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How to recognize and treat foot pad injuries in dogs
By Henry Cerny, DVM, MS
Foot pad injuries in dogs can range from abrasions, blisters, burns, ulcers, tears, punctures and lacerations. It is important to be aware what type of surface your dog walks on. Concrete for example can be rough and heats up quickly during warm or hot weather. Rock, gravel and sand can also injure the foot pads. The common clinical signs are limping, licking at the foot or bleeding.
Home care for mild abrasions include gently rinsing the affected foot under cool water to remove any debris, followed by the application an antibacterial ointment or solution. I prefer Vetericyn as it is a reliable wound care solution that does not interfere with the wound healing process. Products such as Neosporin can also be used. Finally, place a non-stick telfa pad over the foot pad(s) and lightly wrap with vet wrap or an ace bandage. The bandage should be kept clean and dry and changed daily until the pads have healed.
Though some foot pad injuries cannot be prevented, avoiding rough, jagged or hot surfaces as well as protective foot wear can be helpful.
Anything more serious than a superficial abrasion should be treated by your veterinarian as foot pads do not heal like regular skin.