6 Common Paw Problems in Dogs
Source: Carol McCarthy / PetMD
Dogs feet are generally hardy, and minor cuts and abrasions usually heal quickly, but some injuries and conditions need your or your Vet’s attention. Here are some common paw problems and what pet owners can do about them.
Yeast organisms (fungi) are normally found on your dog’s paws, but an underlying condition can cause them to multiply and cause problems. Licking excessively is a tell-tale sign of a yeast infection, along with red nail beds, a reaction to salivary enzymes. Other symptoms include itching, redness and discharge.
Your vet can determine if yeast is the culprit and treat the infection with topical products, anti-fungal wipes and shampoos. If a food allergy is suspected, elimination diets, where ingredients are taken out and then added back in, can help identify the trigger.
Ringworm can also infect your dog’s feet. It is a contagious fungus found in soil and also spreads through contact with an infected animal, person or object like a couch, bedding, or carpet. It can look like a swollen toe or an abscess. Your vet will be able to make the diagnosis. You can treat ringworm and prevent its spreading with medicated bath products and a thorough cleaning of your dog’s environment.
Hot asphalt can hurt your dog’s paws, and burns need to be treated immediately. But also hot sand on the beach can burn their paws. If the sand is too hot for you it will be too for your dog. Depending on the severity of the burn, cooling with water is the first thing to do. An Aloe Vera gel can help soothe the pain. Bandaging is usually required as a protective barrier on the skin or paw pad affected. Pain medication may also be indicated.
A torn nail is common in the emergency room. When the entire nail has been pulled off, take your dog to the vet for immediate treatment to stop bleeding and manage pain. Antibiotics also might be prescribed. “If the nail has been incompletely removed, the treatment would likely be to remove the remaining bit.
It is grass seed season again! These nasty little things can cause a lot of discomfort to your dog. The very pointed end on a grass seed means it can easily become embedded in your pet’s skin, commonly in the paws, under the tail, armpit or groin region. But also ears and eye can be affected. Grass seeds can migrate through the body, tracking infection as they go. Dogs may also inhale a grass seed, with it lodging in the lungs and causing a severe chest infection. The best way to prevent damage from grass seeds is to find them and remove them as quickly as possible when they are close to the surface and easily accessible. If you suspect a grass seed is lodged too deeply, or there is no sign of a grass seed present but a lump, with pus or blood oozing out, then it is best to have it assessed by a vet straight away.
Dogs with lots of hair on their feet can catch gum, sticky asphalt and thorns in crevices, which can be hard to find and painful to remove. Prevent these problems by having the hair clipped by your groomer. Ingrown hairs manifest in short-haired dogs as tiny pimples and can lead to furunculosis, an infection deep in the hair follicle that can abscess and cause tissue damage.
Please note that Homeopathy can be used in most of the above cases to help restore healthy paws and skin. If you would like to support your dog in a gentle and natural way please contact me.
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The information contained in this website is not intended to replace guidance from your veterinarian. Bowen Therapy and Homeopathy are complementary to veterinary treatment and the general care of the animal.