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Dog with sore feet

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  • Dog with sore feet

    This is a new one to me. My Pit Bull has been acting really sore footed on concrete and gravel. Visual inspection shows that his foot pads are very smooth and thin. Not the rough calloused pads my other dogs have.

    This is a problem because we like to walk the dogs every day and we do a couple of miles.

    I can buy boots for him to wear for our walks, but does anyone know why this would be happening? He has a good diet of Fromm premium food, and he's mostly an indoor dog - goes to the barn 2x a day and out for potty breaks.

    He used to be a bit ouchie on gravel, but its getting worse. If it was your dog, would you take him to the vet? I don't even know what a vet would do? This is a strange one for me. Thanks for the input.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
    This is a new one to me. My Pit Bull has been acting really sore footed on concrete and gravel. Visual inspection shows that his foot pads are very smooth and thin. Not the rough calloused pads my other dogs have.

    This is a problem because we like to walk the dogs every day and we do a couple of miles.

    I can buy boots for him to wear for our walks, but does anyone know why this would be happening? He has a good diet of Fromm premium food, and he's mostly an indoor dog - goes to the barn 2x a day and out for potty breaks.

    He used to be a bit ouchie on gravel, but its getting worse. If it was your dog, would you take him to the vet? I don't even know what a vet would do? This is a strange one for me. Thanks for the input.
    Does he have any other health problems? (I ask because my cocker spaniel gets quite itchy skin as a result of an allergy, and at the same time gets very thick dry skin on her nose - so I'm wondering if the thin pads might also be related to some kind of systemic thing.)

    Other than boots, the jar of Musher's Secret we have claims that it helps protect the pads in the summer, also, against sand and that kind of thing. It's a wax that forms a protective layer on the skin, but is all edible so if they lick it, it won't make them sick. (Though if they eat a whole jar, the results are kind of gross, supposedly. ) I think I've heard of people using Bag Balm similarly, to condition the pads and encourage healthy skin growth.

    (We've never used MS in the summer, but it does definitely make a difference in the winter in protecting against salt on the sidewalks - people put so much salt on the sidewalks and street around here that in the past my dad has had to CARRY both dogs home one at a time because they'd take two steps and need their paws cleaned again.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Musher's Secret can be very helpful in warm weather, and there are a couple of other similar commercial paw waxes that might also help.

      I'd avoid using Bag Balm, because it will just soften up the pads--you don't want that, you want dry and callous-y.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a pit mix with bad feet Yeasty actually. His feet get bloody and gunky when they are bad. His issue is/was allergy related. dust, pollen and grain related.
        Before I knew the allergans at fault, I tried doggie shoes which actually ade his feet more sore(heat and doggy foot sweat are not a good combo). His feet have been good since I cut the grain out. There are some good grain free foods available Orijen is the food of choice here lately.
        I feel for you, a sore footed dog is no fun!

        Comment


        • #5
          Check with vet or kennel - hunting dogs sometimes require a pad toughener - I used one for my Aussie when her front pads became irritated - it's like a cream you massage into the pads and it is really is like a MIRACLE the way it toughened up her pads ..sorry do not know the name has been years. Maybe try Dr. Smith and Fosters vet supply cataog - ggogle that name. Good-Luck - don't worry very fixable.
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

          Comment


          • #6
            Try Dogsunlimited.com for some help. They specialize in hunting dog supplies. I think you can get Mushers' Secret at Petco, Petsmart, etc as well as through catalogs.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would cut back on the walks on roads/pavement/concrete/sidewalks. Excessive walking on pavement, particularly hot pavement, will definitely wear down normal pads (just like excessive riding on roads will wear down shoes or bare hooves).

              After the dog's paws have healed, you might want to find a route with more grass/dirt to walk on, rather than pavement, or just don't over-do it on pavement.

