Pets rely on their paws to stay active and healthy. The paw pads are generally up to the challenge, but accidents such as cuts, burns, scrapes and other abrasions are bound to happen. The risk is even higher for puppies, whose paws are especially tender.
dog paw,paw scrape,pet pawPet parents can follow these tips to treat paw ailments — and get their pet back on all fours in no time:
There are many hazards that can injury a pet’s paw. Rough surfaces such as gravel can slice through the paw padding, while hot concrete during the summer can cause burns. The natural environment, too, poses risks since sticks, bushes and burrs can cause cuts. In other cases, pets are their own worst enemies. Pets that lick or gnaw on their paws can cause cuts and cracking.
The first treatment step is to determine the severity of the injury. Head to the veterinarian for deep cuts or more serious injuries. If the wound is superficial, try these simple treatments:
For pets suffering from paw burns, Pedigree recommends that owners apply an ice pack to the burn, or run the affected paw under cool water.
Step 2: Once the paw is dry, apply an antibacterial ointment. Dr. Henry Cerny, a Nebraska-based veterinarian at the Yankee Hill Veterinary Hospital, recommends Vetericyn or Neosporin in a post on Cesar Millan’s blog.
Step 3: Bandage the paw with gauze or a pet bandage wrap. For added protection, cover the bandage with a loose sock or a pet bootie, though be sure not to cinch the cover too tightly as it could restrict blood circulation.
Clean the bandages daily, and monitor the wound closely. If it isn’t healing properly, or if the wound becomes infected, the next stop should be a vet for an expert opinion.
Does your pet have health insurance? Healthy Paws Pet Insurance provides coverage with no limits on claims.
If your pet needs treatment for any accident or illness and it's not a pre-existing condition, you're covered. It's that simple.