Paw injuries in dogs

Dogs with first aid kit

The paws of our four-legged darlings are exposed to stress with every step they take. Paw injuries in dogs are therefore not uncommon and a painful affair for your furry nose. Whether it’s small pointy rocks that are causing your dog discomfort or possibly sharp metal pieces and shards: The causes for the injury of the paw are varied.

Two problems are in the foreground here. An injury of the paw leads on the one hand to a blood loss, which is not insignificant. On the other hand, the injury leads to infections. How to recognize an injury to the paw? What initial measures you must apply in an emergency? What are the costs of veterinary care?

These causes lead to a paw injury in dogs

As already described at the beginning, the causes for this are very diverse. It’s not always just sharp stones or broken glass. Your dog’s paw has to withstand numerous stresses and strains. Unlike us two-legged people, dogs do not wear shoes. He can step into all kinds of things, which subsequently lead to injuries. These include:

  • sharp-edged objects
  • broken glass
  • sharp metal objects or small stones

Under certain circumstances, a paw injury may even result from running on the asphalt for too long. This is the case, for example, in the summer, when you take your darling for a long walk and the paws are relentlessly exposed to the hot ground. Likewise, walks in winter likewise lead to paw injuries in dogs: Often the sidewalks are littered with road salt: It comes to an irritation of the paw pads, because the small grains are sometimes very sharp-edged.

Our tip: Paw injuries in dogs can lead to expensive veterinary treatment under certain circumstances. You can protect yourself financially against this with dog health insurance. With dog health insurance, your dog is a private patient at the vet on the side.

What are the types of paw injuries in dogs?

Not only are the causes varied, but the form of a paw injury in dogs has many different pictures as well. So it is a clear difference whether your dog has injured himself on a shard or has caught a tick bite. Therefore, paw injuries can have a different appearance:

  • Strongly bleeding wound due to a puncture or cut injury
  • Injury of the claw by hanging and a tear off connected with it
  • Skin injuries caused by hot asphalt
  • awns of ears of grain that penetrate into the area between the toes
  • Breakage of a claw
  • in the wild under certain circumstances injuries caused by snares or catches

How to recognize a dog paw injury?

Basically, an injury to the paw is a very painful matter. Even without your dog making himself known by whining, there are clear signs that something is wrong with his paw:

  • The gait of your dog changes.
  • Your dog limps.
  • He nibbles at his paw.
  • Your pelt-nose limps and spares one of his legs.
  • Your dog tries to avoid any occurrence

These are clear signs that something is wrong. You must now control your dog’s paw. Any object, no matter how small, will trigger pain or cause a mechanical injury. Keep in mind that even the smallest wounds do not heal in the same way that humans do. Since the paw is permanently exposed to stress, a longer recovery process occurs even with minor injuries.

What immediate measures do you take in case of a paw injury?

Dog is being cared for

If your dog shows signs that something is wrong with his paw, first take your darling to him. Pet him and talk to him soothingly. If the ground allows it, put your dog down. Always remember that paw injuries cause pain in dogs. A flight reflex can therefore not be ruled out. Secure your furry dog with the leash that he does not suddenly run away. Avoid violent movements on the part of your dog, as this can aggravate an injury. Then, if it is possible on the spot, proceed as follows:

  • clean the affected paw
  • Examine the paw and if possible remove foreign bodies
  • Prepare and apply paw bandage
  • Stopping the bleeding
  • Fixation of the dog paw in case of a fracture

Generally, you now need to make sure your dog is transportable and you can first transport her home or directly to the vet. If you are at the scene by car, a direct drive to the vet makes more sense than driving home first.

However, if the injury to the dog’s paw occurs in your immediate vicinity and you are not traveling by car, first bring your dog home. Since this form of injury is usually not life-threatening, you can take further measures after the above described immediate measures before it goes to the vet.

Clean the dog paw

Dog paw

If there is no fracture, look at the paw at rest. Where is the foreign body at all? is this visible or is it possibly in the between toe areas? In any case, you can clean the paw with lukewarm water, remove any visible dirt, and trim back any hair that is already in the paw area. So the extent of the injury may be more visible. Do not use household scissors for this, but rounded scissors from a first aid kit.

