Pads on the feet of dogs have calluses that are designed to protect the feet, but their feet can get injuries, blisters and tears just like in humans. Learn about cleaning and treating dog pads with help from a veterinarian in this free video on dog health and foot pad injuries.
Hello I am Dr. Greg McDonald, I am a veterinarian in Southern California, my hospital is in Santa Barbara. I wanted to talk a little bit about about dog care today, and especially care of the pads of the feet on a dog. The pads of the feet are very similar to ours, except that they have calluses on the pads, and those calluses are especially designed to protect your dog. And so what happens often times in the heat or if people decide to take their dog for a walk in a rough area they can tear those pads. And what we have found over the years is that if you know you are going to be hiking with your dog, but your dog has been laying around all winter you don't just start on a long hike you have to kind of build up the pads just the same as you would with your own feet. If you are going to walk barefoot you don't go a long way the first day you start slowly, and build the calluses up on your feet. The other thing that we do sometimes see with dogs is that they may very well develop some real dry pads. Dry pads happen in certain parts of the country, and actually some dogs even have a special abnormal growth of the pads. Their pads are really coniferous type of growth on the pads, and sometimes they overgrow in certain areas, and your veterinarian may need to trim those back. We do have several different products that can actually help if your dog has over done it, they have gone running and you can see that one of the pads is torn, and it looks a little bit like a blister on our feet if we've got a new pair of shoes that don't fit. And that blister opens up so you have a little lose piece of skin, and you can just clip the piece of skin off. It doesn't hurt the dog to do that, but the underlying part might be very, very sore. The next that is very important is to clean it, and if you take a little bit of hydrogen peroxide even just some regular water to rinse it off, and try and get all the sand and debris off of the pad. And then it would be good to use some hydrogen peroxide, and then the best thing is to leave it open. But if you dog is so sore that he can't walk you may want to just put little socks or little booties on so that they can be a little more comfortable. Your veterinarian could also send home some medication. We sometimes like to use a little panalog, which has an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory as well as an antimycotic in it, and that can help to get the pads to heal a little quicker. It is very, very important that once the pad has been torn like that that you keep it from getting dirty again, and so if your dog does go outside I would put little booties on, and the rest of the time keep him indoors maybe for about a week until it is healed enough that it is not going to get infected. These are what the pads look like on a dog, and you can see that they've got one, two, three, four, five is a big pad here. Dogs also have an extra pad that is up this area right up in here. It is an accessory carpal pad, and that is something that sometimes can also be torn if they are running on a beach, and step on a rock funny.