by Jennifer Broome
0:31 Announcer:GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.
0:39 We're talking about common injuries that occur to our hunting dogs in the field. And I like to break it down to you the different areas where some of our injuries can occur, starting with the upland situation.
I find that on nearly every one of my upland situations, my dogs will suddenly appear lame. The first thing I like to do is try to identify which foot I feel the lameness is occurring on. More often than not, when you're in the upland situation, it can be as simple as a thorn in the pad of their foot. However, it's something that needs to be addressed immediately.
1:09 I like to keep a pair of tweezers right in my hunting vest so that I can remove the thorn. So if I can identify which foot that it may be on, I will examine the foot clearly. I will look at their toenails, in between their toes, and certainly switch over to look at the pads of their feet. And sure enough, when I see a thorn, use my tweezers, remove that thorn. Very common injury again and a pretty quick fix. Pups can usually go on to continue their hunt.
1:42 If the lameness continues and it could be something more serious so again it might warrant a trip to the vet.
For waterfowl hunting a real common injury that happens to us in the salt water situation are cuts on their pads in the oyster shells or on the barnacles. And that really can end a fun hunt with your dog if the cut is deep enough on their pads. So if I see a lameness on the dog, I try to again identify which leg. If it's a cut on the pad area of their foot, really that's a time for me to stop hunting that particular dog if the wound is deep enough.
If I think that it might require stitches or a trip to the vet, certainly my dogs are going to go right to the vet. Otherwise, I might use a sterile saline wash and this is kind of a squirt wash that I can clean the wound area. I even like to put a little bit of antibacterial ointment on it.
2:37 And then a great thing to do to help protect the wound from getting any more debris in it, and just keep the dogs from licking it nonstop is to take a simple clean cotton sock. Put it over the dog's foot that has the wound. They might not be crazy about this, but really, it's a little better than them licking the wound nonstop and I think it allows the wound to heal and then we can take some vet wrap and vet wrap to the top of the sock to keep that sock up.
It is important to keep the wound clean and dry. Those are very, very important to do. So typically, a cut pad will heal in just a couple of days. If it's too deep, then it may need stitches in the pad and that's a pretty serious injury. Either way, a cut pad may put you out of hunting with your dog for at least a week.
3:28 If the lameness continues, whether it's in the upland or the waterfowl situation and I can't identify if it's something in the pad, then really check the nails really well. Check the nails and in between the toes. A split toenail is a very, very common occurrence. It depends on how serious the split nail is. I may be able to clip it back a little bit. If I can see any part of the nerve exposed or the quick exposed, I really like to take my dog to a trip to the vet to see if there needs to be any further medical care.
So it's important to identify lameness in your dog. It's really important to address it immediately. I think that if you don't address it immediately and you continue to try to hunt, it can only have your dog spend more time out of the field in the long run. So I really like to address wounds right away when they happen and hopefully it's something simple like a thorn in the foot and we can fix that right away. So that's a great way to identify lamenesses and wounds in your dog's feet.
4:50 Announcer:GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.