We are excited to launch our new practice website with up to date info, offers and practice pics.
Whilst we have been busy with technological advances we have also been busy in the clinic with painful, pussy infections in the feet. Most commonly seen in working dogs as swollen joints in the feet, grass seeds between the toes and nail bed infections.
This month has been all about cracked and broken nails. When a claw is broken it can allow harmful bacteria to get up into the nail bed, causing pus to form beneath the claw and eat away at the fleshy quick. If not treated in time, this infection can penetrate the bone at the tip of the toe.
What we usually do to treat these nasty nail bed infections is cut away the nail, release the pus and apply a poultice dressing on the foot for a couple of days. A poultice does the important job of drawing pus, bacteria and dead tissue out of a wound, allowing the swelling to go down and healthy tissue to heal. Antibiotics of course play a crucial role in treating infections.
In very severe cases that do not respond to this sort of medical treatment, we have to resort to surgery. This usually involves removing the infected bit of bone, and often we can spare the toe pad without having to amputate the whole toe. In the vast majority of cases, the dog can go back to full work after healing with no long-term consequences.
Dr Julia Henken BVMedSci BVM BVS(Hons)