Dog Paw Care
Unhealthy paws will not only interfere with your dog's ability to walk, but painful paws may also lead to behavioral problems and long term effects on the bones and muscles of the paws and legs. Without healthy paws, the quality of the dog's life is also severely harmed.
Consequences of Unhealthy Paws
When a dog has an unhealthy paw, it often compensates by bearing most of its weight on the other legs. Over time, the muscles in the unused leg will begin to atrophy and the bones will become weak from lack of exercise. Even worse, when multiple paws on a dog's legs are unhealthy, then the dog often experiences pain when walking. In this case it is difficult to shift weight, and overtime the dog may cut down on its physical activities or even refuse to walk. Dogs in this type of situation often become overweight due to the decrease in physical activities, and this in turn causes more stress and pain on the paws.
Painful conditions cause dogs to become withdrawn and even aggressive. They may growl or bite if someone tries to pet them and especially if their paws are touched or handled. The inability to run, play, or even walk comfortably can also cause the dog to become severely depressed. As a result, the dog may stop eating and the health of the dog's paws can deteriorate further.
If unhealthy paw conditions are not addressed in a timely manner, the dog's body condition and health will become severely affected. Lack of exercise will lead to weak bones that are easily fractured in addition to muscle atrophy throughout the body, and a refusal to walk may cause bladder and bowel accidents which increase the risk of urinary tract infections.