Dogs feet health is extremely important to his welfare and mobility. Checking for trapped dirt, tangled or matted hair, grass seeds, gravel, especially between the toes and pads. These foreign bodies, if not removed in time, can sometimes turn into a cyst.
It is also a good idea to trim any excess hair that grows between the pads and check for cracks in its pads. These can be treated with a healing pad wax or balm.
Keeping Dogs Feet Trouble Free
Remember the saying about dogs feet:“Happy feet, Happy dog!”
Clipping your dogs nails is also a very important part of that. So lets look at some of the problems your pet can suffer from if his nails and feet are neglected.
Maybe you have had some kind of nail or foot trouble so as you only have two legs imagine what a dog must go through when he has four to contend with. We all love our dogs and the more we learn about looking after the health of your pet the better it will be for us all.
Always check your dogs feet regularly, as prevention is always better then cure. Below are some symptoms to look out for when inspecting your pet.
- After inspecting the nails and you find that one or more of them is cracked.
- After losing and regrowing his nails they still have cracks.
- Your pet is having trouble walking, getting up, or climbing stairs( this could just be old age or arthritis.)
- One or more legs is in an awkward position including a tendency to drag.
- There is swelling in the toes, dogs feet, or legs with inflammation of the soft tissue around the nail
- The nails may flake off in layers or have noticeable deformities.
- Your pet is constantly licking or chewing his feet and become irritable.
- In the dogs feet there may be tenderness and swelling around the nails which are broken, cracked, or bleeding
- There are cuts, blisters, growths, or burns on the pads of his paws.
- He shows pain when jumping off his bed or even simply changing his position
- Liquid may ooze from around the area of the nail.
In all dogs feet these are definite signs of infection and need immediate treatment.
Keeping Dogs Feet Trouble Free
The Causes of these infections and abnormalities include:
- Bacterial infections.
- Diseases of the immune system.
- Diminished blood flow to the nail bed(circulatory disorders)
- Inbred deformities.
- Excessive nail trimming
The Nails in dogs feet are an extension of the skin. Dogs use their nails for practically everything so for a dog cracked nails are extremely painful and prone to difficult to cure infections.
If there’s blood on your dog’s paw or any of your dogs feet and he is limping and licking his paw then toenail problems, specifically torn or broken nails, are usually the cause.
If left untreated, a torn nail can become infected, causing severe pain and irritation.
Removal of the broken part, is best done with nail trimmers and the foot may need temporary bandage to stop bleeding and also an antibiotic to prevent infection.
Looking After Your Dog At Home
If you treat your dogs feet at home, remember: a torn nail is painful and you should avoid getting bitten.
The following steps are important when treating your dogs feet:
- You will have to stop the bleeding with silver nitrate or styptic pencils or even cornstarch or flour.
- If the nail doesn’t come off easily, you can try to use a pet nail trimmer and remove the nail at the level of the break. If the tear in the nail is high up and near the base of the nail, don’t attempt to remove it with trimmers. As the bone of each toe is close to the start of the nail you may cause your dog more pain.
- After removing the damaged nail, wash the area with warm water then apply a temporary bandage. Do not tighten the bandage too tight and leave in place for 12/24 hours.
- Leaving a torn nail to heal on its own or allowing the nail to grow out is not an option. This causes persistent irritation and possible repeat breaks.
Best preventative care is to trim your pet’s nails frequently. Overgrown nails are most commonly prone to infection.
Trimming a Dogs Feet Nails
Why not trim your own dogs nails?Dog’s nails usually grow very quickly it makes good practice to have a go at trimming them your self.
With the correct care it’s a very safe procedure however, you will need a good quality pair of dog nail clippers.
The first thing to do is to get your dog used having his paws held without pulling away from you.
When you are with him playfully hold his paws without attempting to do anything but have contact.
Regularly inspect your dogs feet like his paws and nails until it becomes second nature to both your dog and you, which will make it easier when you attempt to trim his nails. Like everything with all animals if they feel threatened they will refuse to cooperate.
You will need a steady hand and a good eye. One method to learn about where the blood supply or quick is located in your dogs feet is to shine a light up through the nails and you will see where it is located. The end of the nail is actually dead and has no feeling in it. But where the blood supply ends is the nerve and this will bleed if you happen to catch it with the nail clippers. If you happen to catch the vein and cause bleeding you must use a coagulant to stem the flow and normally not difficult to stop.
At first just take a small amount of the end (you can see the point on the nail in the picture on the left.) Just remove the end, until you become more proficient, many professional people do occasionally catch the quick of the nail with the soft tissue containing blood vessels.
It should never be a struggle to cut your dog’s nails. Probably you will be very nervous at first, but with care and plenty of patience you will succeed. Taking care of your dogs feet is a way of creating a better environment in and around your home