While the pads of your dog's paws are much tougher than the bottoms of your feet, they can still suffer from cuts and other injuries. Our Villa Rica vets and team explain what you should do if your dog has a cut paw pad.
Your Dog's Paws
The pads on your dog's feet protect the inner workings of your dog's foot, created by nature. You must treat your dog's footpad injury as soon as possible. You can do a few things to aid in the healing of your dog's foot.
What should I do if my dog has a cut on his paw pad?
Although your dog's footpads are thick and rubbery, they can be damaged by painful cuts, tears, burns, or puncture wounds. Here's what you can do to help if your dog's paw pad is injured.
Contact Your Vet
Your pet's daily life relies on its feet, which must be in good condition to keep your pet fit and happy. You should notify your veterinarian immediately if your dog's paw pad is cut or torn. The veterinarian will be able to tell you whether you need an examination or if you should go to the emergency animal hospital. Your veterinary team may also give you important advice on how to care for your dog's foot until you can get to the office.
Take a Close Look At the Injured Pad
Carefully examine your dog's pad for any signs of something stuck in their foot, such as a piece of glass or a thorn, as well as any debris, grass, or gravel that may have lodged in the wound. You can use clean tweezers to gently remove loosely embedded debris.
If your dog has a large piece of glass or other foreign object lodged in their foot, contact your nearest emergency vet immediately for advice on what to do to keep your dog as comfortable as possible while transporting them to the emergency vet.
Clean The Cut
Add a good amount of soapy warm water to a bowl or bucket and swish your pup's foot around to clean the wound and help dislodge any remaining debris. Rinse with clear water.
You can also gently spray the foot with clean water using a hose to remove debris and clean your dog's paw. Squirt a small amount of liquid hand soap or dish soap onto your dog's paw while rinsing to help kill bacteria.
Another good way to clean a cut on your dog's pad is to rinse the wound is with an antiseptic such as diluted chlorhexidine solution.
Control The Bleeding
Once you remove any foreign objects that could aggravate the cut, apply pressure to the paw pad with a clean piece of cloth or towel. In some cases, a cold compress can slow the bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. Shallow grazes may not bleed at all, but healing deep cuts may take some time.
Assess The Severity of the Injury
Minor cuts and scrapes on your dog's paw pad cut can often be managed at home but for deeper cuts, you will need to seek veterinary care for your pooch.
Take your dog to your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital if his cut is ragged, deep, or has debris lodged in it. Your veterinarian will clean and dress serious cuts, and in some cases, they will prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection.
Use non-stick sterile gauze pads to cushion the bottom of your dog's cut paw pad and to absorb any blood. This should also help to decrease your dog's pain when walking on the foot.
Wrap your pup's entire foot in a self-sticking bandage, such as Vetwrap or Well & Good, to help keep the gauze in place. These wraps are available at most well-stocked pet supply stores, and some brands are even coated in bitter flavoring to deter your dog from chewing on the bandage.
To prevent the bandage from slipping down and the toes from swelling, wrap your dog's feet from toes to ankle. Remember to wrap the bandage snugly enough to stay in place, but avoid wrapping it too tightly. You should fit two fingers between the bandage and your dog's skin.
If bleeding does not slow and stops once the gauze and bandage have been applied it's time to head to the vet for care.
Many clients ask us if they should allow their dog to lick its cut paw.While licking can help kill bacteria on the injury site, excessive licking can lead to reopening the wound and causing infection. Do not let your dog lick his cut paw. Bandaging can help prevent licking at the site, but some dogs may require an Elizabethan collar or another device to prevent them from becoming preoccupied with licking the wound as their cut paw pad heals.
It will be critical to keep the bandages clean and dry as your dog's wound heals. This can be difficult, but wearing a waterproof bootie or wrapping a plastic bag around your dog's foot and ankle whenever they go outside can help keep the cut clean and dry.
You should change your dog's bandage daily to avoid infection and to allow you to examine the wound to ensure that it is healing properly. If you notice any signs of swelling, excessive redness, discharge, odor, or increasing pain, take your pet to the veterinarian right away.
After removing the old bandage, gently clean the foot with warm soapy water and thoroughly dry it before applying the new bandage.
You should take your pet to the vet at the first sign of infection to prevent the wound from worsening and causing more pain. The veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dog's cut paw pad and prescribe antibiotics to fight infection. They will also provide pain relievers to help your dog cope with the pain of a cut paw.
Should I let my dog lick his cut paw pad?
Experts generally do not recommend allowing your dog to lick its cut paw pad. While licking can temporarily relieve, it can also introduce bacteria from their mouth into the wound, potentially causing infection.
Proper veterinary care is not substitutable by the above first aid measures. When it comes to your pet's health, always err on the side of caution. Take your dog to the vet if his wound is severe or if you are unsure about the severity of his injury. The veterinarian will treat your dog and advise you on 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.