Even though the pads of your dog's paws are tough they are still prone to cuts and other injuries. Our vets in Kingman talk about what to do if your dog has a cut paw pad.
Your Dog's Paws
Your dog's paw pads serve the very important purpose of protecting the interior of your dog's feet from harm. Caring for any possible injury that occurs to their feet or paw pads is incredibly important. Here are some things that you can do immediately after you discover the injury in order to help your dog heal.
What To Do If My Dog Cut His Paw Pad
The pads of your dog's feet are very thick and although they are tough that doesn't mean that they are protected from all injuries like cuts, tears, or burns. If your pup suffers from a paw pad injury, here are some things you could do.
Contact Your Vet
Your dog's feet are incredibly important when it comes to your dog's daily life and need to be in tip-top condition to help keep your pet active and happy. The first thing you should do if you notice that your dog has suffered an injury to its paw is to call your vet. Your vet will inform you of what the ideal next steps would be to take and may also provide you with essential advice on how to care for your pup's foot until you can get to the office.
Take a Close Look At the Injured Pad
Another step that you should take as soon as possible is to examine your dog's paw pad closely looking for signs of anything stuck in your dog's foot, as well as any debris, grass, or bits of gravel that may be stuck in the wound. Loose debris can be gently removed with clean tweezers.
If your dog has a large piece of glass or other foreign object lodged in its foot please contact your nearest emergency vet straight away for suggestions on how to transport your dog as comfortable as possible to the animal hospital.
Clean The Cut
If you need to clean your dog's paw you will want to use a bowl of soapy warm water and swish your pup's foot around to clean the wound and help dislodge any remaining debris, then rinse with clear water.
Another option for rinsing away debris would be to use the garden hose then add a small squirt of liquid hand soap or dish soap to your dog's paw while rinsing to help kill any bacteria that might be present.
If you have the option then an antiseptic such as diluted chlorhexidine solution is also a good option when it comes to cleaning your dog's wounds.
Control The Bleeding
If you have been able to remove any foreign objects that might have been worsening the injury you can then apply pressure to the paw pad using a clean cloth or towel. If necessary, a cold compress might be beneficial in helping to slow the bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. Typically the deeper the cut is the longer it will take to slow the bleeding.
Assess The Severity of the Injury
If your pup has a shallow cut then you should be able to manage care for the wound at home. If the cut or abrasion is of a deep nature then you will most likely benefit from seeking veterinary attention. Your vet will assess the wound as well as dress the wound and possibly prescribe antibiotics to help with the healing process.
Non-stick sterile gauze pads are the best option to cushion the bottom of your dog's cut paw pad and to absorb any blood if the wound is still open. This would also help to make your dog more comfortable when they have to walk around during the healing process.
It's a good idea to wrap your pup's entire foot in a self-sticking bandage such as Vetwrap or Well & Good to help hold the bandage in place. These wraps are available at most well-stocked pet supply stores and some brands even come coated in bitter flavoring to discourage your dog from chewing the bandage.
In order to prevent the toes from swelling, it is best to wrap your dog's paw from feet to toes and this will also prevent the bandage from slipping down. The goal is to have it wrapped tight enough that the bandage doesn't move but not too tight. You should be able to slip two fingers in between the bandage and your pup's skin.
The bleeding should slow and stop once the bandage has been applied. If this is not the case and the bleeding continues then it is time to head to the vet for care.
Many clients ask us about their dog licking the wound. Your dog licking the injury would in fact kill the bacteria that is present but there is a fine line as excessive licking can lead to the wound reopening and infection. It is best to opt to never let your dog lick his cut paw. If your dog will not stop excessively licking the wound even with a bandage on, then it might be a good time for an Elizabethan collar or another device as their cut paw pad heals.
Keeping your dog's wound clean and dry throughout the duration of the healing process is the most important thing to do. Although this can be a challenge, luckily there are many options out there for waterproof bootie or securing a plastic bag around your dog's foot and ankle, whenever they go out, which can help to keep the cut clean and dry.
Changing your dog's bandage on a daily basis or as it becomes soiled is extremely important to avoid infection and in order to monitor the wound to ensure that it's healing properly. You should always be checking for any signs of swelling, excess redness, discharge, odor, or increasing pain. If you do notice any of these signs then it is time to give your vet a call and bring your pet in for an examination.
After you remove the old bandage it's a good idea to gently clean the foot with warm soapy water, and dry thoroughly before applying the new bandage.
Heading to the vet at the earliest sign of infection will help to prevent the wound from becoming more severe and more painful. Your vet will be able to thoroughly clean your dog's cut paw pad, provide antibiotics to fight infection, and pain meds to help your dog cope with the pain of a cut paw.
When your pet has an injury the best option will always be to book an appointment to have your pet examined by your vet. The first aid steps above are not a replacement for proper veterinary care. It is always best to err on the side of caution with it comes to your pet's health. Your vet will be able to examine your dog properly and provide the treatment that is best as well as advise you how to care for your dog's wound as it heals.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.