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Treating Your Dog’s Swollen Paw

It’s fairly easy for dogs to injure their paws, causing swelling. Since it’s likely your dog will suffer from a swollen paw at least once, read on as your Temecula veterinarian tells you more.

What Causes a Swollen Paw?

Many things can cause a swollen paw—a foreign object can get stuck in between your dog’s toes, like a burr, twig, splinter, nail, stone, pebble, or scrap of metal. A sharp object could puncture a paw pad, causing swelling, or claws could fracture or splinter. Some paws swell as a response to insect or spider bites. Talk to your veterinarian to learn about even more potential causes.

What Should I Look for?

You’ll probably notice physical changes in the way your dog is walking before you notice anything wrong with the paw itself. If you see your dog limping, favoring a limb, hobbling, swaying, or doing anything else unusual, check your dog’s paws and then see your vet for a second opinion. Of course, other obvious signs of pain, bleeding, or trauma should be attended to by a vet immediately.

What Should I Do?

If you notice something small imbedded in between your dog’s toes, remove it if possible. Use tweezers and lightly pull on the object. If it doesn’t come out easily, don’t force it. If an object is puncturing just the top layers of skin, pull it out if it’s easily removable, then wash the paw with soap and warm water.

If you can’t remove an object, aren’t sure how far it may be imbedded in the paw pad, or see bleeding or obvious signs of pain, let your veterinarian take a look before trying anything. Your veterinarian may want to treat for infection or other complications.

Prevent swollen paws by having your dog avoid pebble or stone surfaces or any other hazardous areas. Check the paws every time your pet comes inside. Remember to keep your Temecula veterinarian’s phone number on hand to call if you need assistance.

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