Although winter has passed, we still have big snows in spring. These spring snows tend to bring with them lacerated pads in dogs- the main cause is metal lawn edging. Lawn edging tends to get covered by the snow, and though the dogs typically avoid it, they can’t see it as well and end up cutting their pads while playing in their back yards. Most of these lacerations are deep, and require sutures. Sometimes, covering the lawn edging with plastic or rubber guards is enough to help, provided these guards stay on.
Most recently, Starley, a Lab mix, came in with a deep, one inch laceration in her rear foot. Dr. Levy needed to anesthetize her to clean out her wound and suture the edges back together. We placed a soft bandage to help protect the area, and put her on antibiotics to prevent infection. She also received an anti-inflammatory drug to help with discomfort. Starley did great during her surgery, and we sent her home that evening. We removed her sutures two weeks later, when her foot was healed.
Metal lawn edging is one of the biggest culprits for causing cut paws and tendons in dogs. We recommend not using metal lawn edging, or using guards to try to prevent injuries, especially during the winter and spring months. You may need to replace the guards, as they can break down after changes in temperature, or pop off after being bumped by weed whackers or lawn mowers. Be careful this spring; inspect your yard frequently for sharp, protruding objects, such as fencing materials, lawn edging, nails, and other potentially dangerous items.