So, the dog has a swollen paw and shows signs of obvious discomfort. What is to be undertaken? First, inspect the limb closely; secondly, try to figure out the cause of the condition. If there are no open wounds, carefully palpate the paw from the toes upwards. The dog itself will tell you by whimpering where the problem id concealed. Sometimes a growth or even a tumor can be detected on a dog’s paw caused by either injuries or diseases. If you detect a swollen toe in a dog and you do not see a threat to the health and life of the animal, try to treat the problem independently. If you have doubts or the case is clearly a complicated one, do ask for help from a specialist.
Limb injuries in active dogs are not uncommon. Experienced dog breeders always have first aid kits just in case: hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, elastic bandage, brilliant green, garret. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Therefore always try to stick to these rules:
- Do not permit the dog to wander in empty lots and abandoned construction sites.
- When outdoors, avoid such places with a good chance of coming across an aggressive animal.
- Get your pet on leash near highways or railways.
- If the dog still got injured, determine the severity by external signs and provide help.
Bruises and Sprains
In case of bruises and sprains, the dog avoids standing on the sore paw, presses it in, would not allow touching it. Tumors do not appear immediately and have no clear boundaries.
A tumor with a bruise without damaging the tissue is easy to remove. To do this, immobilize the dog and apply a cold compress to the sore spot for 20-30 minutes. If the skin is damaged, first treat the wound with peroxide and then apply cold.
Fractures and Dislocations
Try to calm the pet and carefully examine the limb. Creaks, clicks at the site of damage, displacement of bones are the main signs of such injuries. Reactive Actions:
- limit the mobility of the animal, apply a splint (if your dog’s front paw is swollen, try to fix it with a bandage in suspension);
- apply ice to the sore spot;
- bring the animal to the clinic as soon as possible. You will need an x-ray and qualified specialist assistance.
Delay can only bring more harm. After a few days, it will be much more difficult to set the limb right, as the joint cartilage tissue will begin to scar and surgery only will be able to remedy the situation.
Cuts, Punctures, Insect Bites
The soles of the paws of the dog may also swell. This usually happens when an animal has cut, punctured its paw or stepped on a wasp or a bee. After removing the sting, if necessary, wipe the bite site with a weak aqueous solution of vinegar and give your four-legged friend some suprastin or loratadine to remove the allergic reaction. Dog’s skin is sensitive to iodine. Treatment of wounds with iodine solution may cause burns. For deep injuries, show your pet to a doctor.
Paw edema or a tumor may be a manifestation of of a developing disease that is not associated with external causes. Tumors can be of a different shape, density and location. You can get rid of them only when the underlying condition is resolved. Therefore, if your dog has a swollen paw and you are sure that there were no injuries, you can suspect a disease. Most often, animals develop edema and tumors due to these conditions:
- vascular diseases;
- articular hygroma (a growth that occurs more often in the elbow joints, where excessive fluid accumulates);
- benign and malignant neoplasms (a painless lump with well-defined edges);
- pathologies of the kidneys and liver with impaired lymph outflow (tumors are soft, have no clear edges, swelling is stronger in the lower part of the limb);
- arthritis, arthrosis, ingrowing claws;
- Pododermatitis (inflammatory process associated with a decrease in immunity system manifested by swelling of the toes and in the gaps between them);
- vitamin deficiency disease and the general lack of essential elements in food (swollen joints, more common in German Shepherd Dogs);
- allergic reaction to dust or chemicals.
Please, remember that only a specialist in a veterinary clinic can determine the exact cause of the condition and choose an effective treatment after a thorough examination.