Vikinggirl

Norwegian Rose
Community Veteran
Oct 8, 2012
9,740
590
Burlington, ON Canada
Country
Canada
Bulldog(s) Names
Bulldozer and Blossom
Bulldog Interdigital Cysts

Interdigital Cysts, (growths between the toes). Nobody really knows what causes them, some people think it is a fungus and some think it is an ingrown hair or that it may form as a result of the penetration of the skin by a foreign body — frequently grass awns. They usually clear up on their own and I am of the opinion they should not be punctured because that can lead to infection. And if possible try to avoid the antibiotic route unless there is an infection. Interdigital cysts are common in some breeds of dog . They are soft to firm fluid-filled swellings that form in the web of skin between the toes. They sometimes rupture and discharge fluid or pus.

Breed Occurrence

The following breeds of dog are said to develop interdigital cysts commonly :

  • English Bulldogs
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • German Short-haired Pointers
  • Great Danes
  • Pekingese
  • Scottish Terriers
  • West Highland White Terriers


Signs


  • Pigmentation of the skin and hair between the toes (red-brown-black)
  • Soft to firm swelling(s) in the web of skin between the toes
  • Discharge fluid or pus
  • Increased licking or biting of the feet between the toes
  • Lameness
Complications

Bacterial infection is a secondary complication.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based upon the typical location and appearance of the swellings in the interdigital skin. XRays may be taken to detect foreign material eg metal, or underlying involvement of bone, and a biopsy may be taken to eliminate the possibility of cancer.

Treatment

Medical treatment involves the use of corticosteroids (like prednisolone) which are effective in some cases. Surgical exploration of the cysts will help to identify and remove any foreign material eg grass awns.
Surgical removal (excision) off the swellings is the usual outcome if a patient does not respond to medical treatment. Unfortunately recurrence at the same site or in another interdigital web is common.
Prognosis

Good if a foreign body can be identified and removed. Guarded if no primary cause can be found because recurrence is common.
When the area is not infected applying the bath instructions below in an early stage this will help to dissolve it in a few days in 90% of the cases.
Soak your dogs paws (preferably two or three times a day) with Epsom salts. The easiest way to do this is to do in the tub or fill the laundry tub up with 2 to 3 inches of warm water and 1 cup of Epsom Salts.
Put your Bulldog in the tub and just pet him for about 10 minutes or so. After ten minutes or so have elapsed, put your bulldog on a thick towel and gently pat his affected foot dry.
Some people use the method below when this does not work. My last Bulldog had this problem a few times but the method named above always worked for her so I never used the method described below.
After the first bath with Epsom Salts and drying its paws, fill up a cup with about an inch of hydrogen peroxide and hold his paws in this for a few moments. The area and in particular the cyst itself will respond to the hydrogen peroxide with bubbling, where as the rest of his foot does not. This shows that there is catalase enzyme present in these areas, which is one of the components released when blood or damaged cells are present.
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
Staff member
Community Veteran
Jul 28, 2011
46,989
1,900
Gilbertsville, PA
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Lambeau, Chelios (Frenchie), Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014)

Goob14

New member
Jun 26, 2014
451
27
Tennessee
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Goob
This info, and another article from the EBN homepage, helped me STOP an Interdigital Cyst before it started (or before it got bad)! I give Goob's paws a good check every other day just to make sure they are nice and healthy. THANK YOU THANK YOU!
 

Davidh

Head Pooper Scooper
Staff member
Mar 21, 2011
13,397
844
Katy, Texas
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
BeBe, Hazel, Lucy Lu, JLO, Hillary, Henri, & Katie
Food allergies can bring them on too. When Lucy was younger she got them regularly and we changed her food, and she never got them again.
 

DocBarry1

Member
May 9, 2016
75
3
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Boss and Biggie; Bruiser left us at almost 14 yrs of age
Bulldog Interdigital Cysts

Interdigital Cysts, (growths between the toes). Nobody really knows what causes them, some people think it is a fungus and some think it is an ingrown hair or that it may form as a result of the penetration of the skin by a foreign body — frequently grass awns. They usually clear up on their own and I am of the opinion they should not be punctured because that can lead to infection. And if possible try to avoid the antibiotic route unless there is an infection. Interdigital cysts are common in some breeds of dog . They are soft to firm fluid-filled swellings that form in the web of skin between the toes. They sometimes rupture and discharge fluid or pus.

Breed Occurrence

The following breeds of dog are said to develop interdigital cysts commonly :


  • English Bulldogs
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • German Short-haired Pointers
  • Great Danes
  • Pekingese
  • Scottish Terriers
  • West Highland White Terriers


Signs



  • Pigmentation of the skin and hair between the toes (red-brown-black)
  • Soft to firm swelling(s) in the web of skin between the toes
  • Discharge fluid or pus
  • Increased licking or biting of the feet between the toes
  • Lameness
Complications

Bacterial infection is a secondary complication.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based upon the typical location and appearance of the swellings in the interdigital skin. XRays may be taken to detect foreign material eg metal, or underlying involvement of bone, and a biopsy may be taken to eliminate the possibility of cancer.

Treatment

Medical treatment involves the use of corticosteroids (like prednisolone) which are effective in some cases. Surgical exploration of the cysts will help to identify and remove any foreign material eg grass awns.
Surgical removal (excision) off the swellings is the usual outcome if a patient does not respond to medical treatment. Unfortunately recurrence at the same site or in another interdigital web is common.
Prognosis

Good if a foreign body can be identified and removed. Guarded if no primary cause can be found because recurrence is common.

When the area is not infected applying the bath instructions below in an early stage this will help to dissolve it in a few days in 90% of the cases.
Soak your dogs paws (preferably two or three times a day) with Epsom salts. The easiest way to do this is to do in the tub or fill the laundry tub up with 2 to 3 inches of warm water and 1 cup of Epsom Salts.
Put your Bulldog in the tub and just pet him for about 10 minutes or so. After ten minutes or so have elapsed, put your bulldog on a thick towel and gently pat his affected foot dry.
Some people use the method below when this does not work. My last Bulldog had this problem a few times but the method named above always worked for her so I never used the method described below.
After the first bath with Epsom Salts and drying its paws, fill up a cup with about an inch of hydrogen peroxide and hold his paws in this for a few moments. The area and in particular the cyst itself will respond to the hydrogen peroxide with bubbling, where as the rest of his foot does not. This shows that there is catalase enzyme present in these areas, which is one of the components released when blood or damaged cells are present.
 

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