Why Does My Dog Not Want To Walk On Smooth Surfaces?

Some dogs just don’t like to walk on smooth surfaces - this could be the result of their temperament, depression, anxiety or a host of other reasons. If you see that your dog suddenly becomes afraid of walking on slippery surfaces then we suggest that you first make a trip to your vet so that they can help determine the root cause. Your dog’s behavior may well be the result of an undiagnosed orthopedic issue. Age may also be a large contributor to the fear of walking on hardwood floors, laminate or any other type of slick surface. As dogs age they lose their mobility, which ultimately can cause them to hesitate from walking on smooth surfaces as compared to when they were young and more confident. PawFriction is a great tool to help senior dogs, dogs with mobility issues (post-surgery) and those with anxiety and fear. PawFriction is very easy to apply and has proven time and time again that it can help your dog get back on their paws!

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General Care for your Senior Dog

It is a fact of life, all of us are getting older and that includes our pets. We all want our four-legged family members to live long and health lives so this blog will discuss a few general things that you can do to help your dog be healthy and happy for as long as possible.

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1. Diet: We have a lot of people ask us if you should switch to a senior diet. Senior pet foods typically have a bit more protein to keep muscle healthy and tend to have more fiber to keep your dog regular. Should you switch? Possibly, but the ultimate diet should be the one that keeps your dog happy and active.

2. Weight Management: This goes without saying but a thinner dog is a healthier dog. Keeping your dog in good weight is paramount for health and combating some of the common older dog issues like arthritis.

3. Mobility: Keep your dog mobile; even a little bit of exercise a day can help with weight management, emotional health, and keeping muscle mass intact.

4. Veterinary Visits: Just like us, as a dog ages, your veterinary visits should become a lot more frequent. We recommend at least twice a year visits and blood work at least one a year. As veterinarians, we are getting better at recognizing diseases and treating them but early detection is the key.

5. Vigilance: No one knows your dog better than you do. We can tell when our pets are a little off. Don’t ignore your intuition. If you think your senior dog is having an issue or a problem, I strongly encourage you to have your pet looked at by a professional veterinarian.

6. Support: With aging comes a myriad of normal problems: mobility issues, vision issues, hearing issues, cognitive issues, etc. Many of these conditions can be helped with simple, over-the counter products and supplements including PawFriction. I recommend that you speak with your vet if you have any of these issues and they can point you in the direction with products that should be able to help.

So, that is a brief overview of things that you can do to help you senior pet live a better life. Unfortunately, one thing none of us can change is genetics, and that plays a big role in the health of our senior pets. Fortunately, medicine and diets are improving all the time and we hope that the years ahead will create many new therapies that improve our ability to fight the problems of aging.   

Paw Pad Sweating in Dogs: Why Does it Happen?

One of the most common product questions we receive at PawFriction is “Dogs sweat through their paw pads to stay cool, doesn’t PawFriction stop their ability to sweat?” We are happy to answer that question because it clears up a massive misconception in the canine world, why dogs sweat through their paw pads. As a vet, when we started developing the product I believed the same thing about paw pads, that the sweating was for cooling purposes. Actually, in veterinary school, we were taught to place alcohol on the paw pads of overheated dogs to cool them down. Well, we know so much more now than we used to and much of the above has changed.

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From the boring side of things, let’s discuss the paw pad sweat physiology. Dogs absolutely sweat through their paw pads but they have a unique type of sweat gland called an eccrine sweat gland. Through a myriad of scientific testing, researchers have shown that these paw pad glands respond to fight of flight situations. This is why a dog’s paw pads sweat when they go into the veterinary clinic. But, why do they sweat then? Sweating of the paw pads causes them to soften which prepares the paw pad for running…it actually increases the friction of the paw pad, it has nothing to do with cooling the dog at all…crazy right? In our research, we have actually learned that critical care veterinarians no longer even recommend placing alcohol on the paw pads to cool off an overheated dog.

