You can see the small injury to Sinner’s footpad on the photograph, I didn’t notice he had a problem until he started leaving little bloody footprints. It’s most likely that he stepped on a sharp rock or stick, or even a piece of glass.
What should you do if your dog has such an injury? In Sinner’s case, there was no foreign body sticking out so I chose to play the waiting game. I cleaned it thoroughly with dilute iodine, and I didn’t bandage it. I think a bandage would have lasted two seconds!
There were two things I was looking for. Firstly, I was looking for an increase in redness, pain and swelling that would suggest the wound had become infected. The other thing was for the wound to get better, then start to worsen again. This suggests that there actually is something still inside the wound.
In this case, Sinner was fine and his foot healed up perfectly. The last time he did this, he seemed to recover then two days later he couldn’t walk on the foot again. Off to the vet, who removed a tiny sliver of glass from his footpad. I said some rude things about young blokes who smash empty beer bottles on the footpath!
What you do under these circumstances is up to you. I was at an advantage because I’m a vet and know what may or may not happen. You may choose to do the same thing, or you may be more comfortable having your dog just checked out by your vet. Either is fine. Considering how much our dogs use their footpads, they don’t injure them very much at all.