What should I do if my dog’s paw is coming off? What to Know

Symptoms of Paw Pad Issues and Injuries in Dogs

General signs of paw pad injury may or may not require veterinary care. If you are unsure, it is best to call your veterinarian for advice.

  • Inflamed, raw, or blistered paws
  • Limping
  • Loose flaps of skin on paw pads
  • Refusal to walk
  • Sudden obsessive licking or chewing at paws
  • If your pet exhibits these signs, a visit to the veterinarian is needed

  • Bleeding (that cannot be controlled within five minutes)
  • Blistering
  • Cracked nails
  • Damage to webbing between toes
  • Damaged nail bed
  • Foreign objects in the pad
  • Lacerations or punctures
  • Limping that lasts longer than a day
  • Pus discharge
  • Refusal to bear weight on the paw or paws
  • Chewing and licking of the feet also need to be addressed if it is causing injury to the paw or if it continues for longer than a day or two. This behavior may be indicative of other serious health problems including food allergies, arthritis, or even hormone imbalances.


  • Laceration – A cut or tear in the skin is called a laceration; lacerations and punctures of the paw pad may be deeper than they appear or may harbor foreign objects
  • Abrasion – An abrasion is an area of the skin where it is scraped or worn away; paw pads often suffer abrasions from running and playing on rough surfaces
  • Burns – Burns to the paw pads can be caused by heat or by chemical reactions
  • Frostbite – The toes are particularly at risk from damage due to frostbite
  • Allergic reaction – Allergic reactions can cause the skin on the feet to be swollen and itchy, and some dogs will chew and lick their feet to excess
  • Infection or infestation – Infection or parasite infestation can cause damage to the feet and may require medication to cure
  • What are Paw Pad Issues and Injuries?

    The pads of the feet of dogs have specialized skin, very different from our own, or from the skin on other parts of the dog. Cuts, scrapes, and broken nails may require specialized treatment and veterinary care. Although injury to the paw pad and surrounding area can happen to any dog, some steps can be taken to help reduce the risks, including using the proper gear for your environment, keeping your dog’s paw pads moisturized, and keeping his nails properly trimmed.

    The pads of dog feet have specialized skin that does not heal in the same way as normal skin and that may require veterinary evaluation and treatment for moderate to severe injuries and conditions.Youtube Play

    Paw Pad Issues and Injuries Average Cost

    From 281 quotes ranging from $300 – $1,500

    Disease or illness

    Certain skin conditions, like the autoimmune disease pemphigus, directly lead to itchy skin and paw pads. However, paw problems can arise from internal issues as well. For instance, paw peeling is often a symptom of liver disease in dogs. An improperly functioning liver affects the regeneration of cells, limiting the paw pads’ ability to create new protective cells. Additionally, a zinc deficiency in your dog’s diet can lead to similar drying, cracking, and peeling of the paw pads.

    Dog Health : How to Treat a Pad Injury on a Dog

    While the pads of your dogs paws are much tougher than the bottoms of your feet, they can still suffer from cuts and other injuries. Our Berkeley emergency vets and team explain what you should do if your dog has a cut paw.

    The pads of your dogs feet have been designed by nature to protect the inner workings of your dogs foot. If your dog experiences an injury to one of the pads on their feet it is necessary to care for the injury as quickly as possible. Below are a few things you can do to help your dogs foot heal.