gatorchick wrote:Thanks Tress! We always check her feet at the top and at the bottom and she has never had any cut paws (nor has she limped). After Yale she had a small scrape where her dew claw rubbed on her foot because of the booties ...
I've just heard horror stories about dogs' feet getting sliced open on the rocks and I'm paranoid.
Not Horror Stories- It can and does happen, though I'm pretty sure it depends on the type of rock and the steepness of the trail.
Many years ago my girlfirend of the time and I hiked up Mt. Washington in NH via Tuckermans with her/our dog Janis. Part of the way down Jan started limping, and when we checked her feet we found that several of her pads were shredded- very damaged. Jan had always been an avid hiker, and was in quite good shape- including endurance and foot toughness (or so we had assumed). Long story short I carried her the rest of the way down the trail (a 60# Shepherd/hound mix) to the trail head. Very tiring.
This summer my current dog Nellie (65# lab) has had two occurances of pad peeling on hikes . She too is quite fit (walks of 1-2 miles every morning, lots of frisbee catch, and frequent hikes) but certain trails give her fits. We carry doggie booties for emergencies on the advice of our vet, who climbs CO mtns with his dog. He suggests booties as an emergency measure, in the case that they start having problems and you need some remediation while on the trail. As Nel hates having the booties on (she prances on her back feet and is a shoe-in for the Ministery of Funny Walks when we put them on) we've saved them for extreme occasions.
I think our big concern is the combination of tallus and steep grades, or gravel and steep grades. Long distance doesn't seem to be an issue by itself, nor do rough surfaced trails without the steepness factor.