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Peeling Paw Pads - What to do?

May 28th, 2008, 05:49 PM
We were at the dog park this afternoon and I noticed Chase was limping. When I checked his paws I noticed that his paw pads are peeling in three places (one on one back paw, two on the other back paw). I don't think he did it at the park...the pieces that are peeling are really dry and I think they're been like that while. The dog park is gravelly so I think that's why he didn't appear to be limping before.

There's NO blood or discoloration - the best thing I can liken it to is a human blister - and he has healthy new pad growth underneath the peeling. He isn't yelping or crying and seems fine with it, but I'm worried the dead skin will snag and peel further.

Should I be worried? Is there anything I should be doing? He's going to the vet in two weeks anyway, and it doesn't seem to be bugging him at all, so should I just keep a really close eye on it and avoid gravelly surfaces for now? Should I be cleaning it with some saline?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Dr Lee
May 28th, 2008, 06:26 PM
If there is no limping, discharge or evidence of pain, then I would recommend cleaning it with saline and applying a triple antibiotic ointment such as neosporin which will not only help prevent infection but will keep the area moist and protected from drying and cracking further in. If clinical signs change or worsen, then of course see your vet right away. :pawprint:

May 28th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Thanks Dr. Lee :) He seems absolutely fine - I'm just trying to keep him from bouncing around too much so he doesn't snag it! I will clean it and use the ointment - and keep right on top of it in case he ends up needing a vet visit. I appreciate the advice, since I was really on the fence about what to do since there's no blood or even broken skin - just tender skin. I hope it heals up soon - he was sad about having to leave the park :sad:

Can anyone tell me if this is a fairly common problem for dogs?

May 28th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Our old lab, Luke, used to run his pads raw like that every fall until we found a product that toughens the pads and makes them supple and leathery. It was called Tuf-Foot, if I'm remembering right, and you applied it directly to the pads with a cotton ball. It really did the trick! :thumbs up

May 28th, 2008, 09:58 PM
Some dogs just seem to have sensitive pads :shrug:. I would second the other advice and add that maybe consider wearing some booties for a few days if out walking.

May 28th, 2008, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the advice! Looks like Tuf-Foot is a U.S. company and I would have to order online. Will look locally for something similar first - sounds like a great idea! :thumbs up And I'm relieved to know this can be a common problem.