The pads on a dog's paw are extremely important. They help to cushion his feet as he walks, give him support, and protect his feet from becoming injured. The pads themselves are tough but can sometimes be broken or damaged. As a responsible dog owner, it is important to recognize and treat injuries to a dog's paw pads.
How Injuries Occur
Dog's paws usually serve to protect their feet and claws. They can become injured through rough surfaces, punctures, over-walking or extreme temperatures. The most common dog paw pad injury is abrasions that turn into cuts. This can happen from walking on chunks of ice, sharp rocks or uneven surfaces. A dog who walks many miles without resting might have worn-down paw pads. Pads can get stuck by thorns, branches or sticks. Dogs can also get their pads injured in fights with other dogs and other animals.
It is a good dog owner's responsibility to notice the injuries that happen to a dog's paw. If your dog is licking his paw pad over and over again, he might have something stuck in it or it might be torn or damaged. If he does not use his paw or limps, he might have an injury to his paw pad. Check your dog's paws and pads regularly, and if you notice an injury, take care of it. Remember to check the area between the dog's paw pads and his claws, because this is a place where injuries can go unnoticed.
Treatment of Paw Pad Injuries
Remove any objects that are stuck in a dog's paw or his paw pad. Disinfect any swollen or bloody areas you see. If a dog has an open cut on his paw pad, clean it out and check with a vet to see if it needs stitches. For cuts that don't require stitches, keep them clean and use triple antibiotic ointment on them each day. After you have noticed an injury, check it every few hours to determine whether it is getting better or not. Immediately take your dog to the vet if he has bleeding that cannot be stopped, does not walk on his paw or if the injury has redness around it or has pus coming out of it. These are all signs of a serious injury.