The next logical question to answer is: If sweating increases traction then why would we place something over the paw pad? The other thing that we have discovered is that the sweating of the paw pad actually disappears as a dog ages, it is one of the reasons we see such issues with older dogs sliding. Also, PawFriction doesn’t block the paw pad from being able to sweat; there is a large amount of space on the outside of the paw pads for sweating to still occur if used on a younger dog.

We hope this clears up any questions! If you are a podcast person, we strongly recommend this podcast that talks about everything thing above and more: https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/panting-perspiration-and-puddles/

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions!

It's Summer, Keep Your Dog Protected!

Did you know that PawFriction has thermal dampening properties which can reduce risk of injury while dogs are walking? This is a great benefit of using PawFriction during the hot summer months!

Does your dog like to cool off at the pool or in the lake? PawFriction will generally not be affected by water if you allow for a full 12 hours between the application and exposure to water or a water treadmill. In the hot summer months we encourage you to help your dog stay cool and active as long as they have ample supervision when swimming.

Remember, dogs are ACTIVE and we need to help them burn off their energy which can be channeled into activities that keep them energetic and healthy. Exercise such as swimming also helps keep our furry best friends from being destructive out of boredom! Swimming is a great cardio workout for dogs. We can’t stress the importance of supervising your dog while swimming (or even taking a “swim” in the bathtub).        

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"Why is PawFriction so expensive?"

At a recent industry event, we were asked, “Why is PawFriction so expensive?” We can certainly understand this concern, but the answer is summarized here.

Keep in mind that PawFriction is sourced and manufactured in the United States. Rather than saving money on using labor services sourced overseas, we employ a sheltered adult workshop to assemble the PawFriction kit and all components within the kit.

In addition, our adhesive is a specific Medical Grade cyanoacrylate and the rubber granules are certified virgin rubber (which means that it never consists of heavy metal laden found in reclaimed tires).  Please keep in mind that we simply don’t cut corners - your pet’s health and safety is our number one priority! 

Each kit is designed to last anywhere from 6 to 16 weeks, depending on the size of the dogs paw pads and other factors that may cause it to wear off.  We anticipate that the adhesive and granules will need to be reapplied weekly.

Do you have a story to share? If so, please email it to us at info@pawtology.com.

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Does PawFriction harm floors or stain carpets?

We are often asked if PawFriction will harm floors or stain carpets. One of the many wonderful things about PawFriction is that it is not only pet and human friendly, but it is also a household friendly product. The granules are made from pure rubber, this is not the type of rubber you find in automobile wheels, rather a virgin rubber that is 100% safe for floors. Although, PawFriction has color it will not stain or damage carpeted floors. We have heard many stories about how pet parents use throw rugs and runners throughout their house to help with their dog’s traction. With PawFriction you can live in a home free of multiple carpet remnants and other floor coverings. Do you have a story to share? If so, please email it to us at info@pawtology.com.

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Taking a Closer Look at Lumbosacral Instability

We spoke in a previous blog post about IVDD (disc disease) in dogs but let us take a closer look at a particular type called Lumbosacral Stenosis/Lumbosacral Instability. Unlike disc disease which is more prevalent in our smaller and longer breeds of dogs like Dachshunds and Shih Tzus; Lumbosacral Stenosis (LS) is more common in large breed dogs such as, Retrievers and Greyhounds.

We already spoke about the anatomy of the spine and the spinal cord. The area we are talking about with LS disease is the lower back, the last lumbar vertebrae and the start of the sacrum which the area of the spine that connects the lower lumbar region and the pelvis. In this area, the spinal cord becomes a bunch of individualized nerves that then travel to the back half of the body and the organs.

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With LS Stenosis, there is motion at the end of the lumbar spine and sacrum that puts pressure on the nerves in that area and causes significant issues. Often the symptoms include; tripping when walking, standing on the tops of the hind feet, falling, wobbliness in the hind end, pain on palpation of that area, walking with the hind end lower than the rest of the body, and many other non-specific signs. LS disease can mimic the symptoms of hip arthritis so it is important to speak with your veterinarian about these issues.