Removing foreign bodies from the dog’s paw

After cleaning, the thorough examination takes place. Even if it is daylight, it is best to use a flashlight for this purpose. Pay particular attention to the smallest particles such as glass splinters, small stones or pieces of metal. If the paw is swollen and your dog has been limping, this may indicate an insect bite. Palpate the paw and check if there is a painful stimulus in a certain place. Take a closer look at this spot – possibly a puncture mark is visible here now and you have certainty what kind of injury your dog has contracted.

For the smallest particles stuck in the pads, you can take action yourself with tweezers. Remove the foreign body carefully and disinfect the injury. Afterwards you put on a paw bandage. If you are not sure how deep the foreign body is in the paw or whether it is several particles, then go with your furry nose to the vet.

If it is an open wound, such as because your dog stepped in a shard, apply a temporary dressing. In any case, this injury must be treated by a veterinarian and possibly also stitched up. The prognosis for recovery is good: once the foreign body is removed, the wound can heal well with proper care.

How do I put on a paw bandage?

Dog with injured paw

After cleaning and caring for the wound, if a vet visit is not necessary, you can apply a paw bandage yourself. Add a wound dressing to the injured area. Use the bandage material from the first aid kit at home and cut the bandage pieces accordingly. Between each toe put a small gauze bandage. If your dog still has a wolf’s claw, pad it with it. Then bandage the paw completely. Fix the dressing sufficiently with adhesive plasters. Get a paw shoe so that the bandage does not have to be changed after every walk.

If there is a fracture at the paw?

You can recognize a broken bone by the fact that your dog limps, the paw has an abnormal position or it simply dangles. In this case, the veterinarian must take care of the care and recovery of your dog. Apply a support bandage so that the affected paw is fixed.

Attention: A fracture is usually caused mechanically. So there must have been some form of force on the dog’s paw. Your dog may be apathetic or even go into shock because of it. Therefore, monitoring of vital functions is very important now. Likewise, you must not lose time now to go to the vet.

Can I prevent an injury of the dog paw?

A hundred percent protection against paw injuries in dogs does not exist. You can, however, pay attention to whether there are sources of injury on your walk. To do this, always keep your eyes on the path you are currently using. Unfortunately, many dog lovers are more busy with their smartphones than with their dogs. This can lead to the fact that they do not perceive sources of danger and their dog steps into a foreign body.

But there are also days when caution is generally required. This includes, for example, the time after New Year’s Eve. There are still remains of firecrackers or damaged bottles on the streets for days here. This can quickly lead to an injury, if you are not attentive. Likewise the time around carnival is to be enjoyed with caution. Here you also often find broken glasses or bottles, if the streets were not cleared immediately.

In winter, the sidewalks are regularly covered with grit or road salt. Under certain circumstances it is useful that your darling wears paw shoes. Especially in inner city areas you will hardly find paths that are not affected by it. On the one hand, this is unpleasant for your dog and, as already described, involves a risk of injury to the paw.

52 thoughts on" Paw injuries in dogs"

Hello, my dog (King Charles Spaniel, 10 years old) is licking and nibbling her right front paw. I have not been able to detect any foreign body such as stone, glass or pellet so far. But I have the impression that at the right front paw the bale is swollen resp. is larger than with the left front paw. For their information I thank you with freundl. Greetings

thank you for your comment. With a conspicuousness like a swelling of the paw I would definitely go to the vet. Especially if the cause for the swelling is not recognizable. It can also have inflamed something below the skin surface.

Greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online team

good evening mien dog is running .she had a little blood and you must not move ise .but it also does not spare .but since today I am allowed to touch it but not to press it. what should I do

thank you very much for your contribution. Unfortunately we can not give you an exact diagnosis, because we have no possibility to examine your dog. In any case, we can not recommend seeking advice in urgent cases via the Internet.

Please go with your darling directly to the veterinarian. He can do a reasonable examination and, if necessary, take the necessary treatment.

Many kind regards from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online team

my dog suddenly started limping after a walk. I suspect that there were cherry stones on the path and that he stepped in them. But I could not find anything. He is not limping now but he avoids any unnecessary movement and if you touch his paw he immediately pulls it back. I could only find a sore spot on the ball of his paw. He also licks it constantly. I would be grateful for some advice.

