If you've ever placed your hand on a section of asphalt on a sunny day and been surprised at just how hot this surface is, you might consider keeping your dog away from the asphalt. If you haven't had this experience, however, you might walk your dog in a paved area without thinking of the consequences of doing so. In extreme temperatures, the asphalt can be hot enough to actually burn the pads on your dog's feet, resulting in an injury that requires a trip to a local animal hospital for treatment. Here are some signs of pad burn on a dog's feet.
If a dog has suffered burns to its pads from being on a hot surface, an early warning sign of its distress is that it limps. You might notice the dog walking with an unusual gait when you're on the asphalt, but limping can occur hours or even days after the exposure. Pad burn can be quite painful, and your dog will do its best to minimize the pressure on the parts of its feet that hurt the most. It's always good to investigate further when you notice your dog limping, but if you've recently walked the animal on a hot surface, pad burn is a likely cause of this change.
When people suffer a serious burn, the affected area often develops one or more large blisters. The same is true when a dog gets burns on its pads as a result of walking on a hot surface. A minor case of pad burn may not result in blisters, but if the dog has spent a significant amount of time with its feet on a hot surface, one or more blisters on some of its pads may be evident. If you observe the blisters, some may be filled with pus and others may have recently burst.
Burns to a dog's pads can often cause them to appear discolored. The visibility of the discoloration can vary based on the natural color of the dog's pads. If your dog has black pads, you might see some unusual red markings. In the case of light-colored pads, the redness can be a lot more visible. The discoloration can be more apparent on the larger pads on the dog's feet, as this is the area that absorbs more pressure when walking — and has more heat exposure when the dog is on a hot asphalt surface.
Upon noticing these indicators of pad burn, contact your animal hospital.