Diagnosis of LS disease is done by a variety of methods starting with a good physical examination by your veterinarian. The next step is usually imaging of the lower back and hips. Radiographs can show some evidence of LS disease but, to confirm the diagnosis, we typically recommend advanced imaging such a CT or MRI scan.

Treating LS disease is a complex process that is best served by a multi-modal approach to include a combination of therapies to reduce pain, improve mobility, and preserve quality of life. The first phase of treatment is usually medications. Unlike arthritis, LS patients often need a bit more pain control that just standard anti-inflammatories. We will typically use a combination of pain medications. At the same time, we strongly recommend traction-aiding devices like PawFriction to reduce the risk of sliding and to keep muscle mass healthy; one fall can cause a significant flare up of LS pain.

There are some more advanced therapies for LS disease that can be performed including intra-spinal injections of steroids and some surgical possibilities. These should be discussed with your veterinarian or a specialist as they take some advanced training to perform.

While Lumbosacral Stenosis is a progressive disease, thankfully we can make many dogs extremely comfortable and mobile for many years in the future.

My dog is a foot licker, will they try and get this off?

Most dogs simply do not realize that PawFriction is on their feet but, rest assured if they do lick their feet this may give them a whole new thing to do in life. We have researched and tested each component of PawFriction and it will not harm them. PawFriction is 100% safe if ingested, the granules are made from pure virgin rubber which means that it is not generated from churned up car tires or anything else that could be harmful to our best friends.

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If you have a foot licker and have questions, please let us know! We have received a tremendous amount of positive stories from our pet parents over the last few months and we are so pleased to hear about how successful PawFriction has worked for them. If you have a story or video to share please email it to us at info@pawtology.com.

Why is Paw Friction and PawFriction so important and why is the toe grip less important?

We have received a few questions about what exactly gives a dog traction. Is it the paw pads or the claws/toes and why is PawFriction the best product to help stop sliding on hardwood and other smooth floors? The paw pads are constantly giving a dog traction, which stops slipping and sliding. The toes or claws act like rudders, stabilizing the dog when they are running or turning by virtue of being able to dig into the environment or grip as a response to sliding. There are many blogs that claim the toes/nails are responsible for most, if not all the traction, and have claimed that products used to increase paw pad traction are flawed in their mechanisms. This is absolutely not the case. However, you don’t have to take our word for it, we have a tendency to be biased…so let’s go to the experts!
 

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There was a recent study released that looked at the physics of the dog foot and how paw pads work. What they determined is that the outside layer of the paw pad was composed of thousands of “spikes” of tissue. These spikes are biomechanically adapted to increase traction. Here is a section taken directly from their study: “The bottom part of the stratum corneum is in direct contact with the ground surface during locomotion, and is composed of the hardest material (Young's modulus E ≈ 6MPa, Luboz et al., 2014) among all the three layers presumably to endure the tremendous pad-ground wear, friction and impact during locomotion (Meyer et al., 1990; 271 Luboz et al., 2014).” (Maio et al. 2016). Here is a link to that study if you would like to read more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769641/.

We aren’t arguing that the toes grip and help with traction but this is only important when dogs are trying to run and turn abruptly or when they feel like they are slipping. If they feel like they are slipping, they react by trying to sink their nails into whatever they are standing on. If they don’t slide, they don’t try to grip with their toes.

So what happens to dogs as they age and why do they start slipping? Well, we know it isn’t because of the nails. Many of us keep our dog’s nails so short they cannot even touch the ground - if the nails were the most important mechanism of traction then these dogs could never walk. In fact, we think the mechanism of older and disabled dogs slipping so easily on floors is a lack of muscle mass and hardening and/or smoothing of their paw pads. As a veterinarian, when I designed PawFriction, we started to examine older dogs and found so many of their paw pads were smoother and harder than those of their younger counterparts. Go ahead…if you have an older dog that slides take a look and you will see what we are talking about.

So why is PawFriction the best product for the job? Unlike any other product on the market, it restores the traction surface directly to the paw pads which restores and improves the natural mechanism that keeps dogs from slipping.