Many greetings

it all points to the fact that possibly something has entered the paw pads. Even if you can’t see anything, your dog’s behavior shows that he is in pain. Before it comes to an inflammation, your veterinarian should take a look at the paw. Apart from that, the permanent licking can cause the area to become sore and susceptible to wound infections.

I wish your pelt-nose good recovery.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello Manfred,
thank you for your quick reply.
An inflammation seems to be already present. The middle paw pad is thick now. Have it still treated with disinfectant spray. But to be on the safe side I will visit the vet.

Many greetings

Hello Manfred,
was today at the vet.
In fact he had a wood splinter in the paw pads.
I could not see it because it was very deep in the ball. Thank you for your advice.

Greetings from Saarbrucken

thanks for your feedback. All the best for your pelt-nose.

Manfred from the veterinary online

I’m glad that your pelt-nose is doing better again&

Manfred from the veterinary online

Good to know that the paw could be injured if the dog nibbles on it. I have now taken a closer look. A claw seems to be broken off. Tomorrow I will drive to Bad Hall to our veterinary practice. I am very glad to have dog health insurance.

all the best for your dog. I hope that it is not serious and wish your pelt-nose a speedy recovery.

Many greetings from Bottrop.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello ,
My dog seems to have a graze on a front bunion – the top layer of keratinized skin is gone – about 5x5mm in size – he licks it from time to time – that’s why it was noticed. But does not bleed and does not seem painful when walking normally. Can I leave it like this and just observe? Greetings and thank you

you describe that you suspect a cut on your dog’s paw. You should take this as an opportunity and go to the vet. He can create certainty there. Consider please that a wound represents an infection risk. Therefore better once more to the veterinary surgeon. You can not assess whether any foreign body has entered the paw pads. You should leave that to the vet.

All the best for your pelt-nose.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello, my fellnase is quite calm and limps a bit, whimpers again and again. But also lies down so that the paw is bent off. She is very afraid of the vet and I don’t know what to do. Should I go to the emergency vet or wait until tomorrow??
No idea whether you read this at all in the time still but thought I ask anyway. Vllt for the next person who is looking&

the answer comes a little bit late. But I hope that you are already on the way to the vet with your pelt-nose. The chipped paw, whining, pain symptoms: These are enough reasons to make a trip to the veterinary clinic. Don’t wait to see if it goes away on its own. You are not doing your dog any good.

Call me when there is something new.

All the best for your darling.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello, today we had fresh snow, it was slippery and when the little one pulled I slipped and stepped on her paw. It has bled but after cleaning the paw with lukewarm water she is walking around only a little less than usual, not whining and otherwise walking normally. There is a small wound above the claw, not bleeding but she licks it every now and then. Is disinfectant ointment and a bandage enough or would a doctor’s visit be better??
Thank you and best regards Oli

oh dear, that is of course an unfortunate mishap. Unfortunately, we can not give you advice from a distance, what the best course of action is. If you have the feeling, there is something wrong, you should rather visit a veterinarian.

We hope of course, your pelt-nose is in the meantime again healthy and lively. All the best!
Julia from the team

Hi, I’ve only had my male dog (8 months) for a month and today he apparently stepped in glass or something similar and now has a slit in one of his finger pads on his hind leg.

A foreign body is no longer in there and he is walking normally and shows no signs of pain.

Does the wound have a chance to heal on its own or does something new keep coming in without a bandage??

Many thanks in advance – Kind regards Antonia

usually, minor wounds in the bunion have a good chance of healing on their own. It is positive signs that there are no foreign bodies in the tear and your puppy is not limping. You can help your dog’s recovery by cleaning minor wounds as soon as possible and disinfecting them well. Also, if your dog is constantly licking the paw, it might help to dress it with a dressing and clean wipes. Often small injuries heal well in the fresh air. However, if you notice that the wound is getting worse or your dog is starting to limp, you’d better play it safe and see a vet. How is your pelt-nose in the meantime? Is the wound still visible?

