trench foot

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trench foot

Postby renoduckman » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Two seasons ago my Lab got the infection, trench foot at Still Water. It cleared up fast with the meds the vet gave us. But other than the warning on the website, or the sign at Mason, i have not been able to find any real info about it. So have a lot of your dogs had this problem? Any way to help prevent it? I was a bit bummed out. Friday i was walking my dog in town and she got a pad full of goat heads. Her pad was actually bleeding from some and i decided i better be safe and leave her home today. Hunting with out the dog is not fun! Joe
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Re: trench foot

Postby Indy Dog » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:36 pm

My dog got it BAD last year at Stillwater. Cost me $500. and 30 days without the dog to hunt with. The broken tule's below the water level get infected by the minerals in the water, (stagnate) the dog steps on the sharp edge and cuts it's paw, allowing the infection to enter, plus all the mud whick also infects the cut resulting in a BAD infection and extreamly painful to the dog. My Vet had to cut into the paw and drain the mud and infection. (surgery and overnite stay) Some people use dog boots but my dog can't stand to wear them. Try to keep the dog out of tules, as much as possible. Hard to do. If the dog starts limping, get him to a Vet.
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Re: trench foot

Postby renoduckman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:08 pm

Interesting. Id assumed my dog had a small cut before a hunt and then the water got in? Never thought about cutting on the tules and the mud haveing the bacteria. I have used dog boots before for upland hunting. Seems like it be hard for a dog to swim with them.
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Re: trench foot

Postby STEVE IN SOCAL » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:37 am

I fish tule swamps in the early fall, wading in shorts and creek shoes. As soon as I get home I shower and scrub my scratched up legs, then I apply neosporin to the scratches. Learned this the hard way...first time my legs turned red as beets and got real infected. Since the wash/neosporin routine I haven't had a problem.
Sorry no dog case study, but my gsp is too skinny/thin coated to hunt ducks....so I go dogless.
If I did use a dog, I'd get a tub of warm water with betodine, a soft brush, and scrub each foot. Then smear on an antibiotic cream all over each foot, working it in good.
It made a difference with my legs..should help the dogs as well....just a thought.
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Re: trench foot

Postby renoduckman » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Interesting thought. But i guess it is not as common as i first thought. Figured id get more people posting up that there dog got it once. Joe
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Re: trench foot

Postby Old Duck Getter » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:51 pm

Never had the problem so I can't give advice on cure or treatment, but. I live on Lahontan and start working my dog in July to get her in shape not so much for her body, but for lungs and feet. I run her short distances on the gravel roads to start and lengthen the runs ( up to 5 miles per day - 5 to10 MPH ) as her feet toughen up. I also put bacon grease on her pads when we get home. A dogs saliva had a healing effect to it. By putting the grease on the pads she licks them until it is gone. It not only toughen the pads but speeds the healing of minor cuts. I've ran big game hounds for 40 plus years and used this method to speed healing of torn or cut pads. You can also get a spray at most good pet stores called "Pad Tough" and it really works.

When you get back to your hunting rig wash your dogs feet with clean water and inspect them closely for cut and abrasions and treat them right then. Do this ever if he or she isn't limping. If you find a open wound clean it and get your dog to the vet. It is a lot cheaper then than going after a full blown infection.

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Re: trench foot

Postby amink » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:18 pm

Got this email from Susan at Stillwater:

Greetings to the Stillwater Refuge Hunt list: I wanted to let you all know that this past weekend, waterfowl opener, we have had at least 3 reported cases of dogs becoming infected with a bacteria found at Stillwater Refuge and Carson Lake/Greenhead Club. All 3 are being treated by vets and are expected to make full recoveries. The bacteria (more than 1 kind) which cause this infection occur naturally in marshes, and not just in the Lahontan Valley. They are:

Primary = Aeromonas sp. and to a lesser extent Klebsiella.

These are anaerobic (don't need oxygen to survive, hence thriving in marsh conditions) bacteria, which enters the dogs system via the paw pads, through minute cracks. The bacteria can be 'injected' into the pads as dogs work the shallow, calm, warm water areas with tules/rushes that have been cut or chewed on, leaving exposed sharp ends that act like hypodermic needles. It is most common in areas where water has been present over the hot summer months, and not areas where new water is flowing. Most commonly occurs in the early, warm Fall hunt season. The bacteria become dormant with colder weather and water.

Symptoms include a rapid onset of swelling in the foot and leg to the elbow, fever, chills, extreme discomfort and excessive paw licking. Often, the swelling is so fast and severe the dog can not stand or walk from the field. This can happen within a couple hours after 'injection'. A small 'bubble' of infection will appear between the toes, which can eventually rupture and relieve the pain of swelling. We recommend you call your vet or contact one locally if you're from out of the area (vets in Fallon are familiar with this condition) to get your four legged friend the care he needs quickly.

Prognosis: several NV veterinarians have come to the conclusion that while frightening and painful for dogs (...and owners!), the infection most often will resolve itself if left to run its course. This can take 1 - 2 days; when the puss bubble pops, there is almost instant relief. Swelling and temps go down quickly. However, when the bubble pops, an open wound is left and if not covered or treated, it can become infected. Different antibiotics have been tried at early symptom onset and even as a prophylaxis treatment prior to exposure in the marsh, but they don't seem to prevent infection or offer relief any sooner than when left to run its course. If your dog is older, weak, has open foot wounds or pad cracks, has a compromised immune system, is sick or under vet care, give your buddy a break at home until they are healthy enough to enjoy the hunt with you.

It appears that once dogs recover, they have more resistance to subsequent cases. BUT, no scientific or medical studies have been done to support this theory.

Bottom line is if you take your dog to the marsh this season, keep a close eye on them for signs of infection and notify your vet as soon as possible.

Take care of your dogs and yourselves out there, and have a good, safe waterfowl season!


Susan Sawyer, Visitor Services Manager
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex
1000 Auction Road
Fallon, Nevada 89406
(775)423-5128
http://stillwater.fws.gov
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Re: trench foot AKA Marsh foot

Postby GaryBHunting » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:25 pm

Do NOT let it take it's natural course. It's a really bad infection which includes Strep, E-Coli and other nasty bacteria. Search "Marsh foot" on this forum and get some more information. I wrote what my vet said and it has the antibiotics that should be used. I recommend using booties until the snow flies and the bacteria becomes dormant. If you have any questions I recommend calling Lahaton Vet and ask for Dr Cooper. He'll give you the low down. Don't take this infection for granted. Your four legged friend will thank you.

BTW My dog has had it twice and the second time was worse so I don't believe there is an immunity if they get it.
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