At the beginning of the year I took the dogs to the mountain for the second time this season to go snowshoeing (second time for Cali – ever). Nothing went wrong the first time, so I had no reason to think it would the second time.
Roughly 10 minutes onto the snowshoe trail I started to notice little drops of blood coming from Cali’s paw. After taking a look, her paw was bleeding but there was no visible cut. She wasn’t limping, nor seemed in any discomfort. Once home I did a further examination of her paw and still saw no visible cut. It looked as if she had a burn between two pads. I cleaned and treated the area.
When I woke up in the morning, I just so happened to stumble across an article posted by Dogs Naturally regarding chemical burns from salt poured on icy roads, sidewalks and parking lots. That’s when it hit me, this is what must have happened to Cali. Now why Kona’s paws were fine and only one of Cali’s paws was burned I can only chalk up to the guess that she must have just so happened to step in a puddle on the parking lot that had too much salt and ice. It took two weeks to heal and the healing process sped up after purchasing boots for Cali to keep her paw clean, not having to constantly re-aggravate the area with clean ups after each walk.
Salt and Ice Melts can be Dangerous!
Salt and melts can sit between the pads reaching up to 170 degrees, this causes the burn. It can also cause the pads to dry and crack, becoming irritating to the dog. In addition, dogs tend to lick their feet when irritated and this can in turn get into their system causing sores in their mouth, and be upsetting to the stomach.
After walks where you think salt or melts could have been put down, wash the paws to prevent burns and irritations.