Why Does My Dog Have Swollen Feet and What Are Some Natural Cures?
If your dog has swollen feet, the cause might be obvious. She may have stepped on a thorn, burned her pads walking on hot pavement, or have a dripping sore from a spider bite. It usually is not easy to figure out, though, so take a deep breath and ask yourself a few questions before deciding what you need to do.
How many feet are involved?
· If only one foot is involved, you are most likely dealing with a trauma, a foreign body (like a thorn in the paw), or maybe a spider bite. Lift the sore paw up and check all the nails before running your fingers over the skin and taking a good look between the pads. Is there a growth present between the toes?
· If the front feet are swollen, and it is because your dog has been licking them excessively, it may be due to allergies. Are her ears also swollen and red? How about her belly? Is her skin raw in other areas from constant scratching?
· If all of the feet are swollen, check the pads and see if they are damaged from hot pavement. If the dog is also coughing, it may be due to heart disease. At this point your dog MUST be taken to the veterinarian.
What can cause swollen feet?
• Trauma (like a broken toe or nail)
• Spider bite
• Puncture wound
• Tumor between the toes (uncommon)
• Circulatory problem (like heart disease)
Is the swelling on the leg, the feet, or are the pads swollen?
· If the leg is swollen, it may be due to trauma or a lesion somewhere else. The swelling in the foot may be secondary, and only due to injury higher up on the limb.
· If the leg is okay and only one toe is swollen, feel it and see if it is tender. Your dog may have a fractured toe, a torn nail, or a spider bite or thorn stuck in her foot.
· If the pads are swollen, are they painful? She may have burned herself walking on hot asphalt. If they are crusty but not painful, she may have a genetic footpad disease, lupus, or even an infection.
Natural treatments for swollen feet
· If your dog has stepped on a sharp object or wounded his paw, just wash it out and clean the wound with betadine solution. (Which you have, of course, in your canine first aid kit.)
· For a swollen foot of unknown cause, one of the best treatments is to soak the foot in Epsom salts (about 2 tablespoons in a liter of water). That does not mean it is the easiest treatment. Many dogs will not sit still and allow you to soak their feet, but at least try to do so for at least 15 minutes.
· If the paw has a yeasty smell, especially when the dog has been licking on it, she may have already contracted a yeast infection secondary to her allergies. These infections are generally all over the body, but if you have caught it early you can treat it with . The best treatment is to soak the foot in dilute (1/2 strength) apple cider vinegar and then allowing it to air dry without rinsing. I use this organic apple cider vinegar since it is acidic and also has some healing properties not found in regular vinegar. apple cider vinegar
· Apple cider vinegar may also be effective in reducing itchy skin secondary to allergies, and you will not have to resort to treating your dog with antihistamines.
· If the dog is also scratching at her ears and digging at her skin, as well as chewing on her feet, and the apple cider vinegar is not effective, you can provide some temporary relief by giving her about 1mg/pound of Benadryl (diphenhydramine). This does not always work, and even if it does provides only temporary relief, so you should get her in to see her vet because of the allergies as soon as you can.
· If the swelling is in the foot pads, and they are very rough and scaly, it may help to soften them up with a warm water soak. Some vets recommend moistening the pads with vaseline but the dogs usually just lick it off before it does much good.
· If your dog does not respond to soaking have him seen as soon as possible by his regular veterinarian. Some diseases (like lupus) will require a lot more testing.
Licking the feet from time to time can be normal, but constant licking and chewing on the feet is a sign that something is wrong and should be looked into.
If the swelling continues, your dog may have a serious problem.
Consult your veterinarian.
More About Your Dog´s Health
- Do It Yourself At Home Physical Exam for Your Dog
You should be aware of what is normal in your dog. This is a physical exam you can do at home before taking your dog in to see your veterinarian.
- Does My Dog Need Her Teeth Brushed Every Day?
Certain breeds of dog do not need their teeth brushed routinely. Other breeds need daily care to prevent serious dental disease. This article discusses which need brushing and how to go about it.
- Does My Dog Need A Heartworm Test Every Year?
Stop wasting your money-this test is not necessary every year. Find out how to prevent the disease, how to avoid testing, and inexpensive alternatives to protect your dog.
Some Reader Questions and Answers
Hi i have spent a lot of money on my dogs paw last year and seemed to be getting bad again she won't put it down. It looks very swollen.. last year she had 2 of the ends of her fingers removed. The vets said it was because she had blood clots at the end but it still bad.. Is there anything I can do to take swelling down and make her more comfortable unfortunately I can't afford to get her back to the vets till the end of March.. I'd appreciate any advice.. king regards rebecca lane
Rebecca, it is difficult to figure this out without an exam, but to make her more comfortable, and hopefully prevent her paws from swelling, you could try using heat to the affected area of the paw. Use a very warm, moist cloth, and wrap her foot and apply gentle pressure for at least 5 minutes.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
My dog's foot is swollen, so I tried Epsom salt, but it hasn’t brought the swelling down. What else can I try?
It is possible that your dog has an infection from a penetrating wound. If the Epsom salts were not effective, you need to have the dog examined by your vet. He or she may need to be put on antibiotics.Helpful 2
My 10-year-old Maltese has swollen feet due to an allergic reaction to probiotics. Her front paws are raw from licking, and she's been limping. Can I do an Epsom soak along with a little vinegar? If the vinegar solution is too strong I think it would sting at this point, but I do believe she is developing yeast issues.
If your Maltese has been licking so much that her paws are raw, she probably does have a yeast infection. Diluted apple cider vinegar (half water) is okay and will not sting too much, but you have to see how she reacts. If it is just an allergic reaction, she will probably not even need the Epsom salt solution.
My dog's back left foot is swollen. There is no thorn or object in the foot, but now her mouth is swelling. What is going on?
If the dog's lips are swelling that indicates a systemic allergic reaction. She may have been bitten by a bee, a spider, or even a snake. The bite may be too small even to notice.
Please take your dog to a vet so that she can be given an anti-inflammatory injection. If she suffers from swelling in her throat, she could stop breathing.Helpful 6
My Boerboel's leg has been swollen since June 3rd. We've had X-rays done and has been on anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, but his leg is still swollen. What more can we do?
If the swelling is in the paw, you can try to soak in Epsom salts. If your dog has swollen elbows, look at this article and see if it helps: https://hubpages.com/dogs/swollen-elbow-dog.Helpful 4
My Rottweiler has been on IV drip for three days. After the IV was taken out, his arm and paw became swollen. Is this normal?
It could be normal if there was any subcutaneous loss of fluids into the tissue around the arm. It will go away soon and is nothing to worry about.
The only reason you should be concerned is if the swelling gets worse or the dog becomes lame. That would indicate that there was an infection in the leg, possibly caused by the catheter, and you will need to take him back in for antibiotic therapy.Helpful 2