Structure and Function of the Claw and Footpad in Dogs

Below is information about the structure and function of the canine claw and footpad. We will tell you about the general structure of the claw and footpad, how the claw and footpad works in dogs, common diseases that affect the claw and footpad and common diagnostic tests performed in dogs to evaluate these areas.

What Are the Claw and Foot Pad?

Claws are appendages at the extremities of the digits of dogs. The footpad is the tough spongy pads of thick skin beneath each foot.

Where Are the Claw and Foot Pad Located?

The toenail, or claw, emerges from the end of each toe. The foot also has cushiony pads for each toe and two larger pads farther up the paw.

What Is the General Structure of the Claw and Footpad in Dogs?

The skin of the footpad is usually heavily pigmented and is the toughest region of canine skin. The surface of the pads is rough in dogs. Dogs’ toenails have a blood supply or quick, but the end of the nails are dead tissue. The grow much like human fingernails and must be kept trimmed to avoid trauma.

What Are the Functions of the Claw and Foot Pad for Dogs?

Dogs perspire through their pads. Pads provide both traction and shock absorption; thick pads absorb more shock and increase endurance, while rough pads allow for better traction for quick turns and effective sprinting. Dogs have scent glands on the bottoms of their feet that allow them leave a mark that can be seen and sensed by other animals.

A dog’s claws are fairly strong. They help the dog to run and maneuver, to dig and they do offer some protection. As would be expected, they help to provide stability to the feet.

What Are the Common Diseases of the Claw and Foot Pad?

What Types of Diagnostic Tests Are Used to Evaluate the Claw and Foot Pad?