Between frozen ground in winter, hot bitumen in summer or a possible nutrient deficit, our dogs’ pads can be strained or even severely cut. Here are great tips to take care of a dog paw pad injury flap.
The pad is covered with a thick horn under which lies a more fragile epidermis. Although designed to be strong, a crack, crevice or cut is very painful and can cause walking discomfort or limping (limping dog).
Planning and preparation
To best treat a dog paw pad injury flap, it is essential to have your hands free, to protect the floors from greasy care products, to secure your movements and to have all the necessary accessories close to you. You have to be quick, precise and reassuring. This unpleasant moment for everyone will pass quickly and your dog will be relieved, if you know what you’re doing.
To have your hands free (if you are alone), have your animal lie down on a blanket or rug and tie it securely (to a table leg or other). To secure your movements and prevent your dog from licking his paws after the treatment, put a collar on him or immobilize his mouth with a cord.
Treatment of the injury
After rinsing the pad, look carefully (with a magnifying glass or with intense light, if possible) if you see any foreign object. If you do, gently remove it with tweezers and then disinfect the wound. If the pad is cracked or cut, you should disinfect the area first.
In all cases, the damaged skin must be restored by applying a repairing cream. Coconut oil brings a lot of comfort to a battered pad. Take a deodorized oil, because its irresistible smell is a real temptation for dogs. Choose an organic and cold pressed type of oil for best results.
A repair cream, rich in zinc and penetrates quickly, will usually provide excellent results at an affordable cost. Reward your dog after each treatment, and he will quickly understand that you are simply looking to care for him.
Depending on the severity of the injury and most certainly in the case of a dog paw pad injury flap, it may take around two weeks to complete recovery. To allow your dog to keep walking without worsening its condition, you can put it on 2 baby socks that you will secure with hair ties. Also, there are dog shoes that can be purchased from specialty pet sites. However, they are recommended for dogs with long hair only, because these shoes tend to injure dogs with short hair due to excessive friction, causing irritation.
To prevent further injury to the pad, a few precautions should be taken. Walk your dog in the cooler hours of the day and avoid surfaces that tend to overheat such as asphalt. When walking in rough winter conditions of if the level of activity is more intense than normal coat your dog’s pads with a tanning lotion or paste. This kind of care hardens the horn of the pad and leaves a protective film on it. It should be consistently applied every day for better and longer lasting results. Of course, rinse your dog’s paws if they come into contact with seawater, snow, rocks, sand or any other abrasive conditions.
Chronic pad injury treatment
If your pet has cracked pads quite often, it may be lacking in vitamins and trace elements. A blood test and a complete physical examination can help improve the situation. In general, the veterinary will check for any of the following:
- Is your dog trying to eat the droppings of other dogs?
- Does it have digestive problems?
- Is its hair brittle and his skin covered with dandruff?
These few signs indicate dry skin and a lack of trace elements like zinc.
Help your dog regain a beautiful skin
For these delicate doggies, you have to adopt a sound care routine. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your dog’s kibble. It is interesting to note that coconut oil will not make the dog fat. The energy released by the oil is immediately consumed by its body and not excess fat ends up being stored. Once again, look for higher quality oils such as the organic oil, cold pressed types.
Another good tip is to add beer yeast to your dog’s diet. It is a perfect food supplement that is rich in vitamins and zinc. Be sure to choose a composition without sulfite. Or better yet, include in your dog’s diet food that is high in omega 3, such as salmon.
Last but least, there are products than can be applied to the skin of the dog which restore the skin microflora. When you are enjoying special moments with your dog, take the opportunity to hydrate his pads. Creams made from beeswax are excellent.
Remember to keep a stock of socks or shoes to use at the slightest recurrence as they will help your dog heal and recover completely.
Dog paw pad injury flap: 3 important wrap-up thoughts
1) Usually, superficial and not very extensive skin wounds do not require a veterinary consultation and can be treated by the owners.
In this case, it is advisable to monitor the progress and disinfect the wound daily until healing. A veterinarian should be consulted if an abnormal development (oozing, pain, bad smell, etc.) is observed.
2) Most dogs do not need any maintenance or special care of the pads, but regular inspections are desirable because the pads, in direct contact with the ground, are always at risk of being injured.
3) Preventive care is recommended for dogs with fragile paws or having activities during which the pads are extensively exposed to rough surfaces.