Dogs don’t really watch where they are walking and they are eventually going to step on something that lodges in their paw, like a prickly thorn. You can remove a thorn from a dog’s paw using a soothing manner and a few simple steps. Done carefully enough, your furry best friend won’t even realise you are performing makeshift surgery right on the spot.
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Act immediately. The moment your dog howls in pain, rush over to him with open arms and check out what the cause is. Once you find the thorn in the paw pad, don’t touch it right away or the dog may simply cringe or try to run away and thus make the thorn embed itself deeper.
Calm the canine. Get your dog to sit or lie down with all pressure off the paw that has the thorn in it. Get him in a position where the thorn is fully exposed so you can get at it. Begin petting your pal in slow, sweeping motions and talking in a soothing voice so he stops hyperventilating. If you try to pull the thorn out when your dog is hyper-alert, his muscles will be contracted and it will be harder to remove.
Distract the dog. Place one hand under his chin or around his head as you continue to pet him. Look into his eyes to gain his attention and keep up the wooing as you slowly move your other hand towards the paw that contains the thorn.
Yank the thorn. Once your dog is calm enough and your hand is close enough, grasp the thorn and pull it straight out in one swift movement. Do this quickly before the dog even realised what happened. You may get one last yowl of pain as the thorn comes out, but that will immediately be followed by a look of gratitude and relief.
Shower the dog with love, cooing and affection to combat the horror of what just happened to him.
Tips and warnings
- Inspect the area frequently to make sure none of thorn is still in the paw and no infection sets in. If any of these occur, take your dog to the vet for treatment.
- Keep an eye out for a continuous limp on the paw that had the thorn or excessive licking of the paw, which may signal some of the thorn is still inside.