I hope everyone has had a great weekend. We started out on Friday going to a local Farmers Market (and a different one on Saturday), and I must say it did not take me long to get hooked!!! I am sooo fortunate to live where I do. The Central Valley of California is the bread basket of the world, and we can grow some amazing veggies & fruits. Since the temps were close to the 90’s… yup it was that hot here last week, I decided it was time to get the stroller out. Now people always make a fuss when I am pushing around one (or two) of the Shih Tzu’s around in the stroller, but it’s not because I think my little dogs are Divas. The simple fact is that you wouldn’t catch me walking around on asphalt in the summer, so why would I let my dogs? The asphalt becomes too damn hot!
Hot Feet: Protect Your Dog’s Feet from Getting Burned on Hot Pavement
Foot pad burns may be a hard-to-see injury
By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, About.com Guide
Dog’s feet and pads are tough, right? Most people are aware that foot pads can be injured by stepping on something sharp, but what about something hot? Dangerously hot pavement and metal surfaces are hard to avoid in the heat of summer. Running on hard pavement is tough on feet, too. Read this Quick Tip to learn about this potential hazard and how to minimize risk.
Pavement, metal or tar-coated asphalt get extremely hot in the summer sun. We remember to wear sandals, walk on the grass and not sit down on these surface in the heat of the day (most of the time — I know that I have been surprised a time or two.).
Harder to remember is summer heat and our dog’s feet. Unlike the obvious wounds such as lacerations, foot infections (fungal, bacterial), or foreign bodies such as cheat grass), burned pads may not be readily apparent to the eye.
Signs of burned pads:
- limping or refusing to walk
- licking or chewing at the feet
- pads darker in color
- missing part of pad
- blisters or redness
I recently assisted a vet colleague at a wilderness first aid talk that he was presenting. One of the audience members shared a story of what had happened to their dog and brought up a good point about foot pad health. They had been swimming/floating in the river for about an hour and a half. When it was time to go, they walked along the road and their Labrador Retriever refused to go on. They figured that he was just exhausted from the swim. Turns out, his foot pads were bleeding and he was in pain. The time in the water has softened his pads up quite a bit and the hot road asphalt severely burned the pads.
Burned pad first aid
It is important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem (limping along on the road), flush with cool water or a cool compress if available. Get the dog to a grassy area or if possible, carry him.
At first chance, your vet should examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed. Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important. Bandaging can be difficult to do and to maintain (monitor and change often), but licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew and ingest the sock. Lick deterrents (bitter sprays) may help reduce the damage caused by licking.
Best advice is to be mindful of hot surfaces — asphalt and metal (i.e. boat dock, car or truck surfaces) — and walk your dog on the cool side of the street or in the grass. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. Good way to keep cool while loading up the car.
So with my little assistant in tow, we loaded up on a ton of veggies including: Daikon, Kale, Spinach, Green Leaf Lettuce, Onions, Bell Peppers, Jalapenos Ginger, Bok Choy Zucchini Leeks, Assorted Squash, Cabbage, Yams, Fresh Basil & Green Beans. Once home, everything was divided up and placed in special green veggie bags so they’ll last through the week. I am super excited to embark on a new journey also. After watching Dr. Oz this week, I was introduced to Dr. Alejandro Junger and his Clean Diet. I purchased his newest book called Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health and after reading a few chapters I was moved to give this a try. After being on Weight Watchers for the past 16 weeks I have hit a plateau and need something that will give my body another jumpstart. I have been very happy eating a lot cleaner than I used to, with my sugar addiction gone I am ready to bump things up a notch!