No dog owner wants to see their precious puppy suffer, but some conditions are beyond our control. Paw pad issues are among the most common ailments your dog can face. Usually, these injuries will resolve on their own. However, what do you do when your dog’s paw pad skin is hanging and it doesn’t resolve quickly enough or causes your dog a lot of pain?
Knowing the signs, symptoms, and treatment for paw pad injuries can help you understand what to do when your dog is injured, suffering, or uncomfortable. Keep calm when your dog paw pad skin is hanging, and remember to seek veterinary care when in doubt.
Keep reading for more peace of mind as we discuss this injury more in-depth below.
Before you read this guide, “What to Do if Your Dog’s Paw Pad Skin Is Hanging,” check out: The Best Paw Cream for Dogs – Top Picks! (2023) and Conjoined Paw Pads (Cloven Paws): Should You Be Concerned? (2023).
What Causes a Paw Pad Injury?
There’s no shortage of things that can injure your dog’s paw and make it harder for them to walk around their home and yard. Consider your environment when determining how your dog’s foot was injured.
Here are some common causes:
Extreme temperatures can make your dog uncomfortable and cause a paw pad injury with hanging skin from the heat or the cold. For example, hot pavement can cause your dog a lot of pain because their paws can get overheated and give them burns that may blister.
In the cold, your dog can suffer from frostbite, causing part of their paw pad to die and hang off. Additionally, cold temperatures can make your dog’s paw dry out and crack from the lack of moisture. This cracking can lead to hanging paw pad skin.
Hazardous chemicals can cause chemical burns that can make your dog’s paw pad skin blister, slice, or burn. These injuries will likely cause damage during the initial contact but also during recovery. As the paw pad skin heals, your dog will likely experience hanging skin on their pad, which may need veterinary assistance to address.
These hazardous chemicals cause paw pad injuries:
- Heavy-duty cleaners
- Lawn care products
Keep these products hidden away from where your dog frequents, and always check your dog’s paws for chemical burns.
One of the most significant contributors to paw pad injuries is foreign objects that get stuck in your dog’s paws. These foreign objects could be anything from twigs to glass, but the most common objects are typically items in the yard or throughout the house.
For example, a broken mug can result in some sharp debris missed during cleanup or a broken toy with many pieces strewn around. This debris can get embedded in your dog’s paw and cause injury.
The injury resulting from sharp objects may cause your dog’s paw pad skin to hang and make them uncomfortable or cause bleeding.
Dog allergies are a lesser-known cause of paw pad injuries. Sometimes, your dog may give themselves this injury when trying to handle the allergy symptoms on their own.
For example, your dog may lick their paws until they bleed or gnaw on them to alleviate the feelings of discomfort they may be experiencing.
This gnawing and licking can cause part of your dog’s paw pad skin to hang. Gauze rolls are the best way to keep your dog from hurting themselves while you wait to see your veterinarian for treatment. Additionally, gauze rolls can staunch bleeding and keep the area clean.
Signs of a Paw Pad Problem
These signs of a paw pad injury can help you stay ahead of your dog’s care. Always be mindful of a paw pad issue and look for signs of your dog’s discomfort regarding their paws.
Limping is a clear sign something is wrong with your precious pup. However, limping along with holding up the affected paw is even more significant. When your dog has some of their paw pad hanging, they’ll likely never leave it alone, but they also won’t want to walk on it if it causes discomfort or pain.
Keep an eye on how your dog is walking to see if their paw is causing them to limp around the home. This behavior may be harder to notice if the affected paw is on one of their back legs.
Licking or Gnawing
Your dog will excessively lick and gnaw at their paws nonstop if they feel pain or discomfort from a paw pad skin injury. Your dog will constantly lick or gnaw at their paw in a desperate attempt to alleviate pain and make the feeling disappear.
However, these actions can make the hanging skin worse and widen the injury. When you notice your dog gnawing at their paws or licking a wound on the paw pad, take immediate action. Some gauze or a trip to the veterinarian can do wonders for your dog’s comfort.
