it out, and decided to order some for Fuji. There's a video on how to get the size for your dog. It's not based on weight or breed, but on the circumference of the toenails. Fuji was 23mm, which was in between a large and extra large. I emailed Dr. Buzby to ask which size we should get. She told me that she would send a free pair of Large with my order of X-Large so that I could try them out. Nice!
I got them in the mail, and went to try them on Fuji. He hates to get his toenails clipped. Recently we discovered that he doesn't care what we do to him as long as he is eating peanut butter. You may remember that he is the peanut butter eating champion of San Antonio.
|Peanut Butter Eating Contest Grand Champion Winner in Action|
After 3 plates (~3 T) of peanut butter, they were all on. He was hesitant at first on the tile floor. But after a couple of days, he realized it was ok. We removed the carpet squares. He is soooo much happier! I figured they may help with the slipping, but I didn't realize how much his lack of confidence was affecting him emotionally.
He smiles a lot more now :). He gets up when the other dogs get up and run around now. He's no longer hesitant on the tile. He even gets up better on the carpeted floors. He actually plays with the other dogs now, sometimes. He's still an old man, but he is just all around happier. I think his muscle tone will improve greatly now that he is actually getting up and down more often and running around.
He did lose a couple of the purple ones. I got the green ones to fit. I think I had just had more practice after doing all the purple ones on how to get them to fit. So you can see he has multicolored toes. Fuji really didn't mind having more peanut butter. Good thing he's not as smart as the JRT, or I think he would lose them on purpose.
|Missing one which I will replace with a green toe grip|
The toe grips don't bother him, and he doesn't try to eat them or take them off. Granted he's an old and good boy. On a puppy, not sure. But they seem to be natural to him which is why I think he doesn't notice them.
He's been wearing the toe grips for about a week now. If you want to see for yourself how they really work, here's a video of Fuji playing with and being dragged around by our JRT. No hesitation or loss of traction! He does slip a little on the front left paw once, but that is also the paw where the grip fell off. He would NEVER have done this without Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips.
The only minor complaint I would have about them is they are colored by size. Fuji is a boy, and he is wearing purple toe grips. Not so much a boy color. But he doesn't seem to mind. All the sizes but XL are gender neutral colors.
Dr. Buzby gives free samples to vet clinics, so you can see for yourself how wonderful they are. Had they been available when I was working, I would have kept many sizes of them in stock. I probably had at least 5-10 patients on any given day who could have used them.
Dr. Buzby did not pay me to say they were good, or to say the other shoes were bad. It's all my own opinion.
I am ECSTATIC about Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips. I give them 5 buttons up!
Most of the purple/XL ones have fallen off. I think they were too big. The green/L ones seem to be staying on.
- If your dog is in between a size, use the smaller size.
- Do NOT cut the toenails before putting on the toe grips. The point on the nail makes it much easier to slide the toe grip on. Then you can cut the nails.
- Use rubbing alcohol instead of included lubricant - they stay on much longer that way.
- Fuji recommends giving your dog lots of peanut butter during application.
Update 2:Dr. Buzby wants me to try out superglue to hold the toe grips on. I told her that I think Fuji's fall off because he's doing so much better and is much more active. I think the superglue will work, though. I'll keep you posted!
Fuji has passed away (see blog post). I let Dr. Buzby know since she was always eager to know how the toe grips were helping Fuji.
Thanks so much for thinking to let me know. I am so very sorry. I often reflect on your testimonial with joy because you said that with ToeGrips Fuji "smiled" more. I know it to be true. I've seen it myself. But it blessed me to read the way you expressed it.
Also, there was a discussion a few months back on the handicappedpets.com boards and someone tried to "bash" ToeGrips. Another person in the post said that they'd searched the internet and found your testimonial and you had previously done the therapy for their dog and they trusted your opinion implicitly. I wanted to cheer!
So I owe you and Fuji much for what you did for ToeGrips early on in our company history. I hope it will bring you some cheer to know that ToeGrips are now being talked about by speakers at major vet conferences, recommended by several vet schools, and were recently written up in Clinician's Brief veterinary journal.
Please accept my deepest sympathies in your tragic loss. Fuji will always be a part of our story.