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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28526
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog has pads on her front foot that are spreading and

Customer Question

My dog has pads on her front foot that are spreading and growing sideways with a feathering appearance. Now she has two side by side nails growing out of the pad. She limps and licks her feet a lot.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have rubbed her feet with Aquaphor ointment and trimmed the feathers on her pads with scissors, doesn't hurt her. trimmed the "odd nails" with a ped egg. Should I ahve her tested for papallomavirus and have the nails removed?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I believe that you're describing hyperkeratosis of the footpads. This can be familial and first appear at 5-6 months of age or be age-related and appear later in life. Horny growths and concurrent abnormal nail development are common. To answer you directly, this isn't related to the papillomavirus and, yes, if the nails are interfering with weight bearing they should be removed. Here's how you might address the hyperkeratosis:

The intensity of therapy depends on the severity of the lesions. Trimming as you've done is smart. Affected areas should be hydrated with a warm water soak. A softening agent, then, should be applied every 24 hours until excessive keratin has been removed (~7-10 days). Treatment should be continued on an as-needed basis for control. Effective softening agents include the following: petroleum jelly, A&D ointment, ichthammol ointment, salicylic acid/sodium lactate/urea gel, and tretinoin gel. (The last three are available from her vet.) For fissured lesions, combination antibiotic/glucocorticoid ointment (Panalog, e.g.) may be applied to lesions every 8-12 hours until healed. The prognosis is good. Although it's incurable, this is a cosmetic disease that usually can be managed symptomatically.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin