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Q&A: What Can You Do for Paw Pad Burns on Dogs?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

It is so easy to prevent your dog's paws from getting burned, but here's what to do if it does happen.

It is so easy to prevent your dog's paws from getting burned, but here's what to do if it does happen.

What Can I Put on My Dog's Burned Paw Pads?

"My dog followed me five miles on gravel and hot pavement; now he is licking at his paws. All four paws are swollen and he cannot walk. What can I do?" —Kimberly

If Your Dog Can't Walk, Visit the Vet

Without seeing how severe the burns are, it is impossible for me to tell for sure, but if your dog is not even walking, he will need to see your local veterinarian. If he is still walking and able to "do his business" in the yard, then the burns are probably a lot milder.

How to Treat Burned Dog Paws

Sadly, burned paw pads are a common phenomenon. This is an easily avoidable condition, but if your dog does experience this issue, here are a couple of ways to soothe the burns and help them recover.

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Antibiotic Ointment

The vet may put your dog on antibiotics and pain pills and may prescribe an ointment for the burns. Burns are very painful, and if they become infected, they will not heal.

If you need to put ointment on your dog's paws, you will first need to go to the pet shop and get him some of those doggy booties that will cover his feet. (You can also use socks small enough for a human baby, or whatever is appropriate for his size.)

The booties/socks will allow you to cover his feet so that he will not lick off the ointment you apply. The most effective treatment is just a triple antibiotic ointment (without steroids), but if he pulls off the socks and licks the ointment off, he will get sick and may have diarrhea.

Coconut Oil

When one of my clients has been walking on the beach with their dog and presents with mildly burned paw pads, I usually recommend coconut oil as it soothes the feet and has some mild antibiotics effects. (1) If the dog pulls off the booties and licks the coconut oil off, it will not hurt him, although their stool will be looser than normal.

Source

  1. Shilling M, Matt L, Rubin E, Visitacion MP, Haller NA, Grey SF, Woolverton CJ. Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. J Med Food. 2013 Dec;16(12):1079-85. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24328700/

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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