Happy new year to you
Julia from the veterinary online team

Hello my dog has the paws open on both sides in front… No apparent injury how can I help her now somehow. Dry it. Bandage? But I don’t think he will stay long. Vet now no longer available and kids already in bed.
Greetings Carina

that does not sound good. Sorry for the late feedback, but we too have arrived at some point in rest mode after a long day.

I hope that the situation for your dog could calm down a bit. In any case, I would take her to the vet this morning to get to the bottom of the cause. It can always be that it has pulled some foreign body in there, which is not visible at first glance.

In any case I wish you all the best for your pelt-nose.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online

my dog has a small sore on the surface of his paw and on contact with wetness / snow he whines.. how can I take care of the spot so that it heals well?. Think it is caused by the snow / salt. I put vaseline on the spot and put a sterile bandage around it.

in any case you should go to a vet with your furry nose.

It is possible that your dog has a foreign body in the paw pads, which is not visible to the naked eye. This can be for example a splinter from the road salt. Otherwise it is possible that the paw is inflamed. Therefore rather once more with the veterinary surgeon to the control than afterwards an extended inflammation to treat to have.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online

We were with our dog today playing ball in a field. After a while he suddenly came back limping, but wanted to run after the ball again. Since then he holds up the right front paw, hardly moves and looks for quiet places. We examined the paw as good as we could and found no foreign bodies. He bites but if you touch them too much. Unfortunately, the vet is already closed and we don’t know what to do.

Thank you for your message. Sorry that we can only respond to this now.

I hope that your pelt-nose is better again in the meantime. If this is not the case, you should go to the vet in any case. There may have been an injury in the musculoskeletal system due to the romping around, which you cannot recognize at first sight. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your vet do a thorough palpation of the affected leg and paw, and maybe even an X-ray examination.

Of course, this is associated with osten, but only then you have certainty whether something is wrong with your darling or he is healthy after all.

Many greetings from Bottrop and get well soon for your darling.

Manfred from the veterinary-onlien team

Interesting article! My Papillon had kicked in a thorn. The vet treated it with traction ointment after removing the thorn. The paw, so the bunion swelled and we went to the veterinary clinic, because the vet always wanted to x-ray only. There the vet (specialist for soft tissues) said that new tissue had formed, which was removed in an operation. The wound was bandaged a total of 2x three days and kept dry. Now the paw looks like before the surgery, healed from the bottom, but the side is very swollen. There also seems to be a pressure pain. It does not seem to be festered. I am desperate because I have already spent so much money without achieving an improvement.

I am really sorry for your pelt-nose. It would be nice if the pain would have an end. Without knowing the appearance: Can it be that these are after effects of the operation? Have you ever talked to the vet clinic about this, if they have an explanation for it? From my point of view, this would be the approach I would take. Because the veterinary clinic can certainly better assess whether the pressure pain is related to the surgery.

Greetings from Bottrop and all the best for your pelt-nose

Manfred from the veterinary online

My dog is now 4 years old (Labrador) and he is basically very well, only on his paws he has small open wounds from time to time, which have been there for a long time and do not heal by themselves. He also has gray, rough, cracked paws. I now plan to get a spray/balm so that the paw becomes soft and nice and black again. In addition, I plan to get him dog shoes for all paws, so that first the small wounds heal and secondly the paw healthy again, so soft,black etc. becomes. He also has minimal discoloration on the inside of his teeth, but doesn’t like to brush his teeth. I would like to have a product to make his teeth bright white again. Do you have any tips/comments on this?

the paws of your dog are subject to a greater load, because he moves with the unprotected paws on any kind of surface. The paw pads are an important cushion for this. You should therefore not always let him wear dog shoes. This does not correspond to the nature of your dog. However, they make sense when it is necessary to support wound healing. A good paw care is the alpha and omega for your dog.

The brushing of the teeth is a necessity, but you can trick your dog with different tricks, so that it becomes a habitual ritual. This works for example with dog toothpaste, which tastes like liver sausage. However, I would refrain from using agents that whiten the teeth. This is not to protect the teeth and is from my point of view not necessary.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online

My dog has a small crack between 2 toes and licks it a lot.
When I want to put a bandage on him so that this can heal in peace, he has removed it after a very short time.
What to do?

oje, I hope that your pelt-nose has no pain with it.

