While your pet dog might absolutely love its time outdoors, it is important to be aware that its paws are always constantly exposed to the elements.
Similar to humans, dog paw injuries could be potentially dangerous if it is not treated early. Cuts or abrasion on the bottom of the paws creates an opening for harmful bacteria to enter your dog’s bloodstream, leading to an infection.
As a responsible pet owner, you should take note of symptoms such as limping, discoloration of paw pad, swelling and peeling skin. These are usually indications that your dog has injured its paw.
What Causes Paw Injuries?
By nature, your dog’s paws are tough. They are made out of hardened rubbery skin that provides a layer of protection. But this doesn’t mean that it’s impenetrable.
If your dog accidentally steps on sharp objects such as glass or nails, you will be sure that its paws will be injured. Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) will also cause damage to the paws, leading to burns and blisters.
Thing To Keep Handy
Since a dog can injure its paws anytime and anywhere, it is important to keep a few items at hand to tend to the injury right away. These items are:
- A first aid kit
- Clean cloth
- Medical gloves
- Antibiotic ointments
- Filtered water
5 Tips To Treat An Injured Paw
It is crucial to provide prompt first aid at home, followed by a visit to your local veterinarian to treat the injury.
1. Rinse with clean and warm water
The first step in treating an injured paw is rinsing it with clean and warm water. This is done to remove the dust and debris from the dog’s paw that could aggravate the injury by causing an infection. Avoid touching the paw directly so that the wound does not reopen.
2. Take a good look at the wound
Inspecting the wound will give you an idea of the depth and size of it. It will also help to rule out the presence of foreign objects and whether the object has lodged deep into the paw pad. If the cut is deep, it is advisable to visit your vet immediately.
3. Carefully remove foreign objects
You can remove any embedded foreign object by using tweezers and pulling them out carefully. Take extra precaution not to use excessive force when removing. If you feel uneasy or unsure about removing the object by your own, visit your local vet to seek professional help.
4. Halting the bleeding
By using a clean cloth, you are required to place direct pressure on the wound so that it stops bleeding. If you are unable to stop the bleeding within 15-20 minutes, please visit your local vet without delay.
5. Cleaning and bandaging
The wound should be cleaned in a sterile environment. The first step is to wash the wound with warm water and let it air-dry. The second step is to apply hydrogen peroxide for disinfection and the third step is to apply antibiotic ointments.
The final step is to dress the wound using a sterile bandage. Ensure that the injured area is covered completely and that the dressing is not too tight. Your dog should be still able to walk after you have finished the bandaging.
Getting a paw injury is unfortunate and certainly can be prevented! Avoid walking on hot pavements and carefully survey the areas that your dog walks. You can also protect your dog’s paws by getting a pair of durable dog boots.
This post was contributed by Pete Decker, the Lead Editor at The Goody Pet. Pete loves to share his passion for pets through snippets of interesting and helpful information. You can find more of Pete at his website, Twitter or Facebook.