Addressing Paw Pad Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

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Hyperkeratosis of A Dog's Paw Pads
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Having excess skin on a dog’s paw pads, known as hyperkeratosis, can be uncomfortable if not managed properly. The condition causes thick, rough pads that may crack or bleed due to the extra keratin building up.

However, with the right care at home, pet parents can help reduce symptoms and improve their dog’s quality of life.

What Is Paw Pad Hyperkeratosis?

Have you noticed your dog’s foot pads getting thick and hard? That’s called paw pad hyperkeratosis. Basically, it means their pads are building up too much callous-like skin. A lot of times it happens gradually so your pup may not notice at first. However, walking can start to feel uncomfortable on rough surfaces as their pads get thicker and thicker.

Paw pad issues can pop up unexpectedly sometimes, no matter how young or old our furry friends are. Some pups just seem more prone to it based on the genetics lottery. Making those vet appointments part of the routine is wise so you can spot any changes right off the bat before they get bothersome.


You’ll start noticing their foot pads looking different than usual. They might look extra dry and cracked instead of their normal soft skin. Feel them – there’s usually a rough, gritty texture like little bumps or even bristles. Sometimes it gets to where their pads have that feeling of brush bristles.

As it keeps getting worse, their pads can more easily bleed too, especially if any cracks get really deep or lead to infections. Your pup may start limping or refuse to walk on hard ground that’s rough on their feet. Also, pay attention if they start licking or chewing their paws more – that’s usually a sign something is bothering them.

Catching it early helps since you can then get treatment before your dog starts feeling real discomfort. Be sure to give their paws a regular check for any changes so you notice right away if that callus buildup is starting.


Causes of Hyperkeratosis in Dogs

Sometimes it’s just the dog’s genes – certain breeds just tend to produce more keratin in their paws than others. Things like autoimmune issues, past infections, or nutritional problems could also lead to those thickened pads.

It may also come down to their environment or surfaces they’re on a lot. Dogs that are always outside on rough concrete or asphalt, or in extreme hot/cold, seem to get it more frequently. All that constant contact takes its toll over time.

Figuring out what’s really causing the extra keratin buildup is important for getting the right treatment plan. Is it something genetic they’re just prone to? Or could it be related to an underlying condition that also needs attention?


Treating Dogs Thick Paw Pads

The usual game plan for treating those thick paw pads has a couple of goals – take away any pain or trouble walking, while also sorting out what’s causing them to get that way.

Your vet will trim away the extra callous-like skin to make your pup more comfortable right now. Special creams and ointments can keep their pads moist and soft too,┬ásuch as using a pet-safe product like Aquaphor under your vet’s guidance to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Medicines or diet changes could be part of the plan if another health condition is found to be linked. It’s also important they stay on top of follow-up checkups so adjustments can happen if the pads aren’t improving as expected.

It’s crucial to stick closely to your vet’s instructions so things don’t take a turn for the worse.


Dogs Paws Regular Check

The sooner anything comes up with their feet, the better chance the vet has to nip it in the bud before it gets worse. It’s a big help to keep a close eye on their paws yourself too, to play your part as a responsible owner.

Checking in with the vet and following their instructions is important so together you’re giving your furry pal the best odds of foot comfort now and down the line.

The Bottom Line

Owners must keep an eye out for any signs their pup isn’t feeling quite right in their feet, like limping or licking. Don’t hesitate to call the vet if you notice anything weird – catching issues quickly is key.

For example, yeast infections in dog paws can cause persistent licking or redness; a vet can provide effective treatment options to ensure your furry friend stays comfortable and active.

With the right treatment plan from medical pros, some prevention techniques at home, and working together as a team, affected dogs can continue living happy, active lives full of walks, belly rubs, and fetching balls.

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