Your emotional support dog can face many health problems, including skin conditions, which can be caused by various things. Skin blisters can be uncomfortable for the dog, as well as frustrating for the owner to have to treat.
Dog blisters can occur on the paws, in the mouth, and on other parts of the animal's body. The specific treatment for this condition will depend on its underlying cause. A simple blister may be able to be treated with an ointment, while for others, the dog may need an antibiotic or oral medication or shot.
What Are Dog Blisters?
A blister is a fluid-filled pocket that forms between the upper layers of the skin. Blisters on dogs can be caused by serum leaking from injured tissue. This condition is common among most animals, either on their feet or on their skin. Blisters can be caused by pinching, scratching or even allergies.
Blisters are very painful and sore. Therefore, if your dog suffers from blisters, it will be uncomfortable. As such, inspecting your dog for such conditions and more continuously is important.
Blisters on Dog’s Paws
Your dog's footpads are the strongest part of its skin. They are in constant use and are especially susceptible to skin irritations. Dog blisters on this part of the body can be attributed to walking on rough terrain or walking outside during hot weather. This blister may be intact or have burst, exposing the tender underlying skin.
So how can you know that dog’s feet have developed blisters?
- Discoloration of the pads
- Excessive licking and chewing of the pad
- Refusal to use the injured foot
After you have noticed any of the above, it is time to figure out the cause. If you like taking your dog on long walks, the paw pads may have continuously rubbed on hard surfaces, causing injuries. Additionally, your dog may have hurt itself, and the injury brought about the blisters.
Treating Paw Blisters at Home
You can treat most pad blisters at home by:
Keeping the Blister Clean - Using warm water and antibacterial soap to wash the area can help keep it clean and avoid infection
Bandaging the Blister - In some cases, you can bandage the blister. If the blister is on the dog’s paw, leg, or torso, you can bandage it to ensure the dog does not lick or bite at it. This is especially important if it is an open wound, and can possibly be infected.
Avoid Rough Terrain - Helping your dog’s blisters to heal means keeping them from rough terrain and limiting their play, especially if the blister is on the paws, where constant stress is
Relive Their Pain - Dogs will sometimes alert when they are in pain, but sometimes won’t. It is important to watch for symptoms of pain, such as limping if the blister is on the paw, or whining if the blister is on an area commonly touched, such as it’s back. You can use paw soother, for blisters on the paw, or a nectar product that is safe for pets and has healing properties.
If a skin flap has developed, it should be left alone or carefully removed by a veterinarian to avoid further irritation. The paw should be wrapped with a clean bandage to keep dirt away from the wound as it is healing.
How to Reduce Chances of Blisters on Your Dog
You can reduce the risk of blisters on your dog by practicing good hygiene, such as cleaning your dog’s feet after long walks, especially during winter. It is important to use salt safe for pets when preventing icy sidewalks and roads. It is equally important to trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis.
Another preventive measure is to possibly change your walking route. The surface of the walking route needs to be comfortable for the dog. Avoid rough, extremely cold or hot, and heavily-salted routes. Instead, use routes with soft ground, like grass, soft sand, or even soft dirt.
Continuously check your dog’s paws after returning from the walk, being sure there are no small rocks, abrasions or anything stuck in between the paw pads. If you go out during extreme weather, such as extreme heat or extreme cold, be sure to use dog boots, or paw balms, to protect and moisturize the areas.
Blisters in the Dog’s Mouth
Dog blisters on the animal's mouth can be a cause for concern. This type of health issue may be disturbing for owners, but the presence of a blister doesn't necessarily mean that the growths are cancerous. In many cases, they can be traced to a virus.
Dental issues cause most dog blisters on the mouth. One of the most common reasons for this is gum disease and mouth infections. Additionally, your dog might have been chewing on hard items that may have punctured the dog's mouth. These items can include bones with sharp edges, toys that are broken with sharp edges, such as broken plastic. This can cause a bacterial infection, by causing cuts and scrapes in the dog’s mouth or on their gum. In this case, you’ll notice redness and inflammation around the area.
If the blisters change in size and shape over time, this may be a sign that they are cancerous. A small sample of the tissue can be removed for a biopsy. A veterinarian should check out any dog blisters the owner is concerned about. The underlying condition needs to be diagnosed so the dog can get appropriate treatment.
How to Treat Mouth Blisters
The best thing to do is to alleviate some of the pain and make the dog comfortable while making an appointment with your veterinarian. Using oral numbing medications, along with other recommended painkillers, can help relieve some pain until the vet can see your dog. Be sure to explain any and all concerns, especially if the dog is not eating properly, or drinking water, or it appears that the blister is infected.
Fluid-filled Cyst on Your Dog’s Skin
Not every pocket on your dog implies it's a blister. Your dog is also at risk of developing cysts.
Dog cysts are unusual, sac-like pockets of membranous tissue containing fluids, air, and other substances. They occur at various parts of the body and resemble blisters, especially when they burst.
You should consider having the dog examined by a doctor to determine whether there are cysts or dog blisters resulting from another medical condition. The cysts may need to be drained as part of the treatment.
Blisters from Allergies
Other blisters on dogs can be the result of skin irritations due to allergies. The skin in the affected area may be red or raised in appearance. The dog may be scratching in this area, which will only serve to irritate it further. A veterinarian would need to conduct tests to confirm the condition. Once an allergy has been diagnosed, the veterinarian may recommend that medications like steroids or antihistamines be used.
Visit a Vet for the Correct Treatment
While you treat most blisters, especially paw blisters, at home, the best move is to visit your veterinarian. If you are treating the blisters and notice the following, please visit a vet.
Unhealing blisters - If the blisters show no signs of healing, it could indicate a more serious problem.
Redness and swelling around the blister - These are signs of an infection and should be treated by a doctor immediately.
Blisters all over the dog - Blisters all over your dog’s body could indicate a more serious problem that should be handled by a vet.
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