Your pet’s paws are their gateway to the world. Not only do paws take them where they want to go, they act as shock absorbers for the feet and leg bones as well as providing insulation and traction for the feet. As important as they are, it’s easy to overlook your pet’s paws when it comes to your daily pet care regimen.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common paw problems in pets, and how you can best care for this critical (and super cute) body part!
Signs of Paw Problems in Pets
Your pet may be experiencing a paw problem if you notice any of the following:
- Obsessive licking or chewing of one or more paws
- Limping or lameness
- Cuts, lesions, or discharge
- Cracked or torn nails
- Refusal to put weight on one foot
- Dry, cracked pads or loose flaps of skin on one or more pads
- Foul smell coming from paw
- Hair loss around toes
Paw problems can cause extreme discomfort for your pet, or even be dangerous. Please contact the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital right away if you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet.
Common Paw Problems in Pets
Allergies – Allergies are the most common reason for paw problems in dogs. Unlike in humans, allergies in pets tend to manifest as skin disturbances, especially around the paws. Obsessive licking and chewing are common, along with damage to the paw pads.
Infections – Fungus and bacteria naturally present on and around your pet’s paws can grow out of control for a variety of reasons. You may notice licking and chewing, swelling, drainage, and odor.
Nail issues – Nails that are too long, ingrown, or torn can lead to pain and trouble walking. Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to avoid issues.
Declawing issues – Declawing cats can cause serious problems for them. Pain, anxiety, and behavior problems may result from the declawing procedure. Nail caps are a wonderful alternative to declawing, along with making sure kitty has plenty of safe scratching surfaces around the house–check with your veterinarian for more details!
Injuries – Cuts, abrasions, blisters, and dry or cracked pads can happen for a variety of reasons and result in plenty of problems for your pet. Keep their paws happy by making sure they aren’t walking on hot surfaces in the summer (opt for early morning or evening walks or stick grassy areas) and that you are wiping their paws each time they come indoors in the winter to remove road salts, chemical deicers, and other debris. Check the paw pads regularly to stay on top of any potential issues.
Parasites – Ticks love to hide in warm, dark places such as in between your pet’s toes. Left unattended, ticks can cause plenty of problems, such as pain and infection. Check your pet’s feet after they’ve been outdoors and promptly remove any ticks with a tweezer, making sure to grasp it by the head and pull the entire body out. Mite infestations can also cause hair loss, swelling, and scaling, and will need to be addressed by your veterinarian.
When my parents’ dog Kya died very suddenly a few years ago‚ their regular vet was not at work that day. But thankfully‚ Dr. Tullio was and treated my parents and their dog as if he was their doctor for the past 15 years—doing everything he could to try and revive Kya and by being so compassionate to my parents in the waiting room after having to deliver the sad news. We truly can’t say enough nice things about Dr. Tullio and can’t wait for him to open his new facility! Thank you.
—Lori Forrest & Bob Leahy
Molly and Oscar have been patients of Dr. Tullio for several years. I have been very pleased with his care‚ his expertise‚ and his understanding with my two Wheatens. Dr. Tullio has been quick to diagnose any issues and remedy all of the problems we’ve had. I look forward to many more years working with Dr. Tullio. I wish him well in his venture.
Doctor Tullio is a kind, caring gentleman who has cared for my cocker spaniels for many years now. He has always been helpful‚ honest‚ and understanding with my pets and me. He is a man I trust completely and have and do refer others to him. Any pet owner can feel safe and secure in trusting their beloved pets to his skilled hands.
—Margaret Rowe‚ Howell‚ NJ
Dr. Tullio has always treated our dogs with great knowledge‚ care‚ and compassion‚ and we have grown to know him quite well. We have been so completely impressed with Dr. Tullio’s consistent excellence in care and services that we wanted to share our experience with others. We are pleased to recommend as the place to go for both quality treatment and compassionate care for your furry family members.