How To Treat A Dog’s Paw Pad Injury
See files for Dogs
A dog’s pads perform similar functions as the soles of its feet: providing protection to the legs and cushioning the body during movements. The skin of this region is thicker and more resistant than the skin of the body. This aids to withstand impact and erosion caused by direct contact to the ground. However, pads can also present lesions, cracks, cysts and various wounds.
Does your dog constantly lick or bite its legs or feet? Well, this can be a symptom of wounds on its pads. It is important to know how to recognize these injuries to prevent them from becoming infected and damaging your dog’s health. Of course, always remember the importance of going to a veterinarian if you observe any alteration in your dog’s feet. However, in this AnimalWised article, we will show you natural remedies of how to treat a dog’s paw pad injury.
Why do dogs develop wounds on their pads?
In general, paw pad wounds are borne from contact with foreign bodies or unfavorable soil conditions. During a walk or carelessness at home, your dog may step on a piece of glass or other sharp debris. In addition, rocky terrains or simple sharp stones can also cause pad injuries.
Contact with excessively hot or cold surfaces can cause burns on pads. Therefore, we must be very careful when walking our dog on extremely hot or cold days. Remember that certain surfaces, such as cement, absorb heat and therefore become incredibly hot on sunny days.
In addition, if a dog exercises excessively, this can generate high friction between its pads and the floor, resulting in erosion. As a result, wounds and cracks can appear on the feet, which can deepen if a dog continues this intensive exercise. Dogs that suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorders or who develop certain habits, such as licking and biting themselves obsessively, can unconsciously self-mutilate and these actions can produce leg, tail or other wounds.
How to know if my dog has pad wounds
The simplest way to know if your dog has wounds on the pads is by checking their feet periodically. It is very important that you note if your dog presents any cracked, open, raised, red or raw pads.
There are also other signs that may indicate an injury to your dog's pads, summarized below:
- Biting or licking the pads
- Difficulty walking or lameness
- Lack of support of the legs and feet
- Redness or presence of blood on the feet
How to heal wounds on a dog’s paw pads
Once a wound or crack is identified on your dog’s pads, it is important that you go to the vet. Although majority of injuries are derive from accidents or burns, it is essential to rule out pathological causes. Some conditions, such as hyperkeratosis or pododermatitis, can cause alterations and ulcers on the skin of the pads. In addition, if the skin of a dog's pads are raised, present deep wounds, are raw or burned, veterinary attention is essential to establish a specific and effective treatment.
When verifying if a wound or cut is superficial, a veterinarian may prescribe some healing ointment or burn gel for the dog pads. Here, we will share with you a step by step of how to clean and disinfect wounds pads at home, allowing for a concrete healing process:
- Wash the wound with plenty of clean, warm water to remove impurities.
- After washing, it is important that you can see the hairs that grow on the skin of the pads. The concentration of hairs favors humidity accumulation and the proliferation of microorganisms in this region, which we want to avoid.
- Apply oxygenated water and dry gently with a clean and dry gauze.
- In some cases, You can use diluted iodine or chlorhexidine digluconate, but only after consulting a vet.
- Use healing ointments or gel for burns (provided they have been prescribed by the veterinarian).
- In general, it is recommended to let the wounds heal without covering them. By not covering them it allows for drying out and the avoidance of moisture accumulation in the region. However, as pads are in constant contact with the ground and various impurities, it is best to make a bandage to protect the region and change it 1 to 2 times per day. Remember to use sterile gauze and hypoallergenic plaster.
- If you cannot watch your dog. We advise placing your dog in an Elizabethan collar. This will prevent your dog from removing, licking or biting the bandage and wound, which can damage the healing process.
How long does it take to cure a dog’s pads?
A specific time duration for this healing process cannot be indicated as this process will depend on the type of wound, its depth and the care we provide to the animal. If a dog's pad is raw or open, it will take longer to heal than if it is only slightly cracked.
In addition to applying the stipulated treatment by the vet, to speed up the healing process, there are some home remedies that can be used. However, before using these, we recommend consulting your vet.
Home remedies to cure injured dog pads
As a complement to veterinary treatment, and provided that the specialist approves this, you can apply one or several natural remedies to cure your dog’s injured pads:
Coconut oil and vitamin E
Coconut oil offers numerous benefits for dogs. It has soothing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, moisturizing and regenerating properties. To enhance these properties, mix 50 ml of coconut oil with 1 capsule of vitamin E. After merging the two oils, you can apply a thin layer of the solution on your dog's injury and bandage it.
Aloe vera is one of the best home remedies to heal wounds thanks to its antiseptic, healing, analgesic, moisturizing and regenerating properties. Again, we emphasize the importance of consulting your veterinarian before applying any product to your animal’s skin. If a professional considers the use of homemade solutions suitable, you can extract the pulp from an aloe vera leaf and apply it to the pads to cure cracks and injuries, as well as to prevent them. Remember to clean the wound well before applying aloe vera and bandage it later with a clean gauze and hypoallergenic plaster.
Besides being a delicious and nutritious food, honey has soothing, antibacterial, antiseptic and healing properties and stimulates the regeneration of the epithelium and granular tissue. These properties help to cure ulcers, burns and wounds dog pads. If a professional considers it appropriate to use honey on your animal, you can apply a thin layer of pure honey on the lesion, after sanitizing it correctly. After, make sure to bandage the wound. Remember to use pure honey.
Lavender oil stimulates skin regeneration and has antibacterial properties, making it an excellent home remedy to cure dog pads suffering from burns. You can prepare your own homemade lavender oil with dried lavender flowers.
- heat 1 cup of olive, coconut or almond oil, without letting it boil
- Then, add ½ cup of dried lavender flowers and let marinate for 5 or 6 hours
- Then strain the preparation and apply some drops of the homemade lavender oil on the dog's wound.
- Remember to bandage the wound well to prevent the dog from biting the foot or licking the oil.
Sugar is a practical and economical option to help wound healing in dogs. Its properties help to: dry lesions, absorb excess moisture in the affected area, reduce edema, act as a bactericide and promotes cellular regeneration. Nowadays, you can find industrialized sugar paste, but we recommend making it at home, without additives and preservatives. To prepare it:
- heat 100 ml of clean water
- Remove from heat when it begins to boil
- Immediately, add 250 g of sugar and mix until it dissolves completely in the hot water
- Wait until the paste cools before applying it to the wounds
- Cover the wound with a thin layer of sugar paste and bandage
How to prevent injuries in your dog’s paw pads
Not only is it important to understand how to treat already apparent wounds, but it is equally important to prevent damage in this region from happening in the first place. The first thing you should do is not take your dog for walks in places with rubble, garbage or other waste types. It is also advisable to avoid rocky terrain, very hard soils or loose stony areas.
Another essential is to take care when walking your dog. Carefully observe the weather and avoid going out during very hot or very cold days. If it is summer and the temperatures is very high, we suggest respecting the safety schedule for sun exposure: before 9 am and after 4 pm. In winter, the safety hours are in reverse. In addition, you can use special boots for dogs that can protect the pads from cold and soil debris.
To help strengthen your dog’s pads, you can consult your veterinarian about the use of specific creams that form a protective layer on the pads and lessen the impact of rubbing with the ground.
If you want to read similar articles to How To Treat A Dog’s Paw Pad Injury, we recommend you visit our Skin care category.