Whining, Crying, and Whimpering
Take your dog’s whines and whimpers seriously. Check around your dog’s body to see if there is anything wrong with your dog or if they are in pain.
Disinterest in Playing or Walking
If your dog doesn’t seem interested in playing or walking like usual, it may have a paw pad injury and hanging skin. Disinterest in playing or walking may indicate an issue with your dog’s overall health.
Keep an eye on how often your dog wants to go outside and play in the backyard. Also, be mindful of how excited your dog is to go for a walk. Many dogs will get thrilled at the phrase, “Want to go for a walk?” However, if your dog is disinterested in walking due to their paw pad injury, they may be in pain.
Your dog being lethargic could mean many things. However, lethargic behavior is a significant indicator of a paw pad injury. Lethargy may mean your dog doesn’t want to get up and move, and all their energy is going to heal the hanging skin from the wound on its paw.
How to Treat Paw Pad Injuries
Treating paw pad injuries can be challenging, but there are usually two options. You may be instructed to wait for the hanging piece of your dog’s paw pad to fall off or seek veterinary help to handle the issue.
Wait for the Hanging Piece to Fall Off
Many dog owners are encouraged to wait for the hanging piece of paw pad skin to fall off on its own. It may take several weeks for the paw pad skin that is hanging to fall off and the injury to resolve on its own. However, minimal intervention can help the injury heal without causing more damage to the area.
Some dog owners may rightfully want to speed up the process, but this can have a negative impact. For example, removing the piece by yourself can cause the skin to rip and cause a longer or wider injury.
Seek Veterinary Care
When in doubt, seek your veterinarian’s help. Your local vet can help you understand the best way to treat your dog at home. Additionally, your veterinarian will have all the tools to handle dog paw pad skin hanging from your dog’s paws.
For example, your veterinarian may be able to trim a portion of the hanging skin to make walking more comfortable and ensure your dog isn’t in pain while moving around at home or outside.
The veterinarian may also recommend some medications or products that can enhance recovery and make walking easier to manage.
Your vet can also provide dog-safe bandages and show you how to clean and dress the wound during your dog’s recovery. They may also give your dog a cone to stop them from gnawing at the wound.
Frequently Asked Questions
These answers can help you understand your next action and what you can do to make your dog more comfortable while struggling with a paw pad injury.
After spotting a paw pad cut, clean your dog’s wound and apply pressure to the area. Use a bandage to prevent bleeding, and change the bandage frequently to ensure your dog doesn’t get an infection. If you notice pus or your dog’s symptoms get worse, take them to the vet.
Adhesive bandages will stick to dog fur and are not recommended since they can cause your dog a lot of pain upon removal.
Liquid bandages are ideal for dog use, as are gauze pads with a small amount of tape that doesn’t touch the dog’s fur.
Gauze pads or wraps are ideal for dogs and can make them comfortable without causing excess pain when removed. Be mindful of where you place tape or other adhesives when wrapping a wound.
Cohesive bandages stick to themselves and can be used on dogs to make them more comfortable and control bleeding.
Band-Aids won’t stick to dogs because of their fur and can cause your precious pup a lot of pain upon removal. Consider using gauze or cotton rolls, along with a piece of medical tape to secure the bandage in place.
Conclusion for “What to Do if Your Dog’s Paw Pad Skin Is Hanging”
Paw pad injuries are common and may result in your dog’s paw pad skin hanging from the rest. However, these injuries can result in your dog being uncomfortable, whining, or crying from discomfort.
Paw pad injuries can be resolved in a few ways, but typically these injuries will resolve themselves, or a veterinarian can trim the hanging paw skin. Treatment and recovery for a paw pad injury may include bandages or gauze to staunch bleeding and keep infection at bay.
Never hesitate to see your dog’s veterinarian with any questions, comments, or concerns about your dog’s health and wellness.
If you find this guide, “What To Do if Your Dog’s Paw Pad Skin Is Hanging,” helpful, check out:
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Learn more by watching “Dog Paw Problems: 7 Most Common Issues and What to Do About Them” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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