Stopper Pad Injuries

Stopper Pad Injuries

Stopper Pad Injuries (or more technically, injuries to the carpal pad) can occur in various ways.

Canine Paw Pads
Right front paw of dog showing A) claw, B) digital pads, C) metacarpal pad, D) dew claw, E) carpal pad. (picture from Wikipedia)


We often see friction burns to the stopper pad in dogs who compete high speed sports such as Flyball. When the dog stops swiftly, bounces and turns himself off the box for the second leg of his run, it’s not unusual for them to damage the pad and/or strain the ankle joint if they don’t get it quite right.  The same injury can happen during enthusiastic play or chasing a ball on hard surfaces.

Another injury to the stopper pad can be received when dogs are tearing through undergrowth in the woodland.  Often when chasing each other (or an unsuspecting rabbit), leaping over trees and shrubs with little or no regard for their footing, sharp edges and thorns can easily catch the flesh of the pad or dewclaw itself and lacerate it.

This injury happened to Axl many years ago now while chasing a squirrel through a wood.  It ran up a tree and when he got to the bottom, he put his paw down right on the top of a broken bottle and virtually severed his stopper pad entirely from his leg, necessitating emergency surgery and 8 weeks of dressings and treatment.  Once the pad dressings came off, I was very cautious for quite some time while out in the woods in case he caught it again.  Stopper pad protectors were our lifeline.

EZX phone
Stopper Pad Dressing

So what can we do to protect our dogs if these are the kind of activities they love to do?  Well, there are some brilliant little protector pads you can get which the dogs can wear for doing things like flyball or woodland walks.  These same nifty covers are also great if your dog has already injured his stopper pad or dew claw area as they will protect the pad after the dressings are removed and until you are confident that the wound has fully healed.

These ones are available through
click link:  Stopper Pad Protectors by Canine Cavern

Stopper Pad Protector by

Stopper Pad Protector in use
Canine Cavern Stopper Pad Protector Demonstrated by Debbie Thomas’ Archie

Strains and sprains can be supported and prevented by such covers but there are also some good ones available through Back on Track which are great for helping dogs with arthritis and also those needing to get over serious injuries and surgeries.