Hot Dogs Are More Than A Fun Treat -- Protect Your Pooch!
We tend to think of dog's paws as being tough, resilient, and virtually impervious to the outdoor environment. However, pavement, metal, and hot asphalt in the summer can cause serious damage to your dog's feet. The injuries can be hard to see in some dogs. Don't let this happen to your precious pup.
One of the things dog lovers love most is taking their canine companion with them everywhere they go. They are used to keeping an eye out for the threat to paws of sharp objects, the effect of fungal infections, or the presence of foreign bodies. Burned pads can be harder to detect, especially if the pads are naturally a dark color.
Symptoms to watch for include: refusal or reluctance to walk, licking or chewing of the paws, pads appear darker in color, part of the pad missing, redness, or even blisters.
Spending time in the water wading or swimming can soften the pads and make them even more susceptible to burning.
If you do notice that your dog is suffering from burned pads, get the dog to a grassy area if possible and flush the paws with cool water or use cool compresses. Get the injured animal to the vet as soon as possible for a deeper examination to determine if there is tissue damage or infection present. Your dog may require pain killers or antibiotics. Dogs must also be kept from licking the area as much as possible.
The best treatment, of course, is preventing the injury in the first place. Be aware of the surfaces your dog is walking or sitting on and mitigate the risk by remaining in the shade as much as possible. You may also want to carry a wet towel for your dog to sit or stand on if they must be on a hot surface. Walk or run your dog early in the day while surfaces are still cool.
If you wouldn't walk on it barefoot, don't expect your dog to be impervious to it just because they have tougher skin. Show your love for your pooch by preventing pain.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger