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My dog hurt his paw pads on a recent walk. What can I do to help them heal?

Paw pads are amazingly tough and resilient. But, tough as they are, paw pads are not made of armor. Common paw pad injuries include lacerations, punctures and abrasions. Paw pads can also be injured by extreme temperatures and chemical spills on the ground. If the injury is severe (or if you aren’t sure how severe the injury is), take your dog to the vet for professional medical treatment. Here are a few first aid tips you can perform at home before taking him to the vet—and to treat minor injuries: (1) Clean the wound by removing any debris, then wash it in clean water. If the debris is deeply embedded in the wound, take your dog to your veterinarian for treatment. (2) If there’s bleeding, stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the paw pad with a bandage. If the cut is small, the bleeding may stop shortly. Deeper cuts will probably need to be treated by your veterinarian. (3) Heat burns can be soothed with an ice pack or the cool running water from a hose or faucet. (4) If you dog steps into a harsh chemical, immediately flush the entire paw with cool water and keep it running until all traces of the chemical are washed away. Next stop: the vet’s office.

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Answered Thursday, September 29, 2011 2:51 PM

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