Due to its inability to wear shoes, their paws have to take the brunt of the impact each and every day, which can lead to swollen paws in dogs. Sharp rocks and thorns can easily scratch your dog’s paw, and even insects can join in the fray as well.
When you notice that your dog has a sudden urge to chew or bite its toe, it is a sign that things are heading south. Symptoms of swollen dog paws are hair loss, inflammation, and redness between the toes, which can lead to a visit to your vet’s office.
Why is My Dog Paw Swollen?
A swollen dog paw is very uncomfortable and sometimes painful whenever your dog tries to make a move. In order to solve a problem, you need to first know the cause behind it!
1. Injured Nails
Any kind of trauma on your dog’s nail will cause swelling around the nail and the attached toe. The causes behind the trauma might be due to various infections, tumors, foreign objects, allergies, and even more!
2. Foreign Objects
Sharp objects like sticks, thorns, or broken pieces of glass can stick on or between your dog’s paw. If you notice your dog is limping or walking uncomfortably, you need to check for any foreign object between their toes.
When removing this object, make sure that your actions are gentle and your body language are portraying calmness, which can prevent your dog from getting too excited and hyper-sensitive.
3. Bites & Stings
If your dog likes to go outside, he can get bitten by an insect (spiders/ants) or get stung by a bee/wasp. If this is the case, then the inflammation will be on the top-side of their paw since their foot was probably touching the ground the whole time.
4. Fractured Toe
A dog’s toe can get fractured on one side of the paw. This will cause swelling around the affected area and is not likely to spread to other parts of the legs. Restrict the activity level of your dog, and especially, running and jumping should not be allowed!
Tumors that occur between the toes of a dog are very common in older dogs over 10 years old. If you suspect that the swollen dog paw is caused by a lump, you need to consult your vet immediately for further inspection!
Your vet should be able to distinguish between non-cancerous tumors and cancerous ones, so take your dog to your vet as early as possible! For cancerous tumors, early treatment is best if you want to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of its body.
Similar to humans, dogs often experience allergic reactions to pollen, grass seeds, poisonous chemicals, and processed dog-food. Especially for allergic reactions, the red rashes tend to happen in the front portion of their paws, so make sure to keep a close tab on your dog at all times!
7. Burns / Abrasions
If you ever went to a beach on a hot sunny day, you’ve probably experienced a burn in your foot as you walked barefoot across the sand-duned beach. The same rule applies to your dog! If they walk on hot surfaces, their four paws will be burned as a result.
The burn will probably cause your dog’s paw to be swollen, and it will cause constant irritation for a short time. Make sure to check the weather, and double-check the exercise track for hot surfaces.
Too much of anything is dangerous. You should exercise your dog regularly for a short period of time. It is unfair to wait for a long time then over-exercise them due to their lack of exercise. This bad habit can cause long-term discomfort to your dog’s paw.
9. Cardiovascular Problems
If your dog coughs unusually and develops a swollen paw after each exercise session, there might be an underlying heart problem that your dog is hiding. Seek medical assistance to prevent this condition from getting out of hand.
10. Skin Infections
Swollen dog paws can also be caused by bacterial infections and fungal infections. In both of these cases, inflammation is a primary symptom, but you can distinguish one infection from the other through this method.
Bacterial infections will be filled with pus and very painful to look at, but fungal infections will be swollen and itchy. These infections can be easily treated by antibiotic medications and antifungal treatments.
Industrial Remedies for Swollen Dog Paws
In this section, we will be covering several products that can help treat the swollen paw of your dog, and make sure to read each product description before going on to the next!
To generalize things a bit, this antibiotic spray by Vetericyn Plus cleans wounds, insect bites, and potential infections safely and effectively. If your dog is suffering due to wounds to his paws, make sure to cleanse it immediately through this disinfectant spray!
