Keep Paws Trimmed to Prevent Painful Matts and Dermatitis

When I examine a dog or cat with furry paws, I always look closely at the paws. I often find ingrown nails. dense mats of fur and dermatitis hiding under the fur. Pictured below on the left is a mat that I removed from a dog. The firm mat was stuck between the large central pad and the toes where the skin is a dark brown in color. The skin underneath was inflamed and painful. The dog limped on this leg.  After clipping the nails and trimming all the fur, the area between the toes was scrubbed, rinsed and dried. The dog walked out of the clinic without a limp!

      Paw with mat removed dermatitis

For dogs and cats with furry paws, it is important to check all four paws at least once a week. Keep the hair trimmed to prevent mats and infection. This will also limit the debris (kitty litter, dirt and leaves) that stick to the fur and subsequently are tracked around the animal’s environment.



Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.