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quarrystepper

Torn Webbing Or Split Paw Pad?

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Happy Labor Day, GT!

 

Brooks was out for a romp at the dog park a few nights ago, and came back with blood on the underside of his paw. After a few days of gentle care (which I'll describe below), I'm not sure if we're on the right track yet. Part of my concern is that now, with a clearer view of what's going on, I'm not entirely positive it's ONLY a torn webbing. The split seems too lengthy, and from certain angles it appears that there's some paw pad tissue on BOTH sides of the split. I'm also nervous about whether it's becoming infected (being a holiday weekend and living in the rural country, we haven't had much opportunity for a vet visit yet -- although an e-vet isn't out of the question if this is truly trouble). I don't have enough experience to know, so I turn to you.

 

Here are three photos from when I unwrapped it this morning:

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

 

Sorry to say I didn't think to take photos in the immediate aftermath...

 

The affected paw pad is on his back left paw, and the tear is adjacent to the inmost paw pad. The first two photos are taken from the side, with my finger obviously articulating the split to make it more apparent. The third photo is looking straight in from the front. Sorry for the poor quality, my real camera is at work so these are from my phone. I would be happy to take more photos in better light if it would help make it more clear.

 

For the record, here's what we've been doing since it happened:

 

- Immediate aftermath: irrigated for 2-3 minutes (all he'd let me do), trimmed back the fur as best as I could, soaked in epsom salt/Betadine solution for 5 minutes, q-tipped a bunch of triple antibiotic ointment over the exposed area, taped him into a loose athletic sock for the rest of the night, monitored to make sure he wasn't licking it

- Next morning (after buying some supplies from the farm store): it was still oozing blood, so we did another epsom salt/Betadine soak, sprayed liberally with Vetericyn, double-folded a sponge gauze 4x4 (also sprayed with Vetericyn) and gently wedged it in between the paw pad and the split skin, added another gauze pad underneath for padding, wrapped lightly with VetWrap

- 24 hours: re-dressed

- 36 hours: epsom salt/Betadine soak, re-dressed, adding manuka honey to the wound care along with Vetericyn (no idea if these two can or should be combined, but obviously there are proponents of each on GT)

- 48 hours: re-dressed

- 60 hours: epsom salt/Betadine soak, re-dressed

- 72 hours: re-dressed

- this morning: unwrapped, took photos

 

If any of this is wrong or counter-indicated, please let me know! I sourced this from the dozen or so threads about split webbings on GT going back to 2008. There is lots of inconsistency in the advice here, no surprise given it's a message board, so I've gone with what made the most sense from a gut level and what seemed to be the most sage advice.


12614564994_b1fbe2a1a0.jpg
Drew and Melody, with Kali (Swish) in Louisville. Missing heart dog Brooks (KC Bastone), rehomed but not forgotten.

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Just gave him a morning soak. Here's another angle. Looking at this, I'm 99% sure it's a torn webbing. But still nervous about the length. And in reviewing the photos above, very concerned about the brownish/whitish response going on near the top of the tear.


12614564994_b1fbe2a1a0.jpg
Drew and Melody, with Kali (Swish) in Louisville. Missing heart dog Brooks (KC Bastone), rehomed but not forgotten.

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Guest jbbuzby

Definitely torn webbing. My hound did that to himself quite deeply a few years ago, and it was a huge pain to deal with because he kept re-opening it again and again. We later found out he paws at bars if he's confined -_- and that is how it happened. I worked at a vet for a few years, and the doctors there tried to stitch it up and bandage it; this would have worked had he not re-opened it three more times. Eventually, they gave up trying to save the web skin and just did a soak in antiseptic, dressed it, wrapped it, and repeated every other day until it was finally better. He really doesn't seem to miss the webbing, I'll say, but it sounds like your plan is all good. Just keep it clean and don't let him lick it or re-injure it. I think you'll be fine :)

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My split her webbing completely going what seemed like much too far up between her toes. I have to say thought that it was still not as bad looking as your poor pup's. I just worked to keep it wrapped & clean. Did my best to keep her calm & still. Did leash walking only & that only for potty breaks. The epsom salt soaks are a good idea. If you are keeping it clean & it isn't showing signs of infection you may want to drop the Betadine out of the mixture. And you may also want to try just the manuka honey or the Vetericyn instead of both.

 

OK, just had to steal myself for a closer look at the last pic to find the "brownish/whitish response". Not sure what that is. Not sure I'd worry about it yet.

 

Not that it seemed to take forever to fully heal. She did reinjure it a couple time though neither sever. It was just enough to set the healing process back a few days. We had weeks of leash walking because even after it looked healed I waited another week. Don't rush to let him off leash.

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annie split her webbing last winter. i called about having it stitched. there are 2 schools of thought- one which is to obviously stitch it- but the stitches often don't hold.