Being our next runner-up, the deep cleansing tablets by Warren London soothes swellings and combats itchiness by removing germs and dirt that accumulated in your dog’s paw. Formulated with white tea tree oil and seaweed extract, this product fights against fungal infection and even hydrates your dog’s paw!
Last but not least, we needed a product for bacterial infections and fungal infections, and this is it! Frequently mentioned in our post, the antiseptic and antifungal spray works wonders for dogs who are struggling with potential infections caused by bacteria and fungus.
Homemade Remedies for Swollen Dog Paws
These home remedies are meant to reduce inflammation, prevent itchiness, and relieve pain. Before embarking on any of these remedies, it is important to check for any foreign objects such as thorns, pieces of glass, and pebbles on the paws of your pet.
According to petMD, “If you can see an obvious lesion, the swelling does not quickly disappear, or the dog continues to favor the paw, call your vet for further advice. Veterinary attention in these cases is almost always in order.”
1. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt works as a pain reliever, and it is often used to relax the tension in the muscles. It also reduces inflammation and quickens the healing process. Insect bites, fractured toes, and burns should be treated using Epsom salt.
The Epsom salt will rejuvenate the skin and adjust the pH level in order to accommodate a larger population of good bacteria. More good bacteria on the skin means fewer chances of getting either a fungus or a bacterial infection.
- Epsom Salt
- Warm Water
- Clean Towel
- Pour a liter of water into the basic
- Add 5 teaspoons of Epsom salt and stir till the salt dissolves completely
- Place the dog inside the basin
- Make sure its paws are fully immersed in the solution
- Hold your dog in place for a few minutes
- Remove your dog from the basic and dry the paws using a clean towel
- Follow this routine at least three times a day
You can easily find this ingredient in the grocery store, and you might have this at home. This ingredient is frequently used as a pain reliever and also as an anti-inflammatory agent. (Very good against swollen dog paws and abrasions)
Iodine will also help by lowering the level of itchiness and by washing off any foreign objects that are stuck inside your dog’s paw. Basically, this is an all-for-one ingredient for a swollen dog’s paw.
- Alcohol-Free Iodine
- Lukewarm Water
- Clean Cloth That Can Be Thrown Away (Old)
- Pour clean lukewarm water into a basin
- Add a bottle cup full of alcohol-free iodine
- Keep adding till the water changes color to at least light brown
- Insert the affected dog paw in the water for at least 2 minutes
- Remove the paw and dry it with a clean piece of old clothing
- Alternative method – soak a cotton pad with iodine / wrap around dog’s paw
- Repeat the above procedure thrice a day
- Withdraw the use of iodine if you notice signs of an allergic reaction after use.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
Apple cider vinegar combined with hydrogen peroxide is an effective method of treating fungal infections on swollen dog paws. It contains antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral agents that can really help your dog out.
- Organic Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar
- Hydrogen Peroxide (Alternate: Lemon Juice)
- Warm Water
- Clean Piece of Cloth
- Pour warm water into the basin
- Add a cup of organic apple cider vinegar and a cup of hydrogen peroxide
- Mix the solution
- Immerse the affected paw in the solution for a minute
- Remove the swollen dog paw and dry it with a clean piece of cloth
- Repeat this process at least three times a day
4. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is an herbal medicine that has astringent properties, which constrict body tissues and reduce inflammation. It also reduces itching due to fungal infection and saves your dog the agony of constantly chewing and licking the affected paw.
- Chamomile Tea Bags
- Clean Lukewarm Water
- Clean Piece of Clothing
- Pour hot water into a basin
- Add at least 5 chamomile tea bags
- Let the tea bag steep as the water cool down to lukewarm
- Immerse the affected dog paw in the tea for at least 2 minutes
- Remove the paw and dry it with a clean piece of cloth
- Repeat this process three times a day
Conclusion: Know the Cause!
After careful examination, your vet should be able to diagnose the cause behind the swollen dog paw. If you can’t figure out the cause behind it, please visit your vet for further diagnosis.
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