Imagine this. You’re out jogging, listening to that new Kanye West song, shaking off the stress of the day when all of a sudden a black and white panda-looking dog comes running into your periphery. You keep going, figuring it’s probably just a neighbor’s dog, but before you know it the dog has leapfrogged in front of you and dropped a ball in your path. Not only that, now it’s bowing down on its front two legs and wagging its tail high in the air as if to ask you “will you throw this please?”.
Everyone always throws it. That panda-looking dog is Keeper. My wild dog. I don’t know how many times I’ve chased her down the street yelling obscenities and waving my hands in the air. Too many to count. It’s not that she’s a bad dog or anything, she is very well trained and extremely sweet. She just loves meeting new people, and it’s hard to get mad at a dog trying to make friends with people in the neighborhood. Everyone loves her. In fact, a little kid came to the park the other day just as we were leaving and cried because he “missed her”.
So, the other day she did her friend-making escapade…ran out of the dog park (it isn’t fenced, and it’s at the intersection of three very sleepy streets so there’s no real danger) and narrowed in on her victims: a young couple out for a stroll in close proximity to the park. They obliged and threw the ball down the street 10 or so times for her. When we finally wrangled her back to the park, we noticed she was limping and wanting to lay down…something she rarely does. Sure enough, we turned over her paws and saw she had ripped her pads from running too hard on the asphalt. Poor girl.
1. Wash the paws gently using soap and water to disinfect the wounds. Move the paw around in the water to dislodge any debris that may be in the affected area. Dry the area softly with a towel.
2. Apply an anti-bacterial ointment to the affected areas of the paws. There are some over the counter ointments and sprays made specifically for dogs that you can find at your local pet store, but Neosporin is also safe to use on minor scrapes and abrasions. If the wound is more extensive and requires a longer heal time, it’s better to have it treated at the vet’s office.
3. Place a non-stick tefla pad on the affected area, and wrap the paw using non-stick wrap. It’s important not to wrap too tight or you will restrict circulation. Wrap the paw up past the hind claw to ensure it stays on.
4. Put a toddler sock on the paw and wrap hurt-free tape along the top of the sock to secure it in place (optional).
5. Encourage them to take it easy. While the tefla pad + wrapping + sock will give them cushion for walking and help ease the pain, it’s important for the wounds to heal. The quicker they heal, the quicker they will be back outside running around.
6. Change the dressing every day until a good layer of skin has formed where the wound was and you’re confident it won’t re-open/possibly introduce infection.
As for Keeper, she is already back to her normal, wild self. She was down for two days but is making up for lost time and then some by running outside…tongue flapping out the side of her mouth and all.