Dear VetBabble: My Dog’s Paw is Injured – What Should I Do?
Hi. My dog seems to have injured her paw at the nail. It’s swollen, red, and she constantly licks it, making it worse. I suspect there may be a grass seed under the skin. How can I help my dog, and when should I consult a vet?
Understanding the Issue: Injured Paws in Dogs
It’s quite distressing to see our furry friends in pain, and it’s important to address the issue as quickly as possible to prevent further complications. In this case, your dog’s persistent licking of her injured paw could be indicative of an underlying issue, such as a grass seed lodged under the skin, causing discomfort. To better understand why your dog might be licking her paws excessively, refer to our article, Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws?. Alternatively, your dog might be experiencing an allergic reaction, like the one described in the article, Why Does Wandering Jew Make My Dog Itch?. Whatever the cause, it’s vital to address the issue to prevent further damage and infection.
First Aid for Injured Paws: Treatment at Home
While it’s always advisable to consult your veterinarian when dealing with injuries and potential infections, there are some steps you can take at home to provide temporary relief for your dog and prevent the issue from worsening before your vet visit. Here are some suggested steps:
- Soak your dog’s injured paw in warm water with Epsom salts for 5 minutes, three times per day. Epsom salts can help reduce inflammation and soothe the pain. Gently pat the paw dry after soaking.
- Apply an appropriate topical spray to the affected area after soaking and drying the paw. We recommend Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Pet Wound and Skin Hydrogel for its antimicrobial properties that aid the healing process. Use the spray three times per day.
- Consider using a cone collar, like the Well & Good E-Collar, to prevent your dog from further licking and potentially worsening the injury.
For more tips on treating various kinds of wounds in dogs at home, visit our comprehensive guide, How to Treat your Dog’s Wounds at Home.
When to See the Vet: Examining the Injured Paw
While home treatment can provide temporary relief, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian to address the root cause of your dog’s discomfort and properly evaluate the severity of the injury. Your vet may need to remove the suspected grass seed or treat an infection that could have resulted from your dog’s constant licking of the wound.
Additionally, your vet can provide guidance on managing broken nails, as breaking or tearing a nail can be a common cause of paw injury in dogs. For more information on preventing and treating broken nails in dogs, read our article, How to Prevent and Treat a Broken Nail on a Dog.
In conclusion, it’s vital to prioritize your dog’s wellbeing by addressing any injuries promptly and consulting your veterinarian when necessary. By following the steps above and seeking professional guidance, you can help make your dog more comfortable and ensure proper healing of her injured paw.