Max is a typical Labrador retriever—sweet, lovable, and very active. One day he was so excited to get started on his daily jog he just hit the ground running (on the asphalt)! Pretty standard behavior for most dogs! But he may have been a little too eager that morning or maybe the asphalt was a little rougher than usual because this time he injured himself. After his jog he started walking on his tip toes and Max’s owner knew something was wrong.
Max was seen by his regular veterinarian Dr. Kristel Weaver. His injuries were obvious upon examination- all four of his paw pads were torn. This is actually a very common injury for dogs. It is frequently seen when the weather changes and the asphalt is warmer than usual. Torn paw pads are similar to humans getting a bad blister on their foot. Friction causes the tough surface skin to tear away, exposing the softer, more sensitive skin beneath. Everyone who has had blisters can empathize!
Max needed to be sedated for Dr. Weaver and her technician Rachel to treat him. Many pets are sensitive in general about having their paws touched—they are even more so when they are in pain. The next step was to clip away the torn skin followed by a thorough cleansing of each paw with betadine, an antiseptic solution. Each of the raw spots on his paws received antibiotic ointment and then a special medicated powder was applied to help dry his paws before bandaging. The final step included bandaging Max’s paws with special padding and no-chew wrap. The padding helps protect his tender paw pads when he walks.
It will take about a week for Max to heal completely. He goes home with pain medication to help ease the discomfort. In a couple days the bandages can come off and be replaced with socks or special dog booties. The hardest part will be no long walks or jogging until he is healed. But like they say, you can’t keep a good dog down and Max will be back to his happy, active routine in no time at all!