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Torn Pad

2353 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Lynn Cheffins
Well, at some point in our hike early evening tonight (me and DH biking, dogs running off leash along with us), Zoso tore the thick top layer off of both front pads on the "palm" part of the paw. We went home, fed the dogs, and he came back upstairs and fell asleep. Woke him back up for the last potty of the night and he was limping pretty badly. Noticed the torn pads and I made him stick his feet in a bucket of water to try and clear any debris out and applied Bactine to further flush it and triple antibiotic ointment. I then put an e-collar on him so he won't lick off the ointment. I called the emergency vet who said he was probably not needing of an emergency visit, but perhaps an office visit on Monday. *whew!* It's not bleeding, just kind of raw and painful with the skin kind of partially hanging there. Any further suggestions? I'm sure he will also be a big pain not exercising him for a week, I have a feeling...
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in my experience, you've done pretty much what we do. Clean it, apply some antibiotic ointment, and let them rest. It's very rare they would suture a torn pad. Just keep an eye on it, so it doesn't get infected. Usually within a week to 10 days our dogs are back to work.

save yourself an office call--you've done all you can do with torn pads. sutures don't stay in them (even if you had something to suture), and they heal pretty quickly.
The only thing I'd consider, depending on how much of the torn flap is still there, is super glue. Once I get it all flushed out, if the flap is still there, I superglue it along the edges where it tore. It won't reattach, but it will protect the raw skin underneath, acting as a decent "bandaid" while that skin toughens up. About the time the skin underneath is really ready to be walked on the superglue wears off and the torn flap comes off or can be snipped off. If you are worried about drainage (depends on the depth of the tear, if it's bleeding, etc) you can superglue just 80% of the edge and leave part of it open for drainage.

NOTE you are not supergluing the flap to the skin underneath, just putting it back in place and gluing the edges back together.
The Vet is asking her patients?
No sarcasm, Greg... [-X No free advice for you in the future! :p ;) I had already called the e-vet to make sure I didn't need to do anything else for him and she agree with what I did. Just seeing if anyone else knew any tricks as I'm sure this is not uncommon in the working dog world. What you learn inside versus outside of vet school can be a whole other animal. And technically, the dog is the patient. The owner is the client.

Kadi, funny you mention the flap of skin being the "bandage." I was just thinking that a little while ago when I was putting on the triple antibiotic. The flaps on both seem to be holding on pretty good. We have agility tomorrow night, so I may try it for that though we'll probably just do walk throughs with no jumping or climbing, if even that. I may ask if I can sub in my foster instead as we are considering keeping her so hubby has an agility dog he can work on.
The one thing I'd watch out for (since this happened with my old apbt) is proud flesh, the flesh filled in too much and created a bubble. Vet had to trim it away and close the flap back over; using; yup - super glue, and a fairly tight bandage.
You may want to consider the super glue now; and get the flap closed as much as possible to keep the flesh from growing too fast. Once the flesh has grown over, the flap is redundant and is trimmed away; as the other poster suggested.
Also, Maren, have you ever heard of "EMT Gel"? i found it at either walmart or walgreens, it's really good for pad wounds esp--i've used it a # of times on the Dobe (who has "very sensitive" pads, as well as "very sensitive" nerves lol).

it's too late proble to use on Zoso now, but it's handy stuff to have in the first aid kit.
There are leather "boots" for hunting dogs that are a flat piece of leather (cleverly cut) that laces up. It has holes that the toenails go through and it covers the ads of the foot and a bit of the ankle. They're pretty cheap, durable. etc. Might be good to use for a couple weeks until its thoroughly healed.
How timely. I just got back from a herding seminar and both dogs had some degree of pad damage from the hot dry ground. What I'm really looking for is something to toughen up the pads before next time. The people with "working dogs", asked if my dogs spent a lot of time indoors. Well, yeah!
Soak them in tea bags in a bit of water. This works pretty good. Of course sticking them outside is better.

Soak them in tea bags in a bit of water. ...
I saw that once on the Stash Tea site.

The poster made note to be very alert about what happens to the used tea bags..... as in, don't just leave them in the soaking water.
I can see my dogs standing in tea water - NOT!

Actually, Dr. Oz on oprah said that tea works for stinky human feet.

Gun Dog Supply has something called:
Dog Foot Pad Guard 4 oz. bottle
I'm thinking of trying. I'm also teaching the dogs to trot with the bicycle.
If your dog won't do the stand/soak thing with the tea, you can get similar results by just putting very strong tea in a spray bottle and spraying it on their feet a couple of times a day.

Also, when out working the dogs, be careful about letting the dog take a quick dunk in the pool or water trough, then going back and working them again. Especially on the surfaces in many herding arenas, and the style of work being done (lots of running and fast turns). The water is like putting lotion on our skin, it softens the pad for a short period of time, then you go back in the arena and have the dog racing around. They are much more likely to blow a pad this way, then if you keep their feet dry.
lightweight booties like
applied loosely can help help keep the torn area clean for trips outside until the torn area scabs and toughens up a bit. Even after the area looks fully healed it might be a little more tender and easily damaged for a while so booties while running and frequent foot checks are a good idea for a bit.
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