You know dog paw infections are quite common if you are used to having one. Our four-legged friends walk all day long on a different type of surfaces and often cut their paw or get thorns or debris deposited in the paw and skin folds.
The minor injuries can lead to canine paw infections while there are several other causes too. Today, I will help you identify a dog’s paw infection and tell you how to deal with it.
For many minor infections, you can even treat them at home!
A dog can develop paw infection from injuries and cuts. Your pet could be prone to infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi and other opportunistic pathogens. They enter the dog’s body through those injuries. Thorns and spark objects go deep into the paw and leave a significant potential for development of infections.
The infection can also be caused by allergy, which prompts the dog to lick their paws vehemently making them vulnerable to different infections. Sometimes infections are the result of problems in the immune system of the dog or even cancer.
The biting and licking of paws can also be a reaction to flea sensitivity or flea infestations. It also turns the paws sore and attracts infections to invade.
Symptoms Of Paw Infections
You should make a habit of checking your dog’s paw regularly to spot any development of infections or injuries. It’s a good practice to look at their paw condition after they come home after a walk or playing outdoors.
Specifically, you should look out for the following symptoms:
- Obvious marks of cuts or injury
- Redness or swelling of the paws
- Any discharge or development of pus
- Bad smell emitting from the paw
- Dog yelps when you try to touch the paw
- Excessive licking and biting of paws
Some specific breeds of dogs that have less padding on their paws and fine legs can be more prone to paw infections like Greyhounds, Great Dane, German Shepherd and Bull Terriers.
Vets generally carry out a skin examination apart from making a physical examination of the paw. A proper diagnosis is required to confirm the cause of infection and devise a fitting treatment plan.
Vets can collect skin samples to determine the cause and sometimes even recommend x-rays and to run blood tests. They may also suggest a biopsy if they fear cancer to be the cause of infection.
Treatment Of Dog Paw Infection
The treatment plan is made depending on the cause and status of the paw infection. Dogs can be given foot soaks with antibacterial and anti-allergic shampoos and solutions. They may also be given antibiotics for bacterial infections along with anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers.
A bandage generally covers the infected area, so that dog’s don’t lick off medicine or make the infection worse. The wound needs to be cleaned and regularly dressed for it to get better. The vet may also suggest the use of a buster collar so that your dog doesn’t bite off the bandage!
How To Treat Dog Paw Infection At Home?
It’s one of the trickier things that you will come across when it comes to taking care of your pet, but it is easy as well if you follow the basics. You can try to treat the paw infection at home if it’s a minor one that doesn’t need vets attention.
Here’s how to do it:
- Clean the paw and remove any lodgings and debris.
- Remove any foreign particles intruding in the paw (go to the vet at once if the object is too large).
- Mix equal parts of water and salt (8 parts) and heat to make it lukewarm.
- Soak your dog’s foot in the bath (repeat three times daily for 20 minutes).
- Add antibacterial and antifungal dog shampoo to make the soak more effective.
- Thoroughly clean the foot with a soft cloth to make it completely dry.
- Bandage the infected area.
- Clean the area and change bandage daily.
If you don’t see any improvement in the infection in 3 to 4 days, consider visiting a vet.