Q. I rescued a 3-year-old Lab mix about a month ago. I was told he hates going for walks, but I find the opposite is true. He lives for his walks, but after a long one, usually the next day his paws hurt. At first I thought he had something in his paws, but he won’t let anybody near his paws, so couldn’t find out what the problem was. I finally took him to a vet who told me there were no thorns in any of his paws. He continues to have sensitivity after a long walk, which is manifested in his almost limping around the house when we get home.
I try to walk him on soft surfaces, such as grass or smooth sidewalks, but that doesn’t seem to make the problem any better I would forego the walks altogether, but he howls constantly if I take the other dog and he doesn’t get to go, too.
Do you think perhaps he could have an allergy of some kind from walking on grass?
A. Hmm, this is a tough one. Most likely, allergies do not play a part in your dog’s foot tenderness. There are a few problem-solving steps you should go through to narrow things down, and some will involve your veterinarian.
- Is it just one foot, or all four feet?
- Are the foot pads worn down, or are there any small lumps or pitting on the surfaces?
- Have you tried giving him any nonsteroidal pain killers to see if that helps with the soreness?
- Are his nails overgrown or brittle?
Once you have sorted out these questions, consider taking him on shorter walks to see if that reduces the soreness, or consider giving him a nonsteroidal the morning of a walk.