How to prevent claw injuries that can cause lameness

Is your dog limping, bleeding from a claw or showing other symptoms of a sore paw? If so, he may have suffered a claw injury! In this article, we describe common causes of claw injuries, what you should do if your dog suffers one and how you can prevent claw injuries.

Symptoms of claw injury

Lameness and bleeding from the claw are two common symptoms. It is also common for the dog to lick at the paw and not want to rest on the paw. The dog often also shows other symptoms of pain when it puts the paw down or if you touch it. If the dog is stuck on something, sometimes the whole claw is missing. In some cases, the claw is still attached but may be damaged in that the claw has been redirected or sometimes the claw may have broken off with a damaged pulp.

What should you do if your dog has a claw injury?

If your dog has a claw injury, it is important that the dog does not lick the claw as it can easily become infected. Use a collar to stop the dog from licking the lump. If the claw is bleeding or you can see an open wound, it's a good idea to protect the paw when you're outside.

If the dog has a claw injury, wash the paw with lukewarm water and, if possible, bathe with saline solution or chlorhexidine shampoo. It is always a good idea to contact a vet for advice or action when your dog has suffered a claw injury, as in many cases there may be claw capsule debris left that needs to be removed, and some may need painkillers if they appear to be in pain.

Preventing claw injuries

A common cause of claw injuries is that the dog has long claws. So make sure you always keep your dog's claws trimmed short to reduce the risk of claw damage. If you have a dog that finds clipping difficult, you need to make sure that you practise this, and you can also get help to get your dog's claws clipped regularly.

Another thing to remember is to never let your dog stand on escalators, as there is a risk that his claws and toes could get stuck and cause injury. If possible, choose the lift instead of the escalators or carry your dog.

You can always consult a digital vet, which you as a Lassie insurance customer have unlimited access to!

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