We may not usually give attention to our dog’s paws, but apparently, these are one of the most sensitive parts of a canine’s body. If we have our slippers and shoes to help us feel comfortable during walks, then dogs have their own version – their paw pads. These mainly serve as cushion that absorbs the shock whenever dogs walk and run; thus, protecting the bones on the joints to hit one another. One of the most common issues of the paw pads is cracking. Surely, at one point in your pooch’s life, you will observe this phenomenon.
Cracking of the digital pads is not something alarming. If they feel rough and thickened, this means that they are normal. Pads is not supposedly soft and smooth – commonly seen in indoor dogs. Without the toughness and roughness that dogs should develop as they take their outside walks, the pads are very prone to cracking and infection. When there is cracking, you would observe blood and sometimes, pain. There are dogs which have a high tolerance for pain in their extremities so be cautious that your dog might not show signs of discomfort. But if he does, then it really is time to take action. Clean the pad using a gauze or cotton, and apple antibacterial ointment or wound healing agents. Place a sock on the affected foot and wrap it using a bandage tape. Make sure to tie them on the ankles or joints to prevent your dog from limping. Pads contain sweat glands and this is where the dog dissipates heat, so make sure to check and replace your bandage daily to prevent secondary bacterial infection and pus formation. This is also the reason why it is not advised to wrap the paw in gauze and tape it – the continuous moisture and sweat release won’t help in the stability of the bandage. You can also apply balms available in the market and drugstores to help relieve the pain and inflammation. Pet booties can also help ease the discomfort when walking your dog for his daily exercise. Healing should be evident 10-14 days of treatment. Should you observe further inflammation, bleeding and extreme pain, then it is best to bring your furry love to the veterinarian.