              I've seen dogs (NOT mine) that have worn their pads thin through excessive exercise on asphalt and, especially with puppies, I've seen dogs who have actually blistered their pads off to bloody messes because their *^*#! owners insisted on walking on hot brick sidewalks too much -- of course, the owners get to wear shoes and don't even notice how hot it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                I brought my dogs to play with a friend's dogs yesterday, and now my youngest has sore feet from running on concrete. My other 2 are fine, even though they did just as much playing out there. There was plenty of grass too, but she wore away parts of her paw pads(like they peeled off) on the concrete and is limping around now. She has been laying in the kennel all day when she is usually running around like a maniac. I feel so bad for her, and have been carrying her inside after going potty because she gets really ouchy outside. I'm tempted to try wrapping them, but I will call my work(vet clinic) and see if they have any better suggestions in the morning.
                Brandi
                "A horseman or horsewoman must have only one thing (and each in his own way): a passionate, obsessive love for the horse. Nothing more." George H. Morris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Laytian View Post
                  I've seen dogs (NOT mine) that have worn their pads thin through excessive exercise on asphalt and, especially with puppies, I've seen dogs who have actually blistered their pads off to bloody messes because their *^*#! owners insisted on walking on hot brick sidewalks too much -- of course, the owners get to wear shoes and don't even notice how hot it is.
                  I've gotten the weirdest looks for bending over to put my hand on the pavement, or slipping a foot out of a shoe to test the temperature. (How else am I supposed to know how hot it is without feeling it? Sense it through the soles of my shoes?) It's like it doesn't even occur to people that it COULD be an issue. (Luckily most of the sidewalks and paved areas around here are relatively light in color, so they don't get baking hot. Even so, if we're going to be staying in one spot for a bit, I make sure there's shade or grass for the dogs to hang out on, or we have a rug sort of thing in the trunk of the car that we can put down for them.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Foot pad soreness is pretty common with hunting dogs. Doesn't really matter how good his nutrition or handling, they can just get sore pads, even if they never run on concrete.

                    Usually what is done is that you rest the dog or hound and medicate him/her just to get over the initial soreness. Boots might help but rest and walking on softer surfaces is really what the dogs needs.

                    Once the dog/hound is feeling better you can try a couple of things to toughen up the pads.

                    My grandpa used to use tea bags - which drove my grandma crazy because he used NEW bags and being very frugal, she wanted him to use USED tea bags. But his dogs came first and if his dawgs got sore he wasn't about to wait for someone to make a cup of tea so he could use the old teabag!

                    Anyway - the wet teabag was applied to the pad or he'd soak paws in a strong solution of tea. The tannins in the tea leaves toughen up the pads. Alum can also work but it's messy.

                    Or, you can just do what everyone else does these days and buy a prepared product from a place like gundogsonline.

                    Here is a link to the first aid supplies - check out the stuff for toughing up pads.

                    http://www.gundogsonline.com/dog-first-aid/

                    You can shop around for the best price of course - I just suggest this site because I've purchased from them and I got good service.

                    Good luck.
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My father had a llewellyn setter with tender feet. There are products to make pads tougher. When those did't work, Yogi got dog boots. Once he "threw" a boot in the neighbor's yard. Mother was in the checkout line at the grocery store when the neighbor, in the back of the line, shouted that her dog had left his shoe in the neighbor's yard and she had put it in our mailbox.

                      So try both, boots for feet and the pad product. It was so long ago I do not remember the name, but the boots can be found in Drs. Foster catalogue and in other catalogues.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kdow View Post
                        I've gotten the weirdest looks for bending over to put my hand on the pavement, or slipping a foot out of a shoe to test the temperature. (How else am I supposed to know how hot it is without feeling it? Sense it through the soles of my shoes?) It's like it doesn't even occur to people that it COULD be an issue. (Luckily most of the sidewalks and paved areas around here are relatively light in color, so they don't get baking hot. Even so, if we're going to be staying in one spot for a bit, I make sure there's shade or grass for the dogs to hang out on, or we have a rug sort of thing in the trunk of the car that we can put down for them.)
                        Good for you! I emphasize strongly to ALL of my training or show clients that they need to put their hand on the pavement/sidewalk and leave it there for ten seconds before starting a work-out or walk. If it's too uncomfortable for them, then they need to work the dog when it's cooler or find someplace on grass or in the shade to do so. I also teach owners about signs of heat distress, how to prevent it and how to deal with a dog that's getting overheated since the weather gets so hot and humid in this area.

