There are a number of reasons why your dog’s paw(s) may need to be bandaged. This will include reasons like cuts and any other injuries to the pad. Sadly, even with these injuries, your dog is not likely to stay still to allow the wound heal.
The constant activity that your dog will want to carry on even with the wound and any dressings you may have put on it usually leads to the dressing falling off, the bandaging getting ripped off and even the wound reopening.
Aside from the above, proper bandaging also facilitates the healing process. If you do not bandage your dog’s paw properly, you may actually end up worsening the injury.
All these make it obvious that bandaging a dog’s paw has to be done properly for it to be effective as protection that allows the wound or cut heal properly.
Factors to Consider Before Bandaging
Before we begin to bandage, there are some important factors that have to be considered. These will revolve around things that can make the bandage easy to rip off.
Chewing and Biting the Bandage
Some dogs will chew at their bandaged paws, ripping off and making nonsense of the bandage. Rather than just reapplying the bandage again, you may want to find out why your dog is so bent on chewing at his/her paw.
Many times, dogs persistently chew, bite or lick their paws because they are feeling a lot of discomfort in that area. It’s been found that some dogs can experience severe itching within their paws as a result of the presence of yeast.
The moist environment presented by the paws during the humid, hot months provides an ideal growing spot for yeasts. For some dogs, this can lead to some serious itching which will make them chew, bite and lick as if their lives depend on it.
If your dog has this condition and is responding this way, bandaging the paw in the event of an injury will seriously increase the dog’s discomfort. Before you begin to bandage, it is important you address the primary issue causing the chewing and biting.
A simple way to address this is to bath the dog with anti-fungal shampoo, taking time to wash the paws properly with the same shampoo. This should be done daily. You may also want to add some digestive enzymes and probiotics into your dog’s diet.
Some also suggest that the carbohydrate content in your dog’s diet should be reduced. Once you have achieved relief for your dog, it will be easier for the bandage to stay on.
Assess the Injury
You should not attempt to handle all injuries by yourself at home. There are some injuries that should immediately be referred to a veterinarian for professional attention. You should only handle the issue if you assess it and it is not very serious.
The bleeding should be very minimal. If the bleeding is severe or even moderate, you may want a professional veterinarian to look at it.
Bandaging Your Dog’s Paw
Now that you have assessed the injury and have determined that it is something that you can take care of at home, the following steps will help you properly apply the bandage.
You’ve already inspected the wound to know its extent. Next, you will need to wash the wound. Do this with warm water and as you wash, check for any debris in and around the wound. These should be removed. If you can’t wash the debris out, then remove them with the help of tweezers.
Next, the area of the injury should be cleaned and disinfected and before you begin to cover it up, apply some antiseptic spray or cream to the area. Get an absorbent pad that is both sterilized and does not stick and place this on the wound.
After doing these, you can then wrap the pad with soft gauze before applying a pressure bandage. One thing you should always ensure is that it is neither too tight nor too loose. To ensure it is not too tight, as you apply the bandage insert two fingers between the bandage and the paw to ensure it has the right amount of space. You should also ensure that bandage extends and covers the wrist joint. The toes, on the other hand, must not be bandaged in.
They should be left out.
With all of the above done, your next concern will be how to ensure it stays on. First, you should ensure the bandaging stays dry. It should not be wet. You should, of course, monitor your pet closely while s/he has the bandaging on.
Another thing you can do is to consider getting an Elizabethan collar for your dog. With this collar on removing the bandage will be next to impossible.
Above we looked at how to handle the issue of dogs chewing, biting and licking as a result of yeast infestation. However, if your dog chews on and licks the bandage and you have confirmed that it is not as a result of yeast infestation, there are two things you can do.
First, you can wrap the bandage around with anti-lick strips or secondly, you can spray the bandage over with bitter apple. Either of these treatments should be able to discourage your dog from chewing, biting and licking the bandage.
The bandage is supposed to protect your dog’s paws so it can heal without the wound getting infected or reopening. Always check the bandaging. Once the bandage gets dirty, be sure to change it immediately.
The bandage should also not be left on for too long as the wound needs to breathe to heal properly. For minor injuries, you can leave the bandage on for about 3 or 4 days after which you can remove it. Of course, having removed it, your dog’s paws will still need to be protected.
When going for a walk, you can try a dog boot. Once back into the house, the boot should be removed. You can also try a product called an invisible foot. Closely monitor the wound and if you notice that it has reopened, do not re-bandage.
You should rather apply a sealant. There are a number of sealant products that will help seal the wound while aiding the healing process. If, however, it is bleeding, apply a soft gauze to stop the bleeding and when it does, apply a sealant.