 

the other- my vet is an old timer- sit down and don't gag- i debred it 2xs a day w/ hydrogen peroxide to help form scar tissue. what in a royal pain, but it worked. it took 2 weeks of bandage changes but no pain from her side of the proceedure. i just poured some hydrogen peroxide over the wound, let it dry(fungus is not fun), used sterile cotton between the toes so they wouldn't rub on each other- stuff a tiny amound between all but the affected area, wrapped w/ gauze. this is the tricky part- i used adhesive tape- inverted it so it went up her leg - then made a turn and it went down the leg- w/ the sticky side showing- you attach the gauze to the tape and it doesn't slip. the tape sticks onto the bandage and you stick it to the dog- the tiny bit left over. then i wrapped it w/ vet wrap. i got pretty good at bandaging it(my vet has always commented on my bandaging skills when i bring an injured dog in) and annie perfected her skills w/ her scissor teeth and pulled off a medical bootie, sock, and cut right thru vet wrap. it looked much better in a little over a week- then i just kept it dry- medicated foot powder.

 

she has her vulcan salute perfected!

 

when you wrap make sure it's not too tight- a good rule of thumb is you should be able to stick your index finger in the bandage. w/ the stretchy gauze- it's a slight pull and wrap, slight pull and wrap. w/ vet wrap it's gentle wraps, but not too loose- you'll get the hang of it.

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Thanks all. Good suggestions here. The one thing that has been hardest (so far) is waiting for the area to dry after the soak and before dressing the area. I want to keep the soak going as long as I keep finding loose/stray fur in the wound. You can see a few in the photo from this morning which I obviously missed when I dressed it last night. My other concern is about keeping the 4x4 gauze away from the wound but helping keep his toes separated. That hasn't been easy. Cleptogrey, your suggestion makes sense but I don't know how I'll be able to use gauze to separate his toes and NOT have it touching the wound. There's just too much area that's wounded -- the entire side of his paw pad is exposed. Also, when you say "medicated foot powder" would something like Gold Bond work? I worry that the menthol would sting worse than manuka honey.

 

I am tempted to start letting Brooks go 24 or 36 hours in between each re-dressing, as suggested above, but I think I'll take the VetWrap off again tonight and see if those whitish areas are getting any worse. And also see if it's dry enough.


12614564994_b1fbe2a1a0.jpg
Drew and Melody, with Kali (Swish) in Louisville. Missing heart dog Brooks (KC Bastone), rehomed but not forgotten.

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i put sterile cotton inbetween the good toes and left the affected area alone. remember i was debrising it 2xs a day trying to build up scar tissue. sterile cotton is sold either in small boxes in the first aid asile or i was lucky and found an entire roll which is 18" wide. it's great for padding bandages.

 

greys skin wounds very very easy and when it's bandaged it's best to have 1/2" of cotton at the top of the bandage. the trick is not letting them pull the cotton out- it's fun! i have used peroxide as instructed by my vet for some really greusome wounds- felix cut his hock down to the bone and skinned his pasteurn down to the ligament/tendon. it was remarkabe watching a fast heal. but the webbing does take time. i used the medicated foot powder- either gold bond or amends at the very end of the healing process. the dogs do not like the taste and it deters them.

 

do call your vet, it's been a couple of days, so most likely it can not be stitched. seuters/staples need to be done before the healing starts.

i walked annie for at least a week after it healed. then as soon as she ran it blead- but healed quickly-

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I'll give them a call tomorrow. Having another reliable source to verify that we're doing the right thing is helpful.

 

With all due respect to your suggestion re: hydrogen peroxide, I am surprised you've heard to use it so consistently for this situation. I've got a fairly thorough background in first aid for open wounds, having coached rowing for 10+ years (usually simple blisters but occasionally worse) and have always been dissuaded from using HP regularly since it deteriorates healthy cell tissue near wounds while not considerably helping the cells that are regenerating. I would tell rowers to use it one time at the beginning, maybe, but not more than once. I understand that H2O2 has debriding properties (sloughing off necrotic tissue, removing debris) but I am hesitant to rely on it when there are other ways of irrigating the wound (e.g. the epsom salt soak, spraying Vetericyn liberally, or even hitting it with some Granulex although I'm not using that in this instance). The latter two have antiseptic properties as well. I get the idea of promoting scar tissue quickly, but what really casts doubt on that process is how painful the experience of hydrogen peroxide would be for the pup. Granted, my opinion w/r/t veterinary care is wholly uneducated. Would be curious if anyone else would do the same. Will also mention it to the vet tomorrow and see what she thinks... in case this ever comes up again, lord knows it's a distinct possibility with two speed demons in the house.


12614564994_b1fbe2a1a0.jpg
Drew and Melody, with Kali (Swish) in Louisville. Missing heart dog Brooks (KC Bastone), rehomed but not forgotten.

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