                        An emoticon with sunglasses...how apropo for this post.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for all the suggestions! We don't walk when it's really hot, and being in northern WI, our summer temps are usually pretty cool (just had a whole week of 60s) but we'll keep a close eye on it. When I lived down south, I do remember how brutually hot the sidewalks and roads got, but we don't have much of that here because our climate is so much cooler.

                          There is no infection or sores, but just smooth/thin pads.

                          I'll look into the musher's secret and pad tougheners. Thanks everyone!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            sore? Because dogs feet are not really design for those hard concrete surfaces.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Many hunting dog people swear by adding zinc to the dog's diet. A deficiency in zinc will lead to tender pads, but you would also see some other symptoms first. However, according to my vet it does not hurt to try.

                              We use Tuf Foot shown in the Gun Dog link for our dog's pads. We live in the desert, but routinely bike the dogs for cardio build up. Works great except it is like running on sandpaper for them. To use the Tuf Foot I transfer it to a small spray bottle and just spray on the pads morning and night.

                              We have also tried the boots. Some work well, some fall off, some horribly rub the Stop pad and cause more problems. I have also had every one of them, even taped, let dirt and small rocks in.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Laytian View Post
                                Good for you! I emphasize strongly to ALL of my training or show clients that they need to put their hand on the pavement/sidewalk and leave it there for ten seconds before starting a work-out or walk.
                                An emoticon with sunglasses...how apropo for this post.
                                I HATE seeing this, in town out here we get the "people" taking the pit bulls for a walk on their big chains to show off, and pulling the dog along while the dog is OBVIOUSLY distressed about the heat of the sidewalk.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My collie has always had tender feet. She will go out of her way to avoid the gravel driveway. She's been like this since she was a puppy.

                                  My cocker...she never had a problem. Nor do my lab or foxhound.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Zu Zu View Post
                                    Check with vet or kennel - hunting dogs sometimes require a pad toughener - I used one for my Aussie when her front pads became irritated - it's like a cream you massage into the pads and it is really is like a MIRACLE the way it toughened up her pads ..sorry do not know the name has been years. Maybe try Dr. Smith and Fosters vet supply cataog - ggogle that name. Good-Luck - don't worry very fixable.
                                    Yes I forget the name, but one of our bird dogs had the sole toughener. And boots.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Since someone resurected this thread, here's an update. He still avoids the gravel when he's bare footed. It's really awful in the winter on the ice. If he's barefooted, he will hop on 3 feet, and try to hold feet up off the ice. I bought him Muttluks boots and he wore them last winter with pretty good success. They're not perfect, but it makes it possible for him to take long walks without pain. They are very thick, suede leather so they do give a lot of protection from the ice. He goes horseback riding with me in the woods and fields and he's fine on the soft footing. My other 2 dogs have not shown any signs of any tender foot issues.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Are you sure it's the pads and not the claws? My JRT has scratched himself till the claws bleed (wore them down to the quick), his claws don't grow very fast, in fact I never have to trim them. When this happens he is VERY tender footed. I wrap each claw in water proof bandage tape.

                                        I have to admit I don't allow my dog to walk on the tarmac if possible, I make him walk on the curb, or in the grass, we don't have a sidewalk.

                                        I'm going to try MS this winter!

                                        Thanx!!
                                        LBR
                                        I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                                        R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

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