 

There Is Relief For Disc Disease (IVDD)

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Disc disease, IVDD, back injury, slipped disc, etc. It has many names and is one of the more common reasons that a dog will be brought to a veterinarian for evaluation and is a result of pain and discomfort. In order to understand how to manage the disease and what it is, we have to do a quick review of the anatomy so hold on for the boring stuff! The spinal column is made up of multiple vertebrae with a cartilage disc in between each one. The disc’s purpose is to separate the vertebrae and provide cushion during movement. The disc itself is formed similar to a piece of Rolo candy with a thicker outer shell and a softer, more gelatinous center.

A disc injury, whether it is located in the neck or back, is an expulsion of the center of the disc which puts pressure on the spinal cord and creates a lot of inflammation and ultimately pain. The symptoms of a disc injury include pain, hunching up of the back, pain when being picked up, reluctance to go up the stairs or jump, wobbly or dragging back legs, or even the inability to use their legs. Any of the above symptoms require a veterinary visit as soon as possible but any inability to use their legs or walk requires an emergency visit immediately!

Diagnosis of IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) is often done on examination through various exam findings which may include palpation of the spinal column, neurologic examinations and history of your pet. Radiographs can be helpful but will often miss the obvious diagnosis of the problem, you really need advanced imaging of the spinal cord either by MRI or CT scan.

Treating IVDD is aimed at both the acute injury and chronic management of the disease.

1.       Acute Injury: Therapy is often guided by the severity of the injury. If the neurologic deficits or compression of the spinal cord is significant, surgical repair is often recommended. If your dog is still moving normally but just painful then pain medications and strict exercise restriction is recommended. Keeping your dog from sliding or falling is very important. We recommend PawFriction to aid in recovery from a back injury and in the post-operative setting if your dog has back surgery.

2.       Prevention/Chronic Injury: Chronic pain medicine may be necessary if you dog remains in pain after their injury. Weight management is extremely important for all dogs prone to spinal injuries. Rehabilitation, acupuncture, etc. can all improve your dog’s long-term mobility and decrease risk of re-injury. Traction aids like PawFriction can be paramount in preventing your dog from re-injuring themselves.

Thankfully, most dogs we see with spinal injuries often respond to conservative treatment but remember, the success of IVDD surgery in dogs is very good when early intervention is performed. Don’t be afraid to discuss with your vet about whether a referral to a neurologist is necessary. Also, don’t forget the importance in restricted jumping, sliding/slipping, and decreased activity level, which will keep your dog’s back stronger and healthier in the long run.

What exactly is Canine arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints but we often use it to describe the chronic joint changes that accompany our dogs as they age. No matter what definition you choose, arthritis is a common and painful condition that affects many of our aging dogs.

I am often asked by clients “How do I know if my dog is in pain?” This is a great question. The symptoms of arthritis can be very subtle in the early stages and many of us find ourselves attributing it to our dogs getting aging. Their reluctance to jump or go upstairs, difficulty rising from a standing position, sliding on floors in the home, and refusal to go on long walks can often be signs associated with discomfort and inflammation. A visit with your veterinarian will likely confirm your suspicions if there may be some arthritis going on.

Confirming the diagnosis can be a bit more difficult. To be honest, the diagnosis is often achieved by treating for arthritis and seeing if medications improve the condition. Arthritis often shows significant improvement with a treatment of anti-inflammatory medications. Veterinarians will often take radiographs if we suspect that it may be more than arthritis or we really want a confirmation of the diagnosis.

Treating arthritis can be a bit complicated. There are many different methods/modalities of how we approach treating your pets. A good rule of thumb is when there are many different ways to treat things, often the same treatment will not work for every dog. Here is a breakdown of the different categories:

1.       Prescription Medications: NSAIDs, Pain medications. These have been the cornerstone of treating arthritis for a very long time.

2.       Supplements: Omega 3’s, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Avocado/Soy. The list goes on and on, but please keep in mind that all join supplements are not created equally.

3.       Alternative therapies: Acupuncture, physical rehabilitation, laser therapy. These can all be very valuable services to keep your senior pet mobile, particular underwater treadmill therapy which keeps your dog moving with low impact exercise.

