This actually happened to me yesterday. While Trace didn't tear his actual foot
pads, he tore both of the extra ones that are up a bit on the leg near the wrist joint on his front legs. I don't even know what they are called, but they are pads, just not the ones that he walks on.
We were out at training at a local closed down mall and we were outside on the old, rough blacktop. He would make his finds, alert, and he would get his toy. The only way I could imagine him tearing them is by the way he puts his front legs out in front of him to stop abruptly to get his toy. Other than that, they don't touch the ground.
I first noticed when he brought his toy back to me and we were playing tug...my sweatshirt and the front of my pants were all blood. Man, did they bleed!!
I put some antiseptic powder on them and wrapped them up. I did notice there was some flaps hanging and I was more comfortable going to the vet instead of treating them myself. I've heard pad tears can be slow to heal and hard to treat.
They too, snipped off the flapping pieces. They said it would heal better & easier with the dead flaps cut off. It didn't seem to hurt him much to get them cut off. They wrapped both paws up and off we went.
I changed the bandage today and re-bandaged after using betadine & Neosporin. I wrap by putting some Neosporin on a gauze pad and putting that over the wound, putting cotton wrapping around that, and finishing with some vet wrap. (Vet wrap is some wonderful, wonderful stuff!
I also had a female a few years back that would wear down her rear foot pads & nails while swimming (she was such a nut!) She would wear them down until they bled too. They weren't too bad, so as soon as she laid down for the night, I would put some Neosporin on them so she didn't get up and rub it off. During the day, I would use New Skin, but it seemed to come off quickly. She was back to normal in a week or so.
My guess is this happened because this is Trace's first real exposure to abrasive blacktop since last year. My house is carpeted and the ground has been covered by snow for months, so he has had no real exposure to anything abrasive for awhile. I'm sure in a month or so they will callous and become harder.
I would wash his pads at least twice a day with an antiseptic solution (I use Nolvasan from the vets) and I would also use Neosporin. That seems to help quite a bit with pain and helping them to heal.
Good luck! Keep us posted!