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What to Do if My Dog Cut His Paw Pad?

Dog paw pad injuries can be quite common, especially if your furry friend is active and loves to explore. Understanding how to treat these injuries is crucial to ensure your dog's quick recovery and comfort. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about dog paw pad injuries, how to treat them, the healing time, and whether or not you should let your dog lick his cut paw.

Understanding Dog Paw Pad Injuries

Dogs' paw pads are tough but not immune to cuts and injuries. These can occur from stepping on sharp objects, rough terrain, or even hot surfaces. Common types of paw pad injuries include:

  • Cuts and abrasions: These can happen when your dog steps on something sharp, such as glass, rocks, or metal.
  • Burns: Hot pavement or sand can cause burns on your dog's paw pads, especially during summer.
  • Cracks and blisters: These are often caused by extreme weather conditions or excessive walking.

What To Do If My Dog Cut His Paw Pad

Although your dog's feet' pads are thick and rubbery, they can be injured by painful cuts, tears, burns, or puncture wounds. If your dog has cut his paw pad, prompt and appropriate treatment is essential to prevent infection and promote healing.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:

Assess the Injury

Examine your dog's pad closely, looking for signs of anything stuck in its foot, such as a piece of glass or thorn, debris, grass, or bits of gravel that may be stuck in the wound. Loosely embedded 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, contact your nearest emergency vet immediately for advice on making your dog as comfortable as possible while transporting it to the emergency vet.

Clean The Cut

Use clean water or a saline solution to rinse the cut gently. This helps to remove any dirt or debris that may cause infection. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as these can be too harsh and damage the tissue further.

Control The Bleeding

Apply gentle pressure to the cut using a clean cloth or gauze pad until the bleeding stops. Contact your veterinarian if the bleeding is severe or doesn’t stop within a few minutes.

Bandage the Paw

  • Use non-stick sterile gauze pads to cushion the bottom of your dog's cut paw pad. This will absorb any blood and help decrease your dog's pain when walking on the foot.
  • To keep the gauze in place, wrap your dog's entire foot in a self-sticking bandage such as Vetwrap or Well & Good. You can find these wraps at most well-stocked pet supply stores. Some brands even come coated in bitter flavoring to discourage your dog from chewing the bandage.
  • Wrap your dog's feet from toes to ankle to prevent swelling and keep the bandage from slipping down. Remember not to wrap the bandage too tightly - you should be able to slip two fingers between the bandage and your dog's skin.
  • If the bleeding does not slow and stops once the gauze and bandage have been applied, it's time to visit the vet for further care.

Prevent Licking

Many clients ask us if they should let their dog lick his cut paw. While some licking can help to kill bacteria on the injury site, excessive licking can lead to the wound reopening and infection.

You should not let your dog lick his cut paw. Bandaging can help to prevent licking at the site. Still, some dogs become so preoccupied with licking the wound that an Elizabethan collar or another device may be necessary for your dog as their cut paw pad heals.

Contact Your Vet

Your dog's feet play an essential role in its day-to-day life and must be in tip-top condition to help keep it fit and happy. If your pup has cut or torn its paw pad, contact your vet to let them know what has happened.

Your vet will be able to let you know whether an examination is required or whether a trip to the emergency animal hospital is necessary.

Your veterinary team may also be able to provide you with essential advice on how to care for your pup's foot until you can get to the office.

Healing Time for Paw Pad Injuries

The healing time for a cut on your dog’s paw pad can vary depending on the severity of the injury. With proper care, minor cuts and abrasions typically heal within 7-10 days. More severe injuries may take longer, sometimes up to several weeks.

Keep your dog’s activity level low during the healing process to avoid reopening the wound, and always follow your veterinarian’s advice.

Should I let my dog lick his cut paw?

Allowing your dog to lick his cut paw is generally not advisable. While it’s a natural instinct for dogs to lick their wounds, it can introduce bacteria and increase the risk of infection.

Licking can also delay the healing process and may cause further damage to the tissue. To prevent your dog from licking the injured paw, it is best to use an Elizabethan collar or a protective boot.

To Sump Up

Dealing with a cut on your dog's paw pad can be stressful, but with the right care and attention, your furry friend will be back on his feet in no time. Remember to assess the severity of the injury, clean and bandage the wound, and prevent your dog from licking his paw. If the injury seems serious or you notice any signs of infection, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for professional help.

By following these steps, you can ensure a speedy recovery for your beloved pet and get back to enjoying your adventures together.

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.

If your dog has a cut paw pad, contact our Oceanside vets for care. We can help your pet to heal and return to normal activities as quickly as possible.

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