Treating a Dog Paw Injury

It's common for a dog to get a paw injury because the paw pads are fragile and dogs like to explore places. The main causes of paw pad injuries are sharp objects or extreme temperatures.

Signs of Injured Paws

It may be difficult to notice the actual paw injury of your dog, so you might watch out for warning signs. A paw injury causes discomfort and even itching, so your dog will be chewing and biting his paw. You might also notice limping. Regular grooming can help you detect a paw injury before it becomes infected.

Treatment for Paw Pad Injury

A dog foot injury is easier to treat then an injury to the pad. If the paws are injured, the healing will take longer because the paw pads are exposed to bacteria from the ground and are under pressure from the body weight.

The pads may suffer cuts, punctures or scratches. The injuries will have to be disinfected and you will have to remove any possible splinters from the wound. Use tweezers but make sure not to cause additional injuries.

After cleaning the wound, soak the paws in lukewarm water and add some bath salts. These may sting but will clean the wound and soften the paw skin. Dry the paws and see if there are any remaining particles in the wound.

Use betadine to disinfect the wound. This will protect the paw from infections. Don't use alcohol or peroxide-these can dry and damage the tissue and will slow down the healing process.

Add some ointment that contains antibiotics, and bandage the foot so that the area is protected from bacteria and other harming objects. Change the bandage at least once a day and re-apply ointment for at least 2 days. Make sure the bandage is not tight-which can slow down the circulation and the healing. A tight bandage may also cause discomfort in your pet.

However, leaving the wound exposed may speed up the healing process and may prevent the formation of anaerobic bacteria. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, a bandage is a must and the bandage may be covered with a plastic wrap. If the dog tries to get rid of the bandage, you can use an Elizabethan collar-but this is only an extreme measure.

Cracked Paw Pad Treatment

Cracked paw pads may be caused by extreme temperatures, and are very painful. Your dog will avoid stepping on the paws. The cracked paws may be treated with hydrating ointments. You will be able to find hydrating lotions at pet health stores.

However, before applying these ointments, make sure to clean the area with antibacterial soap. Apply the ointment generously. You can use bandages to cover the paws and prevent the dog from licking the ointment or spread it around the home. Soak the paws at least twice a week to soften the skin on the pads and help the healing of the broken paws. Add some bath salts to the water.

If you notice any signs of infection such as pus coming out of the wound or continuous limping, make sure to visit a vet.