I’ve seen a lot of reference lately to torn, bruised or otherwise injured paw pads. Here and here are references to local dogs with “blown” paw pads. I discussed it with two holistic-minded friends of mine and asked if they thought it was some form of chronic disease. They both wrote back saying they thought it was distemper-related.
Shows how much I’m up on canine diseases. The only canine disease that I know anything about is parvo. Overgrown, crusty, and crumbly paw pads are a common sign of canine distemper. These crusty pads can occur even years after distemper has been treated. Canine distemper is sometimes called “hard pad disease.”
A healthy dog should have soft, flexible paw pads, which would not be as susceptible to injury as a dog with hard paw pads. Could continued vaccination with canine distemper induce a chronic distemper state such that the dog’s paw pads harden as they would if it were to contract the actual disease? It makes sense to me.
Zinc deficiency can also cause dry, cracked pads.
I tend to doubt that my dogs run any less than those whom I’ve seen who are suffering (or have suffered) from injured paw pads, yet mine have remained sound.
Food for thought.
Things have been pretty quiet on the home front. We’ve been in the hole that hasn’t been getting any rain. I just noticed on the weather channel, however, that we are not under a severe thunderstorm watch. May we get inches of rain! My landlords drilled a new well down by the pond for the purpose of re-filling the pond which they are using to irrigate their young trees and other plants. I’m not so sure how I feel about water gushing out of the ground being diverted into the pond, it almost feels, to me, like Mother Nature has been cut open and is being left to bleed, but I guess given that it’s going into the pond and ultimately back into the ground, it’s not harming anything. The more greenery that we grow, the better it is for the environment, but …
The plan this weekend is to take apart my dog runs and then put them back together in a more orderly fashion. I have some bamboo fence and shade cloth around the outsides and on top of all the runs, but it was done in a haphazard manner and is falling down. I am going to cover the spare run with a heavy tarp, take the front off it and use that to park my ATV, mower and other things that should be under cover. I was going to buy a portable shed, but this is a more cost-effective way to get the same results. Since I have no plan to add a third dog to my household, I can use the spare run to house my ATV.
On Saturday I have to go and get a round bale of hay to feed the calves. Hopefully if we get some rain over the next few days I’ll be able to move my ElectroNet. Right now it’s essentially in the back yard and I don’t want the cattle out there given the size of their stool. They are up in the fenced-in area getting grained and hayed twice a day. The far back field is growing up well and if that keeps up, I’ll move everyone day there for the day. I do still put all the livestock out in the morning and evening to free graze in the back fields.
They are finally cutting and baling the other fields around me so I’ll have plenty of areas to work the dogs.
On Tuesday we moved the sheep that are at Wally’s house to a new pasture. The ewes gave Gel a hard time coming through one of the gates, but with persistence, he got them through. I put Fern on them once we had them moved and several of them turned on her. I kept Gel in there to back her up, but it looks like it’s going to be a while before I can work her on that group. The sheep at my house are finally working reliably, just in time for them to go back over to Wally’s. Isn’t that always the case? The end of July all of the ewes at my house will go to Wally’s and I’ll get the just-weaned lambs. Just-weaned lambs are so much fun to work … not! Then again, their quick movement may be just what Miss. Sticky Fern needs to work. I need to make it a point to get over to Wally’s several times a week from now until the end of July to work the group so the lambs will have some experience being moved by a dog.
I haven’t mentioned the bike recently. I haven’t riden it recently. They tore up the roads around me and instead of repaving them, they have done this form of gravel with tar poured over it. Not terribly conducive for bike riding. I dropped the biek off this morning at the bike shop to have my gearing changed so climbing hills won’t be so difficult. Then it will be back in the saddle.