I understand this thing is best presented to a veterinarian but as usual my dog (chocolate labrador, 6 years old) develops issues when it's weekend over here and his veterinarian isn't available.

I noticed yesterday during a walk (but perhaps it's already going on for several days) that my dog paces a bit strangely and at one point he lifted his front left leg as if something got stuck in his paw. I checked it out but instead of some thorn or other sharp bits what I saw is this growth extending the edge of one of his paw pads: Current issue

As you can see, its surface kind of resembles the surface of the normal part. Also, I can't really see how overgrown has the part deeper around the pad gotten (that is, whether it's mostly dry "skin" on the surface or rather swelling that continues throughout the entire mass of the finger).

Also of interest is the fact that just a few weeks ago on the same leg but on the uppermost pad (the "heel") my dog had a growth that looked a bit different, more like a reddish swelling that produced discharges. It's mostly gone now and the vet back when he looked at it said it's just some sort of inflammation and gave my dog a topical medicine.

Does this look like a known condition and is it likely just a benign manifestation of some trauma from walking outside?

Thank you in advance.

EDIT: Here is a newer photo after wiping his paw. The normal area remains dark but the growth shows pink mass underneath the darker crust that slightly scraped off. enter image description here

  • Have to washed his paw (or is that the usual color and texture?) to get a closer look, especially underneath the protrusion?
    – Stephie
    Sep 17, 2021 at 15:46
  • @Stephie The normal part of the paw remains the same, but this lump actually went pink. Look at the additional photo. Actually I'm not even sure what his palm looked like in the first place as I didn't take note of whether all of his fingers were normally shaped, but I assume it is a new growth as I checked his paw after he started walking funny and this was the only thing out of place.
    – TLSO
    Sep 17, 2021 at 18:18
  • It might be an infection - our dog had a growth like that that the vet treated with a topical of some sort years ago. I don't remember what tho, but it was cause of an abrasion at the beach that got infected.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Sep 18, 2021 at 7:43
  • @Journeyman Geek I suppose it could be similar to what he had earlier on the heel pad, which kind of matches the pinkiness in the second picture although it seemed like a more coherent part of the pad itself and it looked like the small "bubbles" that make up the surface of the pad got inflamed and released discharge. Perhaps now it's also some swelling due to injury which pushed one part of the pad outwards, but it's shaped pretty strangely. Anyway in the meantime I will try applying the topical we still have from the previous thing.
    – TLSO
    Sep 18, 2021 at 8:13
  • 1
    I'll just update that the veterinarian saw him today and said it looked like a "corn" (which would mean hyperkeratosis), removed it (kind of, I still see a piece left) and asked me to apply some moisturizing ointment. I said I did see this optional diagnosis online but that it looked more "hairlike", but he said it still could look like this. I don't know, we'll have to see in a few days.
    – TLSO
    Sep 19, 2021 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


I did not have (much of) this kind of experience, in my family or with pets. However, here are some general ideas.

  • Even in humans, lack of local hygiene (of the feet) leads to the thickening of the skin and to cracks in the skin, the cracks being most common in the heel.

Overall, your dog might need to have his paws washed more often, to soften the skin.

  • It is a normal adaptation of the body to harden parts of the skin where there is rough contact. I had such issue many years ago: the skin on one of my fingers thickened and became uglier - until I understood what was happening. I was drinking non-alcoholic liquids from PET bottles, and the ring on the neck of the bottle was aggressing my skin. I changed the way of holding the bottle, and the problem disappeared.

    Maybe your dog has some other "problem", which leads him to step in a modified way - and therefore to encourage growths "randomly". Try to understand the cause of the issue, and remove it (the cause) once found.

walking on rough surfaces?

That is too unspecific. Please provide more details. For example, some years ago, I saw people walking their dog just minutes after the asphalt was laid in the area. Fate made that they arrived in the area just after the workers left. They quickly took their dog up after I informed them about the situation (that was easy, it was some very small-size breed).

Also, asphalt is incredibly hot in the summer anyway, regardless of when it was laid. Sharp-edged stones (used on some alleys) can be very aggressive to the paws too. Vegetable spikes fallen on the ground. Etc.

develops issues when it's weekend

I really doubt that that kind of "thing" grows over only one weekend. Even if it infectious, I guess it still takes more than two days to grow to that size. My proposal: (visually) check the health of your dog more often - if the dog allows you to. E.g., the Pekingese of my parents refuses to let himself handled - to the detriment of his own health (unfortunately).

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