A Beginners Guide To Dog Paw Hyperkeratosis

Dog Raising Its Left Paw
Ellina Balioz /

Does your canine have hair paw pads? If sure, then he may be affected by canine paw hyperkeratosis. Should you look intently, you’ll see that the “hair” in your furry buddy’s paw pads will not be truly hair, however dry pores and skin.

Canine paw hyperkeratosis, often known as bushy canine ft, is a pores and skin situation that typically impacts the paw pads and might trigger discomfort and ache for our furry associates.

Proceed studying beneath for a deep dive on canine paw hyperkeratosis, what causes it, what its signs are, find out how to deal with it and find out how to forestall it altogether.

What Is Hyperkeratosis?

Hyperkeratosis is a pores and skin situation that causes the pores and skin to change into thick and laborious. It stems from the physique’s overproduction of a protein known as keratin. And each people and canine can endure from it. In canine, it could actually have an effect on their nostril or paw pads.

Close Up Of Paws With Dog Paw Hyperkeratosis
Tonio_75 /

Should you’re unfamiliar with keratin, it’s a protein that makes up hair, nails, horns, hooves and claws. So, when your canine’s physique produces an excessive amount of keratin, it could actually result in laborious, dry and crusty materials on the canine’s paw and generally, nostril.

Whereas it could actually develop on canine’ nostril and ears, it may be mostly present in canine’ paw pads. And when it develops, it appears like hair that’s rising out of your canine’s paws, therefore the title bushy canine ft.

Is Paw Hyperkeratosis Painful For Canine?

When it first develops, canine paw hyperkeratosis isn’t painful. But when left untreated, it may be. Hyperkeratosis can progress to a degree the place your canine could also be unable to stroll or stand as a result of ache related to the pores and skin situation.

Moreover, because it progresses, it could actually deliver discomfort to your canine. So it’s greatest to at all times test your canine’s paw for additional hardened and dry pores and skin, particularly if it’s a senior canine.

Is Paw Hyperkeratosis Harmful and Life Threatening?

Fortuitously, canine paw hyperkeratosis is mostly not harmful and life threatening. Nevertheless, in some instances, it could actually result in infections or different problems if you don’t deal with it instantly and correctly.

Canine Paw Hyperkeratosis Causes

Veterinarian Showing The Paw Of A German Shepherd Suffering From Dog Paw Hyperkeratosis
GaiBru Picture /

Canine paw hyperkeratosis will not be contagious, however there are a selection of things that may trigger it. And so they’re the next:

1. Genetics

Canine paw hyperkeratosis is a hereditary situation. That means many canine are genetically extra susceptible to it than others. For instance, Labradors can endure from it due to a genetic defect known as nasal parakeratosis.

2. Age

Opposite to what occur to us human beings, a canine’s pores and skin thickens as they age, particularly on the strain factors like paws. And this causes the formation of calluses that results in canine paw hyperkeratosis.

3. Canine Distemper

Certainly one of Canine Distemper’s signs is canine paw hyperkeratosis. This life-threatening illness causes the thickening of the pores and skin on the canine’s foot pads and generally even on the nostril. That’s why canine distemper is usually known as hard pad disease.

It’s vital to notice that canine which were correctly vaccinated towards Canine Distemper as puppies are much less susceptible to the pores and skin situation.

4. Pemphigus foliaceus

This can be a quite common autoimmune illness present in middle-aged to older canine. And it could actually make manner for the event of canine paw hyperkeratosis.

5. Zinc deficiency

Some canine breeds are susceptible to zinc deficiency as a result of they can’t naturally soak up this mineral by means of their meals and different means. In flip, this may result in zinc responsive dermatosis, which then turns to canine paw hyperkeratosis.

6. Leishmaniasi

This can be a parasitic ailments attributable to sandfly bites. And considered one of this illness’s indicators is canine paw hyperkeratosis together with muscle ache, joint irritation and swelling of the testicles.

Canine Paw Hyperkeratosis Signs

A Cute Brown Male Dog Licks His Front Paw While Lying On The Bed
MDV Edwards /

Hyperkeratosis in canine, as talked about above, impacts a canine’s paws or nostril. In uncommon instances, it could actually develop in different physique components just like the elbows or ears. Nevertheless, it’s extra generally present in a canine’s paw pads.

When it first develops, canine paw hyperkeratosis appears like hair that’s rising out of a canine’s paw pads. And because it progresses, the pores and skin will get thicker, tougher and crustier.