4.       Dietary: Joint diets, higher protein diets. These come in a variety of types but overall you want to strive to keep your dog thin.

5.       Mobility aids: PawFriction, Harnesses. These products help to keep muscle mass healthy and reduce the risk of injury around the house. The more your dog moves, the better off they will be.

6.       Alternative Medications: CBD Oil, Turmeric. There are a lot of exciting things happening in veterinary medicine right now and that includes the development and examination of alternative medications that will hopefully prove to be a valuable part of our protocols moving forward.

Arthritis in a nutshell is a very common but treatable disease that affects many of our senior pets. The key is to recognize it and approach treating it from a multi-modal approach.

Give your dog a pat for me!

Dr. Bone

Can PawFriction be used on cats?

While PawFriction is used more frequently on dogs it can also be effectively used on cats. However, keep in mind that cat and dog paw pads are different. Because of the activity level of many cats the PawFriction granules tend wear off more quickly on cats than dogs. We hope that this doesn’t discourage you from trying PawFriction on your cuddly cat, but we do want you to know up-front that they may need more frequent applications than the typical once a week treatment.  

PawFriction is meant to be an aid in therapy for cats with orthopedic, arthritic, and neurological conditions. It won’t take the place of proper medical and pharmaceutical treatments, but it absolutely can help to rebuild muscle mass, reduce the risk of injury, and give your cat a fourth, fifth or sixth new life (hopefully not the ninth)!

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Can PawFriction Help My Puppy?

Watching a puppy play and run can be quite comical! You know what we mean, they are adorable at that “awkward” stage. We have been asked if PawFriction can be used for puppies who stumble on wood or slippery surfaces. ABSOLUTLY! However, keep in mind that puppies, like children are active and we would expect for the product to wear off quickly.

PawFriction is a great tool for training purposes. Here are a few fun puppy facts courtesy of Facts-about.org.uk!
     1. They are born blind, deaf, and toothless.
     2. A puppy spends about fourteen hours of every day sleeping.
     3. They develop their sense of smell at the age of three weeks.
     4. Every year in the United States, more than 5 million puppies are born.
     5. During the first week of a puppy’s life, it spends 90% of its days sleeping and 10% eating.
     6. By the age of one, a puppy is considered to be an adult. In human years, this is the
         physical equivalent of being 15 years old.

Bailey Loves PawFriction

How Effective is PawFriction For My Dog?

How effective is PawFriction for my dog, he is outside a lot and I am concerned that the product will rub off of his paw pads? Rest assured - this not an uncommon concern! Please keep in mind that PawFriction was designed for senior dogs with limited activity and the product will wear off faster if your dog is very active and walks on concrete, asphalt, or dirt.

We don’t want this to discourage you from giving PawFriction a try, but it’s important to know your dog’s activity level at the time of your first order so if you need to order refill granules that you can plan for a replacement kit at the time of your first order. We would love to hear from you and let us know how your dog (at whatever activity level) are enjoying their new-found freedom with PawFriction Info@Pawtology.com. Email your photo and story to us and we will enter you into a random drawing for a complementary PawFriction kit!

PawFriction Works

PawFriction Has a Passion to Help Build the Community and Business

PawFriction is excited to roll-out its new packaging and now is a great time to share with you about how the PawFriction kit is built. JSI is a sheltered workshop bringing meaningful employment to developmentally disabled adults in Missouri and reliable help and quality workmanship to businesses in the St. Louis region. PawFriction is 100% American made and assembled thanks to the talented people at JSI.

Partnering with JSI, is just good business! We are overwhelmed by the quality of their workmanship and their beautiful attitudes. These gifted adults have work and life skills that enable them to be productive members of our community and they light up the room with their smiles!

We recently had the pleasure of meeting with all of the talented people who work at JSI. They work with tenacity and accuracy. Everything from assembling the boxes to inserting the tubes of medical adhesive; each kit is carefully inspected, they are experts at quality control! Here are a few pictures of our new PawFriction kits being assembled by JSI employees.

