A paw injury may be a challenging injury to deal with. Because the area supports a dog’s weight and because it is used in order to walk, it will undergo constant friction, pressure and also it will be difficult to keep clean. Another issue, is also the fact that the area is often a popular site dogs like to lick, therefore, further delaying healing.
1. Wash with soap
Use a nice antibacterial soap and wash the pad. This will clean the wound and prepare it for treatment.
2. Inspect the area
You can also dip the paws in water and Epsom salts for about 15 minutes, if you suspect something may be stuck in the skin. Should you spot a thorn or something embedded carefully remove it with tweezers. Check for glass, thorns, burrs anything that can be stuck within the pad.
Once the paw pad is clean and dry, disinfect with betadine. You can soak a cotton ball and carefully disinfect the area allowing it then to air dry for a few minutes.
4. Prevent infection
Neosporin works great as it prevents infection and it is safe should your dog lick it off. However, you want you dog not to lick it off because it needs to be absorbed through the skin properly. So keep an eye on your dog and wrap the paw up so he will not have access to it. For some reason dogs seem to like to lick it up.
5. Use gauze
Wrap the paw in gauze to keep the would clean and cushion as the dog walks. You can secure the gauze then with self adhering bandage so your dog can walk without the gauze coming off. Keep a watchful eye on dogs that tend to eat foreign matter. Also, every now and then like when your dog is resting, take the gauze off so your the wound can dry and heal faster.
6. Put a sock on top
Many times a sock on top of the gauze will discourage your dog from licking the paw. But be very careful. Some dogs tend to eat socks, and this may cause an intestinal obstruction.
7. Get bitter apple
Try to spray some bitter apple on top of the gauze or on the sock. This is a spray that has an awful taste that discourages most dogs from licking and chewing. You can find it in pet stores. Yet, a small percentage of dogs care less about the taste. Never spray it directly on the wound.
8. Teach “leave it”
During the day, teach the “leave it” command when he or she is seen trying to pick at his foot. Some dogs tend to cater to their wounds when bored or left alone. It helps to toss a bone or a chew toy to keep the dog distracted.
9. E- collars
If your dog is persistent in licking his paw until it is raw, you may need to invest in an E- collar. This is a lamp shade collar used on dogs to prevent them from turning their head around to chew or lick wounds. While, your dog may be uncomfortable the first hours, most get a hang of it sooner than later.
10. Monitor 24/7
In obstinate cases, you may need to observe your dog carefully all day and all night. Sometimes having the dog sleep in your room besides you will discourage from licking in the night. However, this may be hard to achieve for those owners that are absent during the day.
*Disclaimer: All remedies suggested are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.