An older dog with worn paws

Is your dog limping, chewing his feet, or licking her paws? Is your cat limping? Is her foot swollen or bleeding? If you have noticed any of the above behavior, your pet may have a serious paw or pad infection.

Causes of Paw Infections in Cats

Indoor cats do not often experience paw infections, but they can happen, and when they do, they will have the following symptoms:

  • Red or swollen paws
  • Bleeding, cracked pads
  • Limping
  • Licking

Talk to your veterinarian if you think your cat might have a paw infection.

To reduce the risk of infection, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep nails trimmed. Ingrown toenails can cause pain and infections. The more toes, the closer together they are, and the greater chance for untrimmed nails to hurt your pet.
  • Stay away from highly scented cat litter. Your cat may be sensitive to the chemicals in the added fragrance and develop sores on its feet.
  • Did you spray your carpet or furniture with a scented cleaning product? Sensitive cats can suffer from chemical exposure.
  • Plasma cell pododermatitis is an inflammatory disease. Look for bleeding, swollen, soft, scaly skin.

Causes of Paw Infections in Dogs

Since dogs live their lives split between the great indoors and exploring the neighborhood, they can be more susceptible to paw infections than animals that exclusively spend their time inside. Dogs can get paw infections from the following:

  • Ingrown or torn toenails
  • Chemical burns
  • Walking or playing on hot surfaces—sand, asphalt, concrete
  • Bacterial, fungal, or yeast
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Pododermatitis

Symptoms of Paw Infections in Dogs

Dogs and cats share many of the same symptoms of discomfort in their feet. Check your dog’s feet often, especially during tick season! If something doesn’t look quite right or there are obvious signs of disease, fracture, or infection, call us right away at (610) 589-5019.

Regular Grooming, the First Line of Defense Against Paw Infections

The more often you groom your pet, the more likely you’ll catch problems before they become serious. Work with your pet to get them comfortable with having their feet and paws handled, and be sure to:

  • Keep nails trimmed to avoid ingrown nails
  • Inspect the space between toes.
    • There could be a piece of glass, splinter, or other object stuck in the skin, leaving your pet open to infection.
    • Look for ticks and other parasites.
    • Pay special attention for any cuts in the skin or torn nails
  • Regular grooming will catch small growths that could be harmless or harmful.
  • Make an appointment right away if you find cysts or lumps while grooming. 

Early Detection Matters!

Because you are paying attention to your pet, you’ll likely find problems before they become serious. After an examination by your veterinarian, you may be able to treat paw problems at home! We will prescribe antibiotics or other medications as needed. There are many topical treatments that you can administer at home, where your pet feels the most comfortable and at ease.

Your pets need you for love, affection, and to keep them safe from harm. Pet wellness is our role in your pet family. We’re here for regular wellness checks and to offer pet care education.

If you have questions or concerns about how to provide the best care for your pet, use our online appointment request form or call us at (610) 589-5019.