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Swollen carpal pad.

Species: Dog
Breed: Mixed
Age: 5-8 years
Dear Dr. Marie:
About 5 weeks ago, my wife and I noticed that the carpal pad on our dog's right leg was larger than the one on his left leg. It wasn't bothering him, but we took him to the vet after it started to crack and bleed. She prescribed 14 days of antibiotics, but after 10 days, it had not changed in size and he is now scheduled for an exam next week. Due to his temperment at the vet clinic, he has to be put under general anesthetic for a full exam to occur. I can send you a picture of the pad, and I am interested in hearing your thoughts regarding what could be wrong. It has not bled in almost two weeks, and he is not favoring his other leg or licking at the pad.
Thank You


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Paul. I would love to see a picture before I comment. You can email one to photos@askavetquestion.com.

Thanks!
Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ok, thanks for the photo:

alt="carpal pad" width=300px >

It sounds like your vet is doing the same things I would. If a carpal pad is swollen, the first thing we think of is an infection. We are hoping that perhaps there is a foreign object in there that has caused it to react and swell. But, it is worrisome that there has been no improvement with antibiotics.

The next step is indeed to do a good thorough exam under an anesthetic. The vet may find an object under the skin such as a thorn or splinter. If they dont' find anything they will likely want to biopsy some skin.

The purpose of a biopsy is to determine if this is a tumor. It's really not common to have a tumor on the carpal pad, but it can happen. Some of these tumors can be benign and can be cured with removing the pad surgically. Others can be more serious types of cancers.

Your vet may decide to do surgery to remove the pad. However, in many cases it is best to find out what it is first (i.e. biopsy). Some types of tumors can be removed with a very small margin of tissue around the tumor and others need much more extensive surgery.

I really hope everything turns out ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.