Caring for your dog's feet and pads is an important part of maintenance

Caring for your dog's feet and pads is an important part of maintenance
I am so depressed because I hurt my foot. Feel sorry for me??

Your pet’s feet take a lot of wear, tear and abuse, requiring your special attention and care. Dogs do not wear protection on the feet like humans do and are prone to more injuries. If a dog’s pad gets lacerated, it can bleed profusely, making it difficult for you to care for the foot. You can speak with your local Rockford-area veterinarian as listed below or one closest to your home about the proper care of your dog’s foot and pad if it does get injured.

Dogs don’t wear shoes but their pads of the feet are actually the toughest part of the body to protect them from injuries like that of humans wearing protective footwear. The pad is a thick spongy structure that absorbs a lot of pressure from running, standing and walking. If injured, the foot may look much worse than it is because of the excessive bleeding. Most common injuries are due to lacerations, punctures, burns, traumatic pad removal or tumors.

If your dog is suffering from an injured paw or pad, some symptoms other than bleeding may be limping, favoring the foot, and not wanting to put weight on the foot, discoloration of the pad, excess licking of the foot and pad. Pads can also become chafed, dry and cracked.

If you suspect an injury on the foot, it will be necessary to examine it to determine the problem. You first have to get your dog in a calm state so that you can help it, even if it means muzzling the dog or getting someone to help you. At this point you can clean the pad thoroughly with warm water so that you can see the injury and relate your findings to your vet. If it is a minor injury, your doctor may advise you to just keep the area clean and monitor the situation.

For deeper lacerations, abrasions and puncture wounds, you do not want to use a tourniquet on the dog but just apply pressure using a clean towel while seeking medical intervention. The veterinarian will probably use an anti-bacterial wash, povidone iodine or chlorhexidine on the wound and wrap with a bandage. Since dogs sweat through their pads, the bandage may need frequent changing to avoid moisture and infection. During recovery, your dog may need to use an Elizabethan collar to avoid licking and biting of the wound, which will heal relatively quickly.

If your dog’s pad incurred severe injury, it may require removal of the pad by your veterinarian. Footpad grafting may be necessary in some situations, especially for the larger dog that puts a lot of pressure on the foot when walking.

Sometimes a dog’s foot and pads can get burnt from walking on hot pavement and sand. Treat this type of injury by cleaning the foot with the anti-bacterial wash and bandage the foot until healed. If the injury causes some loose skin or ulcerated patch, the skin will come off as the pad heals.

Pads that are chafed, dried and cracked are prone to collect excess dirt and debris, causing further injuries. Find a good footpad cream at a larger pet supply store to soften the pad area. Avoid using human products on your dog.

Since it is a common occurrence for your dog to get a foreign object stuck within the pad and toes. If you can, try removing the item from the foot. Usual items may include stones, burrs, pieces of glass, dried mud and even an excess fur ball. Any of these items can be painful, including the fur which should be shaved out of the pad for more comfort.

Keep a close eye on the health of your dog’s feet and pads and do not hesitate to seek medical attention for a serious injury. It is difficult to avoid all situations and injuries so it is best you do your part to pet proof your yard for sharp and dangerous items as well as staying away from walking your dog near heavily littered areas. In excessive heat, avoid long walks and try to keep your dog off the hot pavement. Safe grassy areas are a better choice.

If you are seeking Veterinary assistance in the Rockford area, you can check out one of these at - Rockford Vet Clinics, Bellwood Vet, Rockford Veterinarians, Perryville Veterinarian , Cat Veterinarians Specialists

For all your pets needs and accessories in the Rockford area, go to your local PETCO - 6305 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 229-0184 - Petco or your local PETSMART - 6320 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 397-7880 - Petsmart -PETLAND, (815) 332-4200 - Petland

For many of your pet essentials, visit your local Rockford-area CVS pharmacies. There are four convenient locations - 3134 11th Street, Rockford, IL 61109, (815)398-0048 - 110 S Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61108 - 3718 Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103, (815)877-9620 - 2454 S. Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61108, (815)399-5421 - CVS Pharmacy

If you are looking for wholesome, natural and homemade treats for your favorite canine best friend, Led foot’s Pet Bakery near the Rockford area is happy to meet your needs. Check out the website at Ledfoot Bakery. Contact Susan Weitzel at 815 784-6358, Ledfoot Bakery Contact.

Sign up for my pet blog and let me know if you have questions or concerns regarding your pets. Let me know what you think of my articles and if you have any queries. I have created a question and answer page for that reason. Let me know if I can be of help to you with your beloved pets – no question too large or small. Hope to see you at Animal Care Blog. Be the most educated pet parent!

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