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Why Is My Dog’s Paw Pad Swollen?

April 1, 2023

If you notice that your dog’s paw pads are swollen, it could be a sign of something serious. But before you panic and rush your pup to the vet, it’s important to determine if there is an underlying medical problem causing those puffy paws. 

Read on as a local vet talks about some common causes of swollen paw pads in dogs.

A Splinter

Splinters can be painful, but they’re also dangerous if they cause an infection. Dogs are especially prone to splinter injuries because of the rough surfaces they walk on. Splinters can become infected, and if they’re not removed correctly, they can cause serious damage to your dog’s paw pads. 

Infection

If you notice that your dog’s paws are swollen, especially if they’re hot to the touch and appear red or irritated, they may have an infection. In this case, it’s important to take action quickly to ensure that your dog gets the treatment they need.

Bacterial or fungal infections can affect your dog’s paws and lead to swelling and discomfort. Unfortunately, both types are common in dogs. Symptoms of bacterial infections include:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Redness 
  • Pain

Fungal infections may also cause inflammation, but they’re more likely to be associated with itching than with pain or swelling.

Both kinds of infections can spread from dog to dog through direct contact with an infected animal or its feces or urine. However, fungal infections tend to be transferred more easily than bacterial ones because they don’t require direct contact between two animals for transmission (one animal can pick up spores from the environment).

If you notice that your dog’s paw has swollen overnight or within 24 hours, this could mean that he has an infection or some other condition that requires immediate treatment.

Underlying Medical Problems

So what kinds of underlying medical problems can cause a dog’s paw pads to swell up? Arthritis can affect the joints in your dog’s paws, causing pain and inflammation.  If your dog has arthritis, it’s likely that he’ll start limping on one or more of his paws. 

Other medical problems that can cause pain and swelling in a dog’s paws include: 

  • Tumors (cancerous or benign) 
  • Diabetes 
  • Injuries 
  • Allergies  
  • Poisoning  
  • Inflammatory diseases (such as lupus)   

Things to Consider

If your dog isn’t limping or showing other signs of pain but his or her paw pads are swollen, call your veterinarian just to be sure.

And if you have more questions or wish to schedule Fido for a checkup, don’t hesitate to call us, your local vet in Waterdown, ON, anytime!

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