How to Treat Common Paw Problems in Dogs

Dog paws

Common Paw Problems in Dogs

Healthy paws are essential to your pet's comfort and well-being. Paws offer protection against hazards, improve traction and balance, and serve as shock absorbers for the limbs. Regular home paw exams can help you spot these common paw issues.

Cracked Pads

Cracks may develop in the pads on the bottom of your dog's feet after exposure to cold temperatures, salt, chemicals, cleaners, or fertilizers. Cracks may bleed and might become infected without treatment. A moisturizing balm can help heal minor cracks. If cracks are deep or bleeding, your furry friend may need a prescription for antibiotic cream.

Booties, socks, paw balm, pad protectors, or other products can reduce the risk of cracks and keep your dog comfortable during walks and outdoor play sessions.

Allergies

Allergies may be responsible for your pet's red, swollen, smelly paws. Dogs often lick, bite, or chew the feet to try to ease the never-ending itching that occurs with allergies. Over-the-counter allergy medication or prescription steroid medication, depending on the severity of the allergies, can reduce itching and other symptoms. (Check with your pet's veterinarian before you give your pet any over-the-counter medication.) If your furry friend has developed a bacterial infection as a result of licking or biting the feet, antibiotics may also be needed.

Mats

Mats can form on the skin between the toes, particularly if your dog has long hair. Matted hair may sound like a minor problem, but mats tend to pull on the skin, causing discomfort and even infections in severe cases. Brushing the hair between the toes regularly and taking your dog to the groomer for an occasional trim can help prevent mats from forming.

Injuries

Your furry friend's paws may be tough but they can be injured by hot and cold surfaces, broken glass, sticks, or sharp stones. Nail injuries can also cause painful paw injuries. Long nails can easily become caught in cracks in flooring and tear away, resulting in pain and bleeding. Call your pet's veterinarian if you notice blisters, swelling, bleeding, limping, or embedded objects in the paws or paw pads. Emergency treatment can improve your pet's comfort and reduce the risk of infection.

Yeast Infection

Do your dog's feet smell like corn chips? A yeast infection may be the cause of this peculiar odor. The infection is more likely to occur if your dog has allergies, a hormonal imbalance, or immune system issues. Yeast infection symptoms can include itching, greasy skin, crusty paws, and swollen nail beds. Anti-fungal creams, wipes, and oral medication can clear the infection. It's also important to treat underlying conditions that may have caused the infection.

Demodectic Pododermatitis

Mange can affect your pet's entire body causing hair loss and crusty or scaly skin. Demodectic pododermatitis is confined to the feet and causes itching and hair loss on the paws. The condition occurs due to the overgrowth of tiny mites that live in hair follicles. Although these mites don't usually cause any problems normally, they can trigger mange symptoms if your pet has a weak immune system.

Treatment of demodectic pododermatitis may include soaking the feet in a dip solution, oral medication, and antibiotics to treat infections.

Pemphigus Foliaceus

Fluid-filled blisters or crusty skin on the paw pads can occur if your pet has pemphigus foliaceus (PF), an auto-immune condition. Eventually, your dog's pads may thicken and begin to crack. The condition happens when your pet's immune system attacks the outer layers of the paw pads. Corticosteroids will stop the blisters from forming and improve the condition of your pet's paws. Your dog may need to take the medication for the rest of his or her life.

Is your dog having paw problems or limping? Injuries and infections can make your furry friend miserable. We can determine the source of your pet's paw issues and offer treatment recommendations that will improve your pet's comfort. Contact our office to schedule a convenient appointment.

Sources:

PetMD: 9 Common Paw Problems in Dogs, 6/3/16

Pet Health Network: Pododermatitis in Dogs: Why Are My Dog’s Feet Red and Itchy

American Kennel Club: Why Is My Dog Limping, 5/21/19

Call to schedule your pet's wellness or urgent care exam now: (952) 758-6722

Testimonials

  • We have been clients of New Prague Animal Care for over 13 years. They have provided exceptional and compassionate care for our “pack” (6 dogs and 3 cats). As a professional dog trainer, breeder of Best in Show and Master Hunter Retrievers as well an owner of multiple kennel/ doggy daycare facilities (30+ years), I have worked with numerous veterinary clinics both in the Twin Cities and nationwide. Dr. Steve and his crew rate among the finest I have worked with. The clinic has all of the fea

    ...
    Read More - Kathryn N
  • My dad has taken all of his dogs there for years, and I take mine there as well. Dr. Lavalle's bedside manner is amazing, and his staff are so genuine and caring. I always have, and will continue referring people to take their pets here. They are hands down the best veterinary care in the area!

    - Amber C
  • Have taken our dogs to Dr. Lavallee for over 10 years and he is great with each of them. He and his staff are very caring and helpful.

    - Barb S
  • Middle of a snow storm a few days ago. My little puppy was injured. I live in Faribult. Vet offices were closed in town. They actually called me while in route to see if I was ok. They were so good with the puppy. The cost was very reasonable. Called today to see how everything was going. I really was very impressed with this office. I recommend this place.

    ...
    Read More - Wendy E
  • Awesome experience! My pets love the care they get from Dr. Lavallee and his staff! They are not just a number; they care for them like my babies are family! Would highly recommend them!

    - SGGM
  • Found a 6-wk old kitten on the side of the highway and brought it in at 7pm on emergency basis. I was blown away by the compassion of Dr. Johnson's team. What a great experience. True animal people!

    - Anna H
  • Moved to New Prague and found this place for our dog.. Such great service, friendly staff, amazing Dr. and very accommodating to all of our needs!! Highly recommended by my pet family!!!

    - Kerri N
  • We love New Prague Animal Care, they are always so kind and caring, from the phone calls to when you walk in. We take our Siberian Husky Bandit in and he gets so much attention, well loved. We've had to take him in twice for emergencies, the in house testing was great, Dr. Johnson was able to resolve the issue almost immediately. I wouldn't take him anywhere else.

    ...
    Read More - Myra C

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

CURRENT HOURS

Pending further developments, we are open MWF 8am-6pm, TTh 8am-8pm, and Sat 9am-Noon.

Monday

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Tuesday

8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Wednesday

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Thursday

8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Friday

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Saturday

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sunday

Closed

Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday
Closed

Our Location