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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30035
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My dog has a red swollen area on his paw

Customer Question

My dog has a red swollen area on his paw
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! My name is***** am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.
I am sorry to hear about this concern.
1. How long has it been there?
2. Is there any appearance of a scratch, puncture hole, bite wound, on the surface?
3. Is he/she licking the area?
Dr. Andy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It has been there for 2 weeks
No bite
He is licking it
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 2 years ago.
That is quite awhile. Any simple hypersensitivity reaction or basic trauma should have long since resolved.
So, definitely, you will need to have a vet evaluate the paw at this point.
I would suspect it is infected, and is being exacerbated by the self trauma (licking).
If the vet is unsure what is going on, sometimes, a swollen area can be aspirated to further evaluate what is going on in the tissue.
Fine-needle aspirate test is performed usually without anesthesia and is very quick. Your veterinarian takes a few needle samples from the lump (the needle is no larger than the needle used to give vaccines). The sample is smeared on to microscope slides and submitted to the laboratory. It is not always as definitive as a biopsy (this is a full tissue sample), but often it can yield enough information to help guide you and your vet as to whether a biopsy is needed, or if surgery should be performed.
Also, the vet will probably suggest starting some good non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or a regular steroid, as well as, some antibiotics.
You must protect the paw. Either by cone head or buying a velcro rubber bootie, as the licking will complicate the entire treatment and recovery.
Very sorry to hear about this ongoing issue. Well worth getting your vet involved for supportive therapy.
Good Luck
Dr. Andy