My dog injured his paw pads. What should I be doing to help it heal?

Original Question: We were camping and Cupar loves swimming in the river! The river bed is rocky and as a result he's done a real number on the paw pads of all 4 paws...I was shocked to see how bad he had let it become. He can hardly walk now. I've tried to clean and disinfect but I'm not sure what else to do. It's pretty bad. - Deb

My dog injured his paw pads. What should I be doing to help it heal? Aug 11, 2018

Hi Deb,

Thanks for your question.

This is quite common. Our dogs will never stop chasing down a stick or ball into the water unless we make them, despite how much pain they’re in.

Here’s a few things you can do…

  1. Buy some padded boots at your local pet supply store. Use them outside but I recommend you take them off inside so that the paws don’t get sweaty and moist inside the boots throughout the day.
  2. I don’t know how bad the lesions are so I suggest you see your veterinarian just to make sure that there are not open wounds becoming infected. They may recommend a topical or systemic antibacterial treatment. If there are deep rips in the pads, it may be necessary to perform some surgery to close them because they will often reopen during walking if they are in the middle of trying to heal and close up.
  3. You could consider applying Polysporin but again, I recommend you see your veterinarian before treating this yourself, just in case.
  4. Reduce activity to a minimum. Only take your dog out for bathroom breaks for a few days so that you give these areas the chance to heal.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Dr. Clayton Greenway 

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