While you may not know when it happens, a cut foot can be a serious thing for your dog. Whether it is a service dog, an urban search and rescue or just your family pooch you've had for years, caring for your dog as soon as you notice an injury is key. Some cuts may be simple, surface wounds, while others can run deeper than they appear. Keeping a close eye on your dog's progress and taking the right steps to treat cuts, especially on the pads of their feet, will ensure a happy companion that will be ready to run after a few days of TLC.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Antibacterial soap
- Epsom salts
- Clean towel or paper towels
- Neosporin (preferably the version with pain relief)
- Self-adhering gauze
Clear any debris from the paw and the wound area. This can be done by gently removing pieces of dirt or small sticks by hand, and then carefully washing the area with a mild antibacterial soap and water.
Soak the cut foot in a warm Epsom salts bath for 10 to 15 minutes. This can help clear any small debris away from the foot as well by slowly moving the foot back and forth in the water.
Dry the foot completely with a clean towel or paper towels, but do not press on the wound. You don't want fibres getting caught in an already sore location.
Apply an antibiotic, such as Neosporin with pain relief, to the cut area. Dabbing the ointment can get it onto the foot without using pressure. If the cut is particularly severe, wrap the foot area lightly with gauze to keep debris from entering the wound.
Repeat the steps for washing your dog's foot twice a day and reapply any antibiotic during this time as needed until the foot heals. Each time you treat the foot, take note of how well it is healing and whether the wound is improving or worsening.
Tips and warnings
- If you start to see signs of infection during your cleanings or you notice your dog limping, seek professional care from your vet. Not only do you want to keep your dog from feeling pain, but also you will want to prevent the wound from leading to something worse.
- If possible, encourage your dog to leave the wound alone and not chew or bite at it or any bandaging. A "lampshade" collar can help keep your dog from having access to the wound.
- Some dogs respond differently to pain. If you fear you may be bitten by treating the cut foot, then take your dog to the vet for care. If necessary, she can put your dog under to treat the hurt area.
- If you do need to wrap the foot with gauze, do not wrap it tightly. Your dog needs circulation to flow smoothly through the leg to help heal the foot. If you are unsure how tight to wrap the foot, then do not wrap it.