13 Sep 2011

Feet injuries most common wounds on working farm dogs

1:41 pm on 13 September 2011

Feet injuries and fences are the biggest challenges for working dogs on New Zealand farms.

A study of 2000 working dogs by Massey University's Centre for Service and Working Dog Health found the animals are generally well cared for, although more can be done to improve their health.

A director of the centre, Nick Cave, says the most common injuries are to dogs' feet, including broken toes, cut pads and stones lodged between toes.

The most serious injuries are to the knee and hock ligaments in the hind legs, and these generally occur when dogs go through fences.

Mr Cave says most working dogs are treated as valuable members of farming teams and beloved pets but more can be done to improve their health, such as checking for feet problems and treating injuries quickly.