I would go to the vet if I were you. You can not estimate whether there are still small foreign bodies in the crack, which can lead to an infection or inflammation.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinarian online

So I have my dog the banished last night too tightly attached and now he has a really thick paw I have now massaged him at this point and I do not know what to do more

I would go with the pelt nose to the veterinary surgeon. Since we do not know why your dog wears a bandage, it is difficult to guess why he now has a thick paw due to the bandage.

Please do not trust Dr. Google, but to your vet.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online team

My dog had paw problems for a long time, after several visits to the doctor no findings were found. After cutting the claws there was still no improvement. Now the dog no longer steps on the paw and spares the paw. Medications and bandages didn’t help. The doctors only said that the dog is extremely snivelling.
It scares me that the dog feels bad and no one can help him.
He is an 8 year old Labrador.

Can someone help me here what you can do there ?

unfortunately it is difficult to give an answer to that. We do not know in which form examinations have already taken place and whether there was an injury in the past.

Please describe which diagnostic procedures have been done by your vet so far. Then it could at least be considered in which form a further examination makes sense.

Many greetings from Bottrop.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello, yesterday after walking ,BR
Started our franz.bulldog on to limp. He has scraped some skin on one of his paws on the big ball. Today in the course of the day it became the skin is gone on all four paws on the big does not wet, is clean, but he limps just now on all and now in the evening he does not like to walk at all, I had to carry him to urinate. It looks like deportations, but can not explain to me from where.

if I’m reading this right, the symptoms started already on Friday. How did the picture look yesterday? Had your Hung still problems with walking? If yes, were in the meantime times in the animal hospital? Can it be that you have turned in the sun a Gassirunde, which also led over asphalt paths? Then this can be a trigger of course.

If this is not the case, you should definitely take your dog to the vet. He can examine the paws more closely and determine where the detachments come from.

Unfortunately, something like this can not be diagnosed very well from a distance.

Tell us how it turned out.

I wish you all the best for your pelt-nose.

Manfred from the veterinary online team

Hello. We were today at the vet, where exactly he has it now is still questionable, the fact is that he now has an ointment a painkiller a few socks and Badener otto as well as long walks … so that everything can distribute well.
Thank you very much for your answer and our treasure will soon feel better again.

I am glad to hear that. Then I hope that in the near future nothing will stand in the way of your carefree walks.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online

I was walking my dog. She was walking normally in the grass behind me. Then she screamed at once and held the front paw in the air. She refused to walk further. When she takes a few steps she limps. I do not find any injury and no foreign body in the paw. But now she always pulls back her paw when I try to examine her. She still does not like to run. Is this a case for the vet, or should I let the bitch rest for now??

I hope that your bitch is better in the meantime or you already had the possibility to go to the veterinarian.

Anyway it is a bit difficult to diagnose without a thorough examination possible. Exactly, it is possible that your dog has a musculoskeletal injury, which is not visible from the outside. A cruciate ligament rupture would be conceivable.

Please tell us how it went on.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online

Have a question
My dog bella had a toe abscess by granen… Was treated at the vet, now it is already a heal, problem only she wants to lick there still dran rum.. I got a shoe from the vet, but I want to leave it off for a while.. Are there any tricks to make her not want to lick it anymore?

even if it is annoying for your dog, I would definitely leave the shoe on. You cannot distract your bitch with tricks. You would have to do this around the clock, because the unfamiliar feeling on the paw is constantly present, as long as the healing takes place.

The increased licking leads to the fact that the wound can not heal properly. On the contrary, by licking the paw, the condition of the paw can even worsen again due to irritations or infections.

Many greetings from Bottrop.

