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How To Prevent And Treat Dog Paw Pad Injuries
Proper Boot and Pads That Fit Your Dog
- Choose boots that can handle the terrain the dog will face on its daily walks.
- Ensure that the boots and pads are snugly fitted to your dog’s paws.
- Check the snugging of the boots and replace them often.
- If your dog is ever in an environment where snow salts are present, invest in snow boots.
Careful Inspection of Paws After Walks
- Run your hands over your dog’s pads and between their toes.
- Check for signs of swelling or lacerations.
- Scan the bottom of the paws for any embedded debris.
- Check for overly dry or oily patches.
- Look for cracks, splits, or bumps.
Understanding Different Types of Paw Injuries
- Friction Burns – These are the most common types of paw injuries, and occur when there is too much friction on the pads during a walk.
- Frostbite – While uncommon, this injury can occur when exposed toby snowy and cold temperatures.
- Cuts and Lacerations – Cuts and lacerations can occur when a paw is cut or scratched on sharp, rough terrain.
- Foreign Objects – Foreign objects like thorns, glass, and wood can become embedded in the paw.
- Infections – Injuries that are not treated properly can quickly become infected and spread to other areas.
Treating Paw Pad Injuries
- Clean the paw using water and a mild soap.
- Disinfect the wound by using a mild or veterinarian-recommended antiseptic.
- Task your vet to assess the injury and check for infection.
- Bandage the paw lightly and replace often.
- Give your pooch a course of antibiotics prescribed by the vet.
What are the signs of paw pad injury in a dog?
The signs of paw pad injury in a dog may include limping, swelling, pain, bleeding, heat, tenderness, discoloration, cracks, and inflammation. Other symptoms can include licking or biting at the affected area, not putting weight on the paw, and signs of general discomfort. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to seek veterinary care.
What are some tips to keep a dog’s paw pads from becoming overly dry and cracked?
1. Keep your dog’s paw pads clean by regularly wiping away dirt and debris.
2. Apply a moisturising paw balm in the winter months to protect your dog’s paw pads from the cold and wind.
3. Trim your dog’s nails regularly to reduce impact and force placed on their paw pads.
4. Check your dog’s paw pads regularly for any cuts, tears, swelling or dryness.
5. Avoid walking on rough or hot surfaces with your dog if possible.
6. With long-haired breeds, trim the fur between their toes to prevent painful mats that can interfere with paw pad comfort.
7. If possible, cover your dog’s paw pads with protective booties when walking on hot or rough terrain.
8. Invest in a dog-safe paw balm that contains natural emollients and treats dryness.
What should be done if a dog develops a bacterial or fungal infection on its paw?
If a dog develops a bacterial or fungal infection on its paw, it is important to take the dog to the vet as soon as possible. The vet may prescribe antibiotics or antifungals to help treat the infection. It is also important to keep the paw clean and dry and follow any other instructions given by the veterinarian.
Are there certain breeds of dogs more prone to paw pad injuries?
Yes, certain breeds of dogs are more prone to paw pad injuries. Smaller breeds with hairless or short coats and single dew claws are more likely to get cuts and scrapes on their paw pads. Additionally, larger breeds with broad feet are prone to pebble-related injuries on their paws. Finally, breeds that are active jumpers or runners, particularly on hard surfaces, are more likely to damage their paw pads.
What are some techniques that a pet owner can use to treat a dog’s paw pad wound?
There are several ways to treat a dog’s paw pad wound. Here are some of the most common techniques:
1. Clean the wound: Wash the surrounding area with mild soap and water. Apply a topical antiseptic solution to the affected area and use a clean, dry cloth to remove any remaining debris.
2. Apply a bandage: Cover the wound with a clean, non-stick bandage. The bandage should be changed regularly, so that it stays clean and doesn’t contain any dirt or debris. You should also make sure the bandage is snug but not too tight.
3. Apply antibiotic ointment: Apply an antibiotic ointment or cream to the affected area after cleaning it and before bandaging it. This will help to prevent infection and will aid in the healing process.
4. Keep the wound clean: Clean the wound with a mild soap and water solution several times a day to prevent further contamination of the area.
5. Give your dog pain medication: If the wound is causing your dog pain, you should consider giving him an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen.
6. See a vet: If the wound does not heal or becomes infected, it is important to take your dog to the vet for additional care.
As any pet owner knows, keeping your furry friend healthy is of the utmost importance. While it’s easy to focus largely on a dog’s dietary and exercise needs, we can’t forget the importance of caring for the paws. Dogs are more active than ever, running on sidewalks, trails, and outings that keep them in good shape. To keep allowing them to enjoy their outside adventures, you’ll want to know how to prevent and treat paw pad injuries.
The most common paw pad injuries come from excessive running and playing in hot temperatures, harsh surfaces, frozen ground, or rough objects. It’s important to pay attention to the surface on which your dog is running. Avoid concrete and other rough surfaces. On hot days, take your dog for walks in the morning or evening when things have cooled off, and find a sidewalk or trail that offers a softer surface like grass.
You can also look into getting paw protection for your dog if your vet recommends it. There are specially designed booties that dogs can wear to reduce the risk of paw pad abrasions and even provide comfort against hot sidewalks and debris. Some brands offer pads for the summer months that protect your pup’s paws against hot surface burns.
If, despite precautions your pup does get hurt, proper treatment is key to helping them heal. Take your dog to the vet for a complete physical exam, and follow their instructions. When at home, keep your dog’s paws clean and dry, and apply a special balm made to promote healing. To avoid further irritation of your pup’s paws, have them wear booties or even just socks to protect them when they’re outside.
In addition to providing a soft and comfortable surface to run on, offer your pup a place indoors they can relax on a soft and luxurious surface like a dog bed or a blanket. You can even lather your pup’s feet with a cream or lotion that relieves their soreness.
Preventative care is always best when it comes to your pup’s health, and although dog paws are designed to be tough, they still need extra attention and care. Being mindful of where and when your pup runs will go a long way towards preserving their paw pads. If your pup does suffer an injury, appropriate treatment is essential in getting their paws healed and back to good shape.