The Dog Blog

From the Vet

Winter Woes | Common Winter Injuries

by Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH

Mar 4, 2022

Each season brings different concerns for our pets, winter is no different! There are some very common injuries I see during the winter months and very easy ways to avoid them.

Chemical burns/ blistering of paw pads. This can occur from contact to chemicals used to prevent ice build up, paw pads becoming too cold on walks, or worsening of previous paw pad diseases. Depending on the severity, deep ulcerations or multiple paws affected, treatment will vary. One of the worst cases I saw required oral pain medication, antibiotics, regular laser therapy, and several bandage changes during healing. A mild case usually

involves pain medication, keeping the area clean and dry, and protection from the elements. To avoid these types of injuries keep the paw pads nice a soft. I like mushers secret balm. And use boots when the weather is bad or you might encounter chemicals.

Paw pad and interdigital lacerations. Although this can happen anytime of year in the winter it usually occurs after there has been a lot of accumulation of ice. The sharp edges of the ice can cause lacerations which require sutures. Good boots prevent these injuries.

Falls. Speaking of ice…there are a lot of fall related injuries that occur in dogs during the winter just like people. Again, good footing and traction go a long way to prevent these injuries. If you have a senior dog or are very active during the winter months invest in a good pair of dog boots.

Increased pain and stiffness related to arthritis. As with people cold makes joints lock up and become more painful. If you have a senior pup consider a good winter coat that covers the legs (there are ones available that allow urination and defecation). Remember the old grey faced dogs need some extra TLC during the winter

months. Check out Holly’s Army and Canine Arthritis Management on Facebook for more information on caring with dogs with arthritis.

The list of it is to protect the paws, provide traction, and keep pets warm. These simple things can prevent a lot of problems. Depending on your needs there are cheap and expensive boots and coats available. Look for what will work for your specific needs. Your dog’s breed will also play a role in things like coats.

About Dr. Eileen Savier

Barks & Recreation is proud to feature Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH as our Veterinary Blogger in our “From the Vet” Series — offering information related to the health and welfare of your furry family members! Currently part of the team of doctors at Keystone Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Savier is a 2012 Graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, She completed her clinical experience at The Ohio State University and after veterinary school she pursued further education and certification in Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Fear Free veterinary visits. Dr. Savier has a special interest in integrative medicine, animal behavior, and internal medicine and is committed to improving animal health care by integrating Eastern and Western philosophies. She enjoys working with fearful & aggressive dogs and cats and she has had additional training in low stress handling techniques and encourages positive reinforcement during exams and procedures. Her clinical interests include pain management, animal behavior, geriatric patient care, and internal medicine.

Dr. Savier is a member of the following associations:

Dr. Savier shares her home with two (soon to be three) dogs, two cats, and a toddler. She lovingly refers to her two dogs as Coconut Retrievers as they were rescue dogs she brought home from the island of St. Kitts. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and planning her next Disney vacation.