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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9774
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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My dog is a 6 month newfoundland. 115lbs. He was playing outside

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My dog is a 6 month newfoundland. 115lbs. He was playing outside all day and when he came in at night he was fine. Not limping or acting strange. Around 3 in the morning I heard him start to whimper and that morning he couldn't put any pressure on his front right paw. It had started to swell a little bit but nothing crazy. However, this morning his wrist and paw are swollen to twice their normal size. When I was feeling over his leg, the only place he would react to me touching was directly at the wrist. I can lightly squeeze all over his arm and paw with no reaction. But if I touch his wrist he yelps. His behavior seems normal other than he's bummed cuz he can't play around (being a puppy and all) I've been able to get him to eat but it takes some effort.

Hi Anthony, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I've have a number of Newfs in my life and Kenneth sounds like quite a big boy for his age!

The likely explanations for sudden swelling of this sort include the following and it may not be necessarily be obvious exactly which one it might be:

1. Spider bite or insect sting.
2. Infection even though you may not see any obvious wounds.
3. Inflammation of some sort.
4. I'll include tick diseases since they can cause acute swelling around a joint but I wouldn't expect his paw to be swollen as well.

If this is #1, then giving him Benadryl should help. The dose would be two 50 mg tablets twice a day. Sedation is a common side effect. You should see improvement fairly soon although some dogs needs steroids if Benadryl isn't effective.
If this is #2, then he may need oral antibiotics before improvement is seen.
If this is #3, then Aspirin may help since it has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-pain properties. The dose would be two 325 mg tablets twice a day which should be given with food to avoid stomach upset. This drug should be fine as long as he's not vomiting or on any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

You might also want to take his temperature. Normal is between 100 and 102.5. If it's elevated, then I would have him seen.

Any one of the above problems can occur quite suddenly so this won't be helpful in giving a clue as to the cause.

Icing is good but be careful to wrap it in a towel and only apply for 5-10 minutes at a time....but you may already be aware of this.

I hope this helps and that he's feeling better soon. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His paw seems functional. He's been lightly putting it down and gingerly limping when I take him out. I think because he's tired from hopping on 1 leg. But the amount of swelling all around the wrist and paw is so extreme. Would soaking it in epsom salt help?

Also, wove inspected his whole leg a few times and don't see any wounds, or puss or redness anywhere.


I don't think he's fractured the foot/paw if that might be your concern since he's using it.

Soaking it in Epsom salts may help; it certainly won't hurt.


The kind of infection that I'm suggesting wouldn't necessarily be secondary to a bite wound but rather bacteria can be present in the blood and settle in certain parts of the body...thus causing swelling and infection along the tissue planes (also known a cellulitis). I've also seen osteomyelitis which is infection

of the bone in some young dogs for similar reasons but I wouldn't expect the entire paw to be swollen either. Deb




Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I also wanted to wish you the best with your boy. I hope you'll keep me posted about his situation. Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate. I can also send you a follow up email in a few days to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.

Kindly ignore the request for additional information. Regards, Deb

I'm just following up on our conversation about Kenneth. How is he doing? Deb