  Kelly Baker,  JSI Business Development Manager      Ron DeVries,  Vice President of Sales  Dr. Stacey Bone,  DVM & PawFriction Co-Founder

Kelly Baker, JSI Business Development Manager    
Ron DeVries, Vice President of Sales
Dr. Stacey Bone, DVM & PawFriction Co-Founder

 JSI Employees Sharing Their Smiles

JSI Employees Sharing Their Smiles

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Is PawFriction easy to apply?

We are frequently asked, “Is PawFriction easy to apply?”. Simply stated, YES! If you can trim your dog's nails then you can apply PawFriction at home or have your vet apply it. Sometimes it is easier to apply if you have a friend to help because four hands are better than two! Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to apply depending on your dog’s size and activity level (each application should last seven days on average and there are two to four applications per package):

Although having the dog stand during application is ideal, there are some pets that will respond better and be more comfortable if they lay down on the floor. Depending on your dog’s temperament, you may need another person to help either process. For online instruction visit us at:

Standing Directions: https://pawfriction.com/standing-directions
Lying Down Directions: https://pawfriction.com/lying-down-directions

 Applying Medical Safe Adhesive

Applying Medical Safe Adhesive

 Applying Granuals

Applying Granuals

 Paw With PawFriction!

Paw With PawFriction!

One Of Our Frequent FAQ's - Is PawFriction Safe?

We are asked frequently if PawFriction is safe if ingested. Rest assured that ALL components of the PawFriction kit are safe for your best friend. PawFriction was designed by a veterinarian with your dog's health in mind. Every component is non-toxic and safe for you, your dog and your home. Your dog’s safety is our #1 priority.

The adhesive is the highest quality medical adhesive available. PawFriction adhesive is the same caliber product that you would find in a hospital emergency room. The granules also known as the coating is also safe for your dog, the granules will not damage your floors and is very difficult for your dog to remove or destroy.

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Your Dog Is Unique - PawFriction Was Designed With This In Mind

PawFriction is unique to your best friend. For aging pets, mobility is life. Muscle loss, arthritis, orthopedic/neurologic issues, and general aging can cause dogs to have significant mobility problems, especially on hardwood and other smooth floors. PawFriction was created to give your senior dog a new lease on life by giving them the ability and confidence to get around.

PawFriction immediately restores your dog's traction without the need for individual sizing or placing objects over the foot. Typically our clients experience up seven days of use, but it really depends on how active your dog is and how the granules are applied to the pad of the foot. Each dog is different, just like our fingerprints are unique to each one of us, so are the cells on the paw pads and this will directly affect the longevity of the PawFriction granules on your pet.

 Paw Pads For Dogs

Why is Paw Friction so important? A Veterinarian's View: Part One

      The underside of a dog's foot is built for traction.

     The underside of a dog's foot is built for traction.

We have received a few questions about what exactly gives a dog traction: is it the paw pads or the claws/toes and why is PawFriction the best product to help stop sliding on hardwood and other smooth floors? The answer to that question depends very much on what your dog is doing at the time. The paw pads are constantly giving the dog traction; stopping all forms of sliding and slipping. The toes/claws act as rudders, stabilizing the dog when they are running or turning by virtue of being able to dig into the environment (such as dirt). 

 Look at this image of a dog with trimmed nails running. The nails barely even contact the ground. This is even on a slippery surface, no nails needed!

Look at this image of a dog with trimmed nails running. The nails barely even contact the ground. This is even on a slippery surface, no nails needed!

