Dogs can develop painful foot problems just as humans can. If your canine friend shows signs of a foot injury or abnormality, you'll want to bring it to your veterinarian for evaluation and any necessary treatment. Take a look at four foot problems that merit professional attention at a reputable animal hospital.
Pododermatitis involves inflammation or irritation of paw skin. This condition commonly shows symptoms such as redness and swelling, although some cases may also produce darkening of the paw skin and/or ulcerous lesions. Causes include bacterial infection, allergies, environmental irritants, tumors, and hormonal problems.
2. Paw Pad Burn
Paw pad burns can cause some of the same outward symptoms as pododermatitis. Your pet may develop a limp, avoid walking altogether, or lick at the burned paw pad. Walking on hot surfaces or chemicals such as de-icing compounds can burn the paw pads. Your veterinarian will apply antibiotics and bandage the burns.
3. Torn Toenail
In the wild, dogs naturally wear down their toenails on rough terrain. In the controlled environment of the modern home, however, toenails can easily overgrow to the point that they get snagged on carpeting or flooring. As a result, your dog's toenails may tear away from the cuticles, causing bleeding paws and pain.
A torn toenail may need removal as well as treatment with antibiotics and pain medication. To avoid future torn toenail incidents, keep your dog's toenails trimmed to a sensible length. Since home toenail trimming efforts can sometimes result in injury to the paws, you should let a professional groomer handle this task.
4. Fractured Toe
If you've ever fractured a toe, you know how disabling this condition can prove until the bone eventually repairs itself. Dogs can sustain toe fractures if they hit their foot against a hard surface or get it caught in a tight spot. You might even fracture your dog's toe accidentally by stepping on its foot.
A fractured toe will cause lameness and swelling. Some toe fractures may even break the skin, raising the threat of bacterial infection. After taking X-rays and running lab tests to check your dog's overall health, your veterinarian may apply a cast or splint, set the fracture surgically, or in severe cases amputate the toe.
The condition of your dog's feet directly impacts its overall wellness and quality of life. If you see any signs of discomfort, damage, or infection, schedule veterinarian services immediately.