Our labradoodle, Fozzy, is 13 years old. He has a cancerous anal tumor along with hip dysplasia, and about six months ago his legs became so weak and shaky that he couldn’t walk or even stand on our hardwood floors (which are throughout our home) without his legs sliding out from under him. We noticed also that he preferred to find the few area rugs in our house and stay on them as much as possible. Soon even his front feet were sliding on our floors.
We bought Fozzy rubber booties to give him more traction, which helped, but he had to wear them all the time, even at night, because he likes to move around the room, and he was struggling to even get up from a lying down position to move to a new spot. The booties were rubbing sores on his feet, and he lost his appetite—alarming for our voracious eater. He became pretty listless and at times seemed anxious. We cancelled our 30th anniversary trip because we just weren’t sure how much longer our sweet boy had with us. Some mornings I cried into Fozzy’s fur, thinking that this day might be his last.
I decided we needed to do something to get him out of those booties. Just before I purchased $2000 worth of rugs I Googled “Is it crazy to line your house with area rugs if your dog has hip dysplasia?” One of the top hits was for Dr Buzby’s ToeGrips.
I read over the informative site with great interest, and a healthy dose of skepticism. It was pretty hard to believe those tiny rubber noodles would really make any difference in supporting my dog’s weak, shaky legs and stop him from sliding around our floors like Bambi on ice. But the videos for sizing and putting them on the dog’s paws were so detailed and reassuring. And the price was much better than buying a house full of disposable area rugs. I decided they were worth a shot, followed the instructions for measuring Fozzy’s nails, and ended up ordering two different sizes, just to be sure.
We started by only placing them on his front feet only. My husband helped, and we were a little nervous, but we followed the detailed instructions from the video and it wasn’t too difficult to get them on his nails. (And I should add NO super glue required, like other nail caps need, yuck). When we were finished we released Fozzy and he went flying out of our arms, on to our hardwoods and splat, just like Bambi. We were disheartened and about to go help him up when slowly and tentatively we watched our sweet boy to lift himself onto all four feet all by himself. He then moved around more slowly, but was able to navigate himself all around our house without our help. A few days later we decided to give the back paws a try, and pretty much the same thing happened—at first his legs splayed out from under him, but he was able to right himself and move about on his own. No more booties, yay!!
Fast forward three months. Fozzy is taking daily walks again, his appetite has improved, he plays like a puppy, rests more soundly, and moves around our home with confidence. New life has been breathed into our sweet companion, and we are so thrilled. About every two weeks I remove all the ToeGrips and inspect them, discarding any that have worn down, trim Fozzy’s nails and replace the ToeGrips. I can do it pretty easily by myself (you can see from the photos, Fozzy is very compliant!) He is still sometimes a little more tentative on our hardwoods, and we did purchase a couple of washable rugs just to give him added stability in a few key areas of our home, but nothing close to the $2000 I had planned to spend.
A note about the sizing: we bought two sizes—I started with the medium size and they went on his nails without a problem. I contacted Dr. Buzby’s to exchange the large for a medium size, and they wrote back saying based on my dog’s breed and weight they expected the large would probably work better for him. They said they would send the medium, but encouraged me to keep the large and give them a try as well. We put the large ToeGrips on Fozzy’s back nails and they also work and stay on just as snugly as the medium size. That’s all to say, don’t stress too much about being off by a size, especially if you find your dog might be between sizes. Dr. Buzby’s will work with you to ensure you get the size that is best for your pet.
We are so grateful to Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips for helping us to improve Fozzy’s quality of life in the time he has left with us. Thank you Dr. Buzby!