Other than the dry, crusty and thick layer of pores and skin, different signs of canine paw hyperkeratosis embody:

  • Cracks, fissures and bleeding
  • Lack of pores and skin coloration within the affected space
  • Frequent licking of paws
  • Limping
  • Decreased bodily exercise
  • Secondary infections

Like another well being drawback, it’s vital to detect canine paw hyperkeratosis as early as potential. This may enable you instantly give your canine the right consideration and care it wants.

So, should you discover any indicators of those signs in your canine, go to your canine’s vet instantly.

Canine Paw Hyperkeratosis Remedy

Woman Holding A Dog Paw And Applying Paw Balm For Protection At The Walk
Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz /

Sadly, as soon as your canine will get hyperkeratosis, it’s unlikely to go away. And for the time being, there isn’t any identified treatment for the situation, solely methods to handle it.

Listed here are just a few choices you’ll be able to go for to assist handle canine paw hyperkeratosis:

1. Deal with The Underlying Illness

As talked about earlier, canine paw hyperkeratosis is attributable to plenty of different well being points. In case your canine has an underlying subject that’s inflicting the pores and skin situation, the remedy will deal with treating that subject.

So for instance, in case your canine has pemphigus foliaceus, your vet will deal with it with immunosuppressive drugs.

2. Trim The Extra Pores and skin

To make sure that hyperkeratosis doesn’t make your canine uncomfortable, it’s greatest to go to your vet to have the surplus pores and skin trimmed. And should you’re assured you are able to do it by yourself at house, you’ll be able to ask for the vet to point out you find out how to do it correctly and safely.

Don’t try to do that with out a vet’s approval and steerage. As a result of should you do, it could actually do extra hurt than good.

3. Soak Your Canine’s Toes In Epsom Salt

A house treatment that you may simply do to assist handle gentle canine paw hyperkeratosis at house is thru ft soaking.

Soaking your canine’s ft in heat water with Epsom salt for quarter-hour will assist soften the surplus keratin. Moreover, the moisture from the soak received’t solely soften the cracked pores and skin but additionally relieve the ache attributable to the pores and skin situation.

After the ft soak, be certain to dry your canine’s paw totally to forestall secondary infections.

4. Apply Ointment To Paws

A balm, ointment or butter designed for canine paws is an inexpensive but efficient method to handle gentle canine paw hyperkeratosis.

Canine paw balms assist moisturize the surplus dry pores and skin and alleviate your canine’s discomfort whereas strolling or doing any bodily exercise. Moreover, making use of this two to 3 instances a day might help enhance your canine’s paws situation sooner.

5. Seek the advice of Your Veterinarian

In extreme instances, it will be greatest to ask your vet for the very best plan of action. Relying on the severity of the situation, they might prescribe topical or oral drugs, moisturizers and exfoliant for secondary infections.

Canine Paw Hyperkeratosis Prevention

Close Up View Of Dog Paws In Boots Outdoors
otsphoto /

Because it stands, there isn’t any method to forestall hereditary hyperkeratosis. Nevertheless, there are just a few methods to forestall the non-genetic kind.

Listed here are just a few tricks to reduce the possibilities of the pores and skin situation ever growing in your canine’s paw pads:

  1. Repeatedly test your canine’s paws. It’s a lot simpler to heal and handle hyperkeratosis should you can detect it throughout its early improvement.
  2. Use a moisturizing balm. Despite the fact that your canine’s paw pads aren’t dry and crusty, it’s at all times greatest to maintain them moisturized on a regular basis. This manner, they change into much less susceptible to hyperkeratosis.
  3. Clip your canine’s nails. Doing this helps preserve your canine’s paw clear and wholesome. Moreover, clipping your canine’s nails ensures that your canine’s nails received’t scrape the bottom and trigger accidents.
  4. Use canine socks or boots. When happening a stroll, it’s greatest to maintain your canine’s paws clear and away from tough surfaces. The much less irritated your canine’s paw pads are, the higher.
  5. Vaccinate your canine towards Canine Distemper. As talked about above, canine paw hyperkeratosis is likely one of the signs of this life-threatening illness. So, be certain to vaccinate your dog towards it.


Canine paw hyperkeratosis won’t be life-threatening or harmful, but it surely’s nonetheless a well being situation that needs to be taken critically.

If not managed instantly and correctly, it could actually trigger main discomfort and ache for canine, particularly the older canine, that may hinder their every day actions. And we hope that this newbie’s information might help you handle this pores and skin situation so your canine can proceed dwelling an incredible and wholesome life!

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