Topic: Spring Injuries
by D.E.L.T.A. Rescue Veterinarian, Dr. Gaylord Brown
After a long, cold winter we are all anxious to get back to outdoor activities!
Your faithful companions are anxious to get back out with you. Be aware there are some pet injuries that commonly occur during this transition to spring. With a little fore thought they can be avoided.
Each year, during this time, I would see a number of dogs with injured foot pads. This would happen because during the winter the pads will become soft and fragile. Then, with the first days of good weather, owners are anxious to get out walking and hiking. Soft foot pads coupled with hot streets or hiking paths will invariably lead to blisters.
Often owners are completely unaware of the damage done to their pet’s feet until they start limping. Then on exam there are peeling, raw sores on the bottom of the feet. The same thing will happen to dogs running around on a pool deck when the kids get back to swimming!
After a long winter, dogs are also prone to muscle aches and strains when they suddenly start back to full outdoor activities. Playing catch with a frisbee is definitely more strenuous to your dog than to you.This is especially true of dogs that are senior citizens. They may already be experiencing some osteo-arthritis. These pets will be especially sore the next day!
Prevent these injuries by bringing your dog back to activities slowly. Dogs will build strength and toughness to their feet quickly.
Also be aware of the heat of the ground. Start hiking in the early morning or late evening after the ground has cooled down. For those who must hike mid-day there are booties available for your dog to prevent blisters. There are medications available for skeletal or muscle soreness from our veterinarian. However, treatment of severely blistered feet can take 2-3 weeks to heal.
So enjoy the spring and daylight savings time, but keep in mind your dog needs some conditioning to get back up to full speed.