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Dog Paw Problems

What are dog paw problems?

Paw problems in a dog are usually not dangerous to a dog’s health. This can however depend on the nature of the problem a dog is experiencing. Typically, a paw problem can include swollenness, slight pain, and sensitivity. There could be signs to indicate that a dog is suffering from a paw problem. These could include limping, staggering or sympathy to one leg. If a dog is faced with one or more of these symptoms, it's best to consult a veterinarian. Below are answers provided by Experts to commonly asked questions about a dog's paw problems.

What type of paw problem could cause a dog to lick at its feet to the point of limping? How can this be treated?

In some cases a dog can lick its paw continuously as a result of an allergic reaction to food or something in the environment. There could be other factors that cause paw problems like bacterial infection, demodectic mange, behavioral problems or yeast infection.

Paw problems should ideally be seen by a veterinarian to get the issue under control. A topical treatment and the use of Epsom salts for soaking the paws may be prescribed. Hydrocortisone cream can also ease the itching a dog feels on the paws.

Another treatment may be the use of Benadryl -- around 1 milligrams for every pound the dog weighs. This dose may be given to a dog every 12 hours and can help with the itching, inflammation and swelling.

What could happen if a dog does not have a leg amputated as recommend by a veterinarian?

Veterinarians typically only recommend amputation for a dog as a last resort or if it's the only available option. Going against a vet’s recommendation and not following through with the amputation could be serious. Some dogs may start to drag the paw around resulting in paw problems for the dog. A dog may not even realize that the paw is being dragged because of nerve loss in the paw. This can result in frequent sores. Problems like sore paws may be dangerous to a dog’s health if not treated quickly.

Could hydrogen peroxide be used to clean brown skin off a dogs paw in which the dog has a licking paw problem?

Hydrogen peroxide is usually safe for cleaning a dog’s paw. If a dog has a paw problem like over licking, this may cause brown stains. These stains may be temporary and may not be removed by cleaning. In some situations, the stains may only go away when the dog’s hair falls out.

If a dog seemingly sprains an ankle while playing and then begins to limp every now and then, what should be done?

Case Details: The dog started limping in the night after playing during the day. Doesn't mind when the paw or leg is touched and doesn't show any real sign of pain.

This type of paw problem may be a soft tissue injury. Usually this condition reverses on its own. The dog should may need to be on bed rest for about a week or so. If possible, the dog should not be on its feet unless going out on a leash for to the bathroom.

Paw problems aren't always mild. Some could be severe to the point where the dog may need an amputation. Dog owners would naturally worry when their dog shows signs of having paw problems and may not always be able to take a dog to the vet for every problem. When you are faced with possible paw problems with your dog, one way to get clarity is to ask an Expert to evaluate the circumstances and provide insights that could help you assess the severity of the problem.
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