A dog's paw can bleed for several reasons, as this area of the animal's body is subject to extreme wear and tear. Additionally, the pads on the underside of the dog's paw contain several blood vessels, which can cause bleeding when the paw is exposed to burns from heated surfaces and entry of foreign objects such as shards of glass, thorns and nails. If your dog's paw is bleeding, don't panic. Instead, focus on stopping the bleeding.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Gauze pad
- Epsom salt
- Ice pack
- Adhesive tape
- Topical antibiotic ointment
- Dog bootee or small sock
Examine the paw to determine the cause and severity of the bleeding. If the bleeding is minimal, you should treat it at home. If the bleeding is severe or if a deep-seated foreign object is embedded in the paw, take your dog to a veterinarian for treatment immediately.
Before treating your dog at home, use restraining measures to prevent him from turning his head and biting you. Place a leash around the dog's neck, wrap the other end of the leash around a stationary object and pull your dog against the stationary object to hold him in place.
Prepare an antiseptic wash by mixing equal quantities of iodine and water. Stir in half a teaspoon of Epsom salt, and gently pour this solution on your dog's paw to clean the wound. Do not scrub the wounded paw, because it will result in further bleeding.
Wipe the paw dry with a clean towel. Apply pressure on the wound by placing a clean towel or sterile gauze pad on it, to control the bleeding. Place an ice pack on the wrapped wound. Remove the towel, gauze pad and ice pack after five minutes.
Squeeze out some topical antibiotic ointment onto a clean, sterile gauze pad and place it on the wound. Secure the pad in place by attaching two strips of adhesive tape on either side of the paw and wrapping it around the paw.
Protect the wounded paw and dressing, by putting a dog bootee or a small sock over it.
Replace the bandage every other day, because a dog sweats through its paws and the bandage will get moist. Wet bandages can slow down healing and cause infection.
Tips and warnings
- Place an Elizabethan collar around your dog's neck for a few days to prevent him from licking the bandage and playing with it.
- Do not use hydrogen peroxide to sterilise the paw. This prevents the blood in the wound from clotting.
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