Because they get exposed to numerous potential hazards whenever your dog is walking, the paws are some of the most injury prone areas on your dog’s body. Paw injuries can be in the form of cuts, scrapes, blisters (caused by long walks or walking on hot ground), or broken off toenails.
Since paw injuries are so common, it’s important that every dog owner knows how to treat and bandage a paw injury properly. Luckily, administering first aid for an injured paw is pretty easy if you know how to go about it. So, here’s how you do it in 5 easy steps.
What You Need To Treat An Injured Paw
Before you can get to treating your dog’s paw, you will first need to get a few supplies if you don’t have them at hand. You will need the following:
- Disinfectant/ antiseptic
- Gauze pads
- Cast padding/ cotton padding
- Gauze bandage
- Self-adherent wrap/ VetWrap
You can get these at your local pharmacy or vet supply store and keep them at hand just in case.
Steps For Wrapping Up Your Dog’s Paw
Once you have the supplies, follow these steps to treat an injured paw. Get some help as you’ll need someone to hold the pooch as you apply the wrap.
- Assess the injury
Check your dog’s paw to see the magnitude of the injury. If the injury is severe, bleeding uncontrollably or you notice further injury to the paw, it’s best you get your pooch to a veterinarian right away for specialist treatment. If the injury is minor with minor bleeding, then you can proceed and apply a wrap.
- Clean and dry the wound
Wash the wound with cold water and mild antiseptic to get dirt and blood off and disinfect the wound. Don’t use any harsh chemicals to clean the wound as this could harm your dog. Once clean, dry the area with gauze pads or a clean towel. This will prevent infections when you wrap up the area.
- Apply the wrap
Get someone to hold the dog for you to apply the wrap, and make sure to have some treats at hand to keep the dog occupied. Place a gauze pad on the wound – you can fold it up if it’s too large – to absorb blood or any discharge from the wound.
Next, hold the gauze pad in place and then wrap over it with cotton padding/ cast padding. Wrap the entire paw living out the toes if they are not injured going up to just over the ankle joint to keep the wrapping secure. This is a padding layer that provides cushioning to the injured area.
Now you need to apply a gauze bandage over the cotton padding. Apply some amount of tension to help keep everything in place, but be careful not to make it so tight as to cut circulation to your dogs’ paw. Make it snug, but not too tight.
Once the gauze is in place, go ahead and apply the self-adherent wrap (VetWrap or cohesive bandage) to hold all the other layers in place. Similar to the gauze layer, make sure the cohesive bandage is snug but not too tight as to cut off circulation. The cohesive bandage will not stick to your dog’s hair, making it easy to take off.
- Keep your pooch from removing the bandage
After you’ve applied the wrap, it’s important that you keep your dog away from the bandaged area. You can keep your dog from biting on the bandage by putting a cone on him making it physically impossible for them to reach it with their mouth.
- Change the wrap regularly and inspect the wound
You’ll need to change the wrap every 2-3 days to ensure the injured area is always clean and healthy. To remove the old wrap, just cut it vertically with scissors and then repeat the process to apply a new one. Be sure to inspect the wound every time you’re changing the wrap to ensure its healing and has not gotten an infection. If you notice any complications, make sure to visit your vet immediately.
For minor injuries, treating your dog’s injured paw is pretty easy and something you can do at home. Just make sure to assess the injury first to make sure it’s not too serious. If it’s a severe injury, be sure to take your pooch to a veterinarian immediately to avoid complications.