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Distribution, complications, and outcome of footpad injuries in pet and military working dogs

By L. A. Hansen, K. M. Hazenfield, F. Olea-Popelka, D. D. Smeak

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Abstract

This study reports the findings of 120 traumatic pad injuries in pet and military dogs. Most dogs (68%) presented with a laceration to a thoracic limb footpad, and one-third of dogs were middle-aged castrated males. Metacarpal pads were most commonly injured. Short-term complications were noted in 27% of dogs. No long-term complications were identified. No disability from pad injury was present at the completion of healing. Concurrent injuries to adjacent structures were uncommon and did not affect outcome. Dogs with full-thickness pad lacerations were at greater risk for major short-term complications compared to dogs with partial-thickness pad lacerations (odds ratio, 7.27; P=.001). Military working dogs with full-thickness pad lacerations were at greater risk for major short-term complications than pet dogs with a similar injury. When major complications developed in dogs with full-thickness pad injuries, time to final healing was significantly longer (by a median of 12 days). The partial-thickness pad lesions healed uneventfully regardless of whether they were bandaged, surgically repaired, or left to heal by second intention. Suture repair and bandaging of full-thickness lesions could not be shown to either decrease the risk for complications or improve healing. Future work should focus on establishing standards for footpad treatment to reduce complications.

Publication Title Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Volume 51
Issue 4
Pages 222-230
ISBN/ISSN 0587-2871
DOI 10.5326/jaaha-ms-6193
Language English
Author Address Military Working Dog Center Europe, US Army Public Health Command District-Northern Europe, Pulaski Barracks, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.lanehansen@alumni.colostate.edu
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. Canidae
  3. Canine
  4. Carnivores
  5. Castration
  6. Complications
  7. Disabilities
  8. Dogs
  9. Feet
  10. Healing
  11. Lesions
  12. Mammals
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. standards
  15. surgery
  16. trauma
  17. vertebrates
  18. Wounds and injuries
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed