How to Treat a Damaged Pad
As pet owners, we all love those cute little pads on the paws of our furry friends. While we might be charmed by their look, these pads are actually an essential part of a dog’s body. They serve to cushion their body while the animal is moving, protecting the legs at the same time.
The pads on paws have a thick skin and provide resistance, withstanding a lot of impacts as well as erosion. This way, the dog or cat can easily walk on any kind of ground without damaging their feet. However, this doesn’t mean that the pads are immune to any sort of injury. This is actually all the more reason why a damaged pad necessities quick action. Here’s how to determine whether your dog has a damaged pad and what you can do about it:
CONSTANT LICKING OR BITING
If you notice your dog incessantly licking or biting at their paws, this might be a sign of wounded pads. If this happens make sure to check their paws for any sign of a crack or other injury. You should be aware of such signs and know how to check the paws since such wounds could easily become infected. This could seriously harm your dog’s health and even leave them maimed for life.
Once you do identify the wound on a pad, the most logical step is to visit or call a vet. While the cause of pad damage is usually an accident or a burn, it could also be pathological. The vet will determine whether the damage is due to some underlying disease or some external factor. If it’s the latter, you can treat the pad in the following ways.
You should probably leave the treatment part to the vet if the cause of damage is photodermatitis or hyperkeratosis. These are conditions that can create ulcers, alterations, raised, deep, raw, or burn wounds. A professional method is necessary here so simply follow what the vet says or get your pet admitted in their clinic for proper care.
Your vet might prescribe a burn gel or other kind of healing ointment in order to see if the damage is superficial. If the pad becomes healthy after regular application of such ointments, you’re probably in the clear.
Before applying any sort of bandage or medicine, make sure to clean the wound and disinfect it fist. Wash the pad with clean and warm water for removing dirt, dust, and other impurities. After you’ve washed the paw, you should be able to see the hairs on the pad’s skin. These hairs can attract humidity and a lot of microorganisms, so we want to keep them as clear as possible.
Next, put oxygenated water on the damaged pad and dry it using a piece of plain gauze. If your vet has given approval for this next step, you can also try cleaning the wound with diluted iodine (a dog antiseptic). If there’s any stubborn form of debris, you might have to pull it out with tweezers. Utilizing a dog paw cleaner can be a great tool to wipe-clean their pads before air drying.
HEAL WITHOUT COVERING
It’s generally the recommended practice to let a damaged pad heal without any sort of cover or bandage. This would allow the wound to dry out and avoid any moisture accumulating in that sensitive area. On the other hand, the pads are constantly touching the ground and areas where impurities or germs may lurk. You may hence need a bandage of sorts.
If you do wrap a bandage around the wound, make sure that the dog can’t remove, lick or bite it. You may have to put an Elizabethan collar on them for this part. Also, the bandage should be of hypoallergenic plastic and sterile gauze changed at least once a day. Keep a dog first aid kit handy if you travel with your pup, just incase you need to clean anything up.
Dogs with damaged paw pads aren’t really prone to resting and letting them heal. They would want to be out and about, jumping and running as usual. This could cause their wound to reopen several times. Hence, you should encourage your pet to stay indoors as much as possible. If possible, stay with them and do some calming activities so they won’t get bored. A few days’ rest should be enough.