Manfred from the veterinary online

my dog hurt herself today during the walk. I only noticed this because she was suddenly not running smoothly. I then looked at the front paws and the left paw had a tear between the toes, it was bleeding slightly. Since she seemed so fit, we went home in peace. After a while at home ķam the bleeding only really started. It bled relatively heavily and we tried to bandage it as well as we could. Unfortunately, she is very lively and we had no compresses or gauze there, so that we could connect it only with a gauze bandage and self-adhesive bandage. It was bled through quite quickly. I then got a first aid kit from the car and we then took the bandage off again and wanted to put one on with a wound compress between the toes. Unfortunately this was too much stress for her and she did not hold still anymore, so that we, despite several attempts, did not manage to bandage the paw acceptably. Our neighbor, a hunter, said that the bleeding would stop by itself through the licking. So far it is still bleeding quite heavily when she stands, but the blood is now already thicker. She ate normally, which was a relief for us, because she is a difficult eater. If it is not better tomorrow morning, we will contact our vet. Our German shepherd is 4 years old and we have her only for one and a half years. She previously belonged to a very good friend of ours who simply didn’t have time for her as his parents were in need of care. So she learns everything important since she is with us. Because of that it is not so easy to touch them, that means stress for them, but so far we are satisfied and also the vaccination went without problems. We have already thought that if our vet has to come, he should put her under anesthesia, but he will decide that anyway.
What I really wanted to know is whether it is really so that the bleeding stops by itself by the licking? The wound itself is clean.

I am really not sure if licking her paws all the time will improve the condition. This can also turn into the opposite, because your dog feels relief by licking her paw and thus damages the paw even more.

If I were you, I would have the injury professionally taken care of by a vet. It can also be a foreign body in it, because you can not see.

Many greetings from Bottrop

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello dear team, I am just with my dog in Croatia. Yesterday she got stuck with her paw somewhere. Since then she does not step up properly and always paws backwards. Were immediately at the TA. He x-rayed and saw nothing. Only painkillers given. We also do not see anything, if she has kicked in something. But she always pulls her paw away when I want to look again. Since the vet only knew English, we understood that it was either a strain or a fissure that could not be seen. If something had entered the paw, it would have been seen on the x-ray? What else can I do besides painkillers and cold compresses?? Love greetings

I’m afraid there might be a little more to it than that. The annoying thing is that abroad the language barrier here leads to the fact that the information about a diagnosis is not complete.

Since your dog still has problems with her paw, I would visit the vet again and describe the problem. Possibly it is not enough if you only administer ointment. Do you possibly have a health insurance for your bitch? Then you can have the costs of the treatment settled through it.

We cannot diagnose from a distance, so we generally recommend revisiting the local veterinarian if the condition does not improve.

All the best for you and your dog.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Hello together.
My Labroder Nico had quite a lot of fun yesterday with his dog friend Maxi. As it is so they romp around. My dog does not know pain. Only when I noticed that my shoes were full of blood the game came to an end. Nico had all 4 paw pads a little open. Have cleaned it were at the Doc got painkillers but now my dear friend no longer wants to run outside. That is the Doc said, the day through the dog no bandage put on, only at night. I am torn whether it is not better the first few days to bind the paw, so that he runs to me on the meadow. He weighs 28kg and I have back problems. I can’t carry him all the way to the meadow
Am grateful for tips

I am not sure if the omission of the bandage is so reasonable. After all, the paws are exposed to constant stress and dirt particles can still get into the paw pads. Unfortunately, from here I can not estimate how much the paw pads are attacked.

Therefore I would speak again with the veterinarian, whether he really wants to do without it. In the resting state bandages make again sense, so that he can not lick de paws.

Many greetings from Bottrop.

Manfred from the veterinary online

Good morning,
Our 10-year-old Jack-Russel dog, has had problems for several weeks, with the right hind paw.
We of course immediately went to the TA where grass mites were diagnosed.
He got an injection against itching and a bandage with zinc ointment.
But it did not get better!!
In the meantime, a place at the paw is inflamed, for which he got an AB, (Clindamycin), as well as Isaderm ointment.
He reacted allergic to the ointment and the hydrocortisel, was used.
Also that, he did not tolerate, so that I treat him now again with zinc ointment.
Meanwhile, the dog, as well as we, is only stressed and I would be grateful, for any tip!!
Kind regards

thank you very much for your contribution.

Unfortunately, from our side here can not make a diagnosis, because we are not active as veterinarians, but only editorially.

From therefore we recommend always to visit the treating veterinary surgeon with the question. He can certainly give an answer to this question.

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