Paw pads rubbed off - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Paw pads rubbed off

Hi,

In the past, we experimented with with having Nala, our GSD, run along side us on our bikes for short a 3 mile round trip on blacktop. After that trip, a few of her pads sheared off... they didn't quite wear off, but its like it blistered away and then tore off... exposing the next layer of raw and bloody skin. It was painful for her, but as most dogs are, she was stoic and handled it fine. She healed up pretty quickly. We didn't do that again.

Another time, we took her for an extended run on concrete and black top, and the same thing happened. Poor thing. One more time, it happened when playing catch with a ball in a tennis court.

I am giving these examples, because we don't do these "aggressive" sports on blacktop that often (she does get walks on blacktop daily). Do you guys thing the paw scraping/wearing is because of the infrequency? Perhaps she has "gentle" indoor paws. I'd love to ride my bike more with her... and perhaps if we slowly and carefully build up a stronger tolerance/callouses on her paws, she will be fine down the road for longer/faster runs on blacktop. Has anybody experienced this? Do you think working our way up will help? Any other tips?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 04:54 PM
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There are some folks on here who ride bikes with their dogs. Is there anywhere with dirt or mulch type paths you could ride with her. It would be much easier on her paw pads.I think some other people can give you advice based on their experience

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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The path ride are basically local streets to the playground with our kids... our bike riding will always be on black top.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 05:09 PM
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Ruffwear makes shoes for dog sports maybe that would be worth looking into

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 05:41 PM
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I would get shoes if I were you. At least for a while. It might seem wacky but dogs wear shoes for Urban Mushing, Bijoring or whatever all the time. I bike with Jupiter my GSD quite a bit and he actually pulls/helps pull my kids behind my bike.

How old is your dog? If he is younger than a year I'll have to tell you to wait. I put Jupiter "to work" pulling at 14 months Old and trust me it took monk like patience to wait but if you dont it can REALLY damage the dog. Not only pads but bones/joints, elbows/hips.

Jupiter does not wear boots but I try and have him run on dirt or grass beside the trail if possible.

ALSO, I keep Jupiter moving at a fast working trot. He will run all out If I let him but I keep him at the trot. If you do it right you can have a great work out companion and give each of you better lives.

Get yours some boots. Even if there isn't anything wrong with his paws genetically or anything they have to be sensitive and at least for a while.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Nala is 5.5 years old. It's been a year + since we tried an aggressive run. I actually totally forgot, I got shoes for her last year but have not used them. They were intended for protection from salt during the winter months. I need to get her used to wearing them. I have also been worried it will be the same problem in shoes. When I have gone on 20 mile hikes with "loose" shoes, my feet blister from the excessive rubbing... mentally, I feel the same will happen in her ruffwear shoes.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 06:46 PM
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Some dogs just have thin pad skin that will wear on hard surfaces. You can try to keep her conditioned by going for shorter runs/bike rides with her on pavement, but you'd have to build up gradually, and do it on a regular basis.

I've heard that you can get doggy socks to go with the ruffwear shoes, and that the socks make the shoes fit better, with less slippage - so theoretically, less rubbing.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 07:02 PM
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If she'll tolerate it, see if you can get someone to show you how to put vet tape on her paws before running on asphalt.

There are a few dogs we train with who get injury-prone paws pre-wrapped before working on hot gravel arenas. One of my dogs has a torn up pad right now but with it taped, she was okay working on hot gravel this morning. The tape doesn't flop around or slip the way that boots do. When you're done for the day, you just cut a vertical slit in the tape (across the top of the paw) with scissors and peel it off.

It's kind of hard to explain, but basically you run a few strips lengthwise (parallel to the dog's toes), loosely. Then run strips perpendicular to those strips, across the paw, wrapped tighter. This holds the long strips in place.

Obvious disclaimer: I'm not a vet, and of course go slow and watch for signs of discomfort.... but this has worked well for our occasional cut up paws from training or stepping on glass/sharp junk in the lake. I own Ruffwear boots, but haven't had the greatest luck with them staying in place. YMMV.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 07:12 PM
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Building it up slowly has always worked for my dogs. I love biking with them. You can condition him on hard surfaces in walking. I never play with them on hard surfaces though. Maybe redundant but check the temperature of the pavement before you go as that heats up quickly.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
Building it up slowly has always worked for my dogs. I love biking with them. You can condition him on hard surfaces in walking. I never play with them on hard surfaces though. Maybe redundant but check the temperature of the pavement before you go as that heats up quickly.
Just posted this on my FB wall yesterday! I do know of people who have had their dogs suffer burns to their paws from walking on hot pavement.

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