There are many blogs out there that claim the toes/nails are responsible for most, if not all the traction, and have claimed that products used to increase paw pad traction are flawed in their mechanisms. This is absolutely, 100%, not the case at all. However, you don’t have to take our word for it, we have a tendency to be biased…so let us go to the experts!There was a recent study released that is in the process of peer review. It is the first study that has actually looked at the physics of the paw pads, how they work, and the response of the paw pads in changes to pressure. In it, they took two dogs who passed away of natural causes and did histopathology of their paw pads to look at the structure of the many layers.  What they determined is that the outside layer of the paw pad was composed of thousands of “spikes” of tissue. These spikes are biomechanically adapted to increase traction. Here is a section taken directly from their study: “The bottom part of the stratum corneum is in direct contact with the ground surface during locomotion, and is composed of the hardest material (Young's modulus E ≈ 6MPa, Luboz et al., 2014) among all the three layers presumably to endure the tremendous pad-ground wear, friction and impact during locomotion (Meyer et al., 1990; 271 Luboz et al., 2014).” (Maio et al. 2016).
Here is a link to the paper if you would like to read it: https://peerj.com/preprints/2340.pdf

 Take a look at the "papilla" present on the paw pads. All those little spikes are designed to give your dog's feet traction.

Take a look at the "papilla" present on the paw pads. All those little spikes are designed to give your dog's feet traction.

We aren’t arguing that the toes grip and help with traction but this is biomechanically only import when dogs are trying to run and turn abruptly or when they feel like they are slipping; they react by trying to sink their nails into whatever they are standing on. Let us look at the paws like they are shoes. The sole/tread does the bulk of the work in everyday situations but, when added traction is needed, you add cleats to help grip the dirt…but you wouldn’t wear cleats every day, right? We have created flooring (wood, tile,etc.) that significantly reduces the friction when anyone walks on it. Dogs don’t slip on grass and gravel, right? Because those substrates provide increased friction and allow the dog to sink…this is why we all slip on ice; loss of friction.

More in the next blog post!
Dr. B

 

Let's Talk About Arthritis: Part 2

Ok, so now we have covered exactly what arthritis is and some of the causes of it but now let's talk about the signs and symptoms of arthritis. 

As veterinarians, we are cursed by a little something called adrenaline. Often, when a pet is brought into a clinic all signs, symptoms, and diseases miraculously disappear (much like the car that doesn't make the noise at the mechanic). Because of this, we rely on the pet owners to help us to figure out what is going on. So here are some things for you to watch for at home that might be an indication your dog is suffering from arthritis.

Before we get into the list though, I have to make a pretty important point. Owners often say to me "My dog doesn't cry or whimper so they obviously aren't in pain." Unfortunately, that is just not the case. Most dogs don't show pain, it is ingrained in them to hide it. I have seen dogs walk on broken legs so don't be fooled by their stoic nature. 

1. Difficulty getting up, getting around, or going up or down stairs: This is probably the most often complaint that I hear from clients; their dog is just slower. This manifests itself in many forms but often indicates pain or decreased muscle mass. We most often hear that your dog has difficulty getting up after laying around for a long period of time.

2. Limping:This can sometimes be difficult to pick up all of the time if you start to notice your dog limping, lifting a leg, "bunny-hopping", or abnormal walking it may be best to get your dog looked at.

3. Panting: There are a few reasons why older dogs pant but pain is certainly on the top of that list. If your dog starts panting with increased frequency it could definitely mean you are dealing with arthritis.

4. Aggression: Often dogs will turn aggressive towards other animals in the house or towards children/adults as a way to protect themselves from being hurt. If you notice your older dog getting more irritable it may be time to have them checked out.

5. Tiredness: This is a tough one. Older animals lay around more often and for longer periods of time. It may be tough to know what can be considered excessive. Ask your vet if you are worried about how much your pet is laying around. 

6. Slipping/sliding on the floor: If you pet suddenly starts to slide or slip on floors that they never did before it could mean they have difficulty keeping their legs planted from pain or muscle loss. 

7. Body Condition Changes/Weight Loss: Drastic loss in weight can be a serious sign of medical issues. With arthritis, you will typically see mild weight loss and loss of muscle in the hind legs. 

I think I can close this post about the signs of arthritis by saying that this particular medical condition has a vast number of signs that go along with it. Often, these signs are mild and get better or worse depending on the season,. I tell my clients that they know their pets better than anyone on the planet and I count you all among that same group. If you pet's behavior/attitude/habits start to change then it is usually best to have your vet take a look...they can be a symptom of a much larger and treatable condition!

So that's it for now, until we meet again!
Dr. B