Pet parents need to pay more attention when temperatures rise. It’s important to keep your cat or dog cool and hydrated, but also to watch out for any paw pads that have been burned.
Summer is the perfect time to take your dog for a short walk, especially when it’s hot. This will help to prevent him from overheating and painful burns on his pads.
What are Paw Pads?
The paw pads on the sole of the feet are made up of special skin. The pads allow for a good pressure distribution when walking, running, or jumping while also creating a protective barrier to the ground. The footpads can wear out, particularly in conditions of extreme weather or on terrain that is new.
What causes paw pad burns?
Some animals suffer from burns on their paws as a result of being around fires or chemicals. However, some dogs get burned paws from running or walking too fast over hot surfaces, such as tennis courts or pavements.
Paw Pad Burns: How to Identify Them
The paw pads may show signs of pain, including:
- A paw licking
- A paw held abnormally
- Does your pad have a bleeding, red or ulcerated pad?
- When using the leg, vocalizing is a good idea
Burns can easily be seen with the naked eye, even though many factors can trigger these symptoms. Burns can cause even black-pigmented pads to turn red. Hot concrete or pavement can cause blisters that may rupture within a couple of days. The pad’s protective layer and skin can also fall off and expose an inflamed, raw, and sore surface underneath. It can happen on both hot and cold surfaces, as well as in dogs that aren’t used to running on concrete.
Surfaces that are too warm can cause physical burns, but dogs may also get a blister or burn from running over surfaces to which they aren’t used, such as concrete.
Treatment of Paw Pad Burns In Dogs
The treatment depends on how severe the burn is. The pet must be immediately taken to a veterinarian if the burns are severe.
The paws may need to be bandaged. Most veterinarians prescribe antibiotics because paws tend to be dirty, as they are often the first thing that comes into contact with the earth. Infected paw pad burns may spread quickly. The antibiotic may be topical or oral, depending on how severe the burn is and your dog’s attitude.
Burned dogs should not be allowed to exercise and the wounds need to be checked several times per day, even if they are bandaged. Avoid hot pavements and uneven terrains, particularly when the wound is healing. Do not allow your dog to chew or lick the bandage or paw. To prevent further self-trauma, an Elizabethan collar might be required.
This area is difficult to heal due to its high level of mobility. It can also be dirty. A splint may be required by some dogs to reduce mobility further and to allow the wound time to heal.
It depends on how severe the burn is and what kind of dog you have. Mild burns may heal in 7-10 days. However, severe burns or pad sloughing can take weeks.
As long as you give your dog plenty of recovery time, there is usually no lasting side effect or complications from paw pad injuries.
How to prevent paw pad burns in dogs
Avoiding extreme weather can help prevent paw pad burns. Before walking your dog, check the surface temperature. Avoid hot pavement, severe ice or snow, and areas that have been treated with salt. Keep outdoor walks at a minimum in extreme weather.
Be sure that you exercise your dog consistently on the same surfaces. As you introduce a new surface, slowly increase your dog’s tolerance and endurance.