Q:

What can I do for my dog's sprained foot?

A:

Quick Answer

According to PetMD, effective treatments for a sprained dog foot include rest and cold pack application every six to eight hours. Sprains are minor injuries that heal quickly and do not cause lasting damage. Broken bones and dislocated joints, however, are much more serious and excruciatingly painful. Dogs with suspected fractures or dislocations require immediate veterinary attention.

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What can I do for my dog's sprained foot?
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Full Answer

Dogs with sprained feet recover most quickly when confined to a small, comfortable area with plenty of comfortable bedding. The Whole Dog Journal touts the benefits of heat and cold therapy on canine foot, ankle and leg sprains. On the day of the injury, sprained joints benefit from three or four sessions of direct icing for up to 30 minutes at a time. Wrap a chemical cold pack in a pillowcase or thin kitchen towel and gently secure it to the injured foot. Cold therapy reduces pain and inflammation by restricting blood flow to the affected foot.

Beginning on the day after the injury occurs, apply warm packs to the sprained foot three to four times a day. Warm, moist compresses are particularly effective because they encourage the muscles and tendons to relax. Warm compresses also speed the healing process by increasing blood flow to the sprained foot.

Mild sprains frequently heal without veterinary intervention, but dogs in serious pain often benefit from prescription analgesics. These medications are highly effective. However, PetMD warns that dogs on pain medication often take longer to heal because they over-use their injured foot.

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