Back to   Index Page




The following information is an excerpt from the book,

It's For The Animals! Natural Care & Resources

by Helen L. McKinnon 


Interdigital [between the toes] Furuncles (incorrectly called cysts):

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual , [Photo on Web Page - the paw looks VERY sore!], "Interdigital furuncles, often incorrectly referred to as “interdigital cysts,” are painful nodular lesions located in the interdigital webs of dogs. Histologically, these lesions represent areas of nodular pyogranulomatous inflammation—they are almost never cystic."

I received a note letting me know that the "Blue Power Ear Treatment" was helpful for Harley, an English Mastiff, who later on was dealing with 'interdigital cysts'.  Because none of my animals have ever had ear infections or 'interdigital cysts', I did some research and, interestingly enough, it seems that in many cases, dogs with interdigital furuncles had also dealt with ear infections -- both appear to be fairly common problems in dogs.


That information, along with different treatment options, is included below.  If my dog was dealing with an 'interdigital furuncle problem, here's a few things I would seriously consider:


1) Feed the best food to provide all needed nutrients -- I'm a big believer in making my own food for my dogs & cats.  There's lots of ways to do this -- many books are available.  My Favorites are here.


Add supplements for Immune System support  especially Essential Fatty Acids (Nordic Naturals is good - no affiliation), antioxidants, and probiotics -- remember that antibiotics have killed the "Good Bacteria" in the intestinal tract, so probiotics are needed to replace those -- see the Immune System Enhancers.  Herbal supplements are also a good idea -- see info in Herbs.


2) Have a "Full-Panel Thyroid check -- with blood testing through Dr. Dodds/Hemopet, as the issue of hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) was referred to in lots of Web Pages associated with interdigital cysts.  Info about blood testing for animals is here.


3) Have a 'skin scrape' done by a *veterinary dermatologist* for proper diagnosis, and with additional cysts appearing, if you do get it removed, have it sent to a dermatopathologist -- not a regular pathologist.


4) Have tests to see if Lyme disease is involved.  Some geographical areas, including NJ, are truly a high-risk.-- I know that because I lived there for many years and have a high titer myself.  There's a lot of helpful info on that subject in Ticks & Tick-Borne Diseases Info - including Lyme plus instructions on joining Tick-L Internet Discussion Group.


5) Determine if allergies are involved with the problem.  From what I've learned, only 10% of the allergy problems is related to food allergy, and dogs manifest inhalant allergic reactions primarily in their skin, whereas humans will get sinus problems, such as a runny nose & itchy eyes.  For more information, see: Allergies in Dogs & Cats.


6) Consult with a Veterinary Homeopath and it seems that interdigital cysts was a result of vaccination damage.  Dr. Pitcairn's article was really interesting.


7) If steroids are recommended, find out if Natural Hydrocortisone may be just as efficacious. That is generally available at a Compounding Pharmacy.  More information regarding Natural Hydrocortisone is available at the following Links:

Pet Health Pharmacy


William McK. Jefferies, M.D - very informative Web Site


To Follow is information from my research on interdigital furuncles, which could prove useful.



"Interdigital furuncles, often incorrectly referred to as “interdigital cysts,” are painful nodular lesions located in the interdigital webs of dogs. Histologically, these lesions represent areas of nodular pyogranulomatous inflammation—they are almost never cystic. [Photo on Web Page - looks VERY sore!]


Etiology:  The most common cause is a deep bacterial infection. Many breeds (eg, Shar Pei, Labrador Retriever, English Bulldog) are predisposed to bacterial interdigital furunculosis because of the short bristly hairs located on the webbing between the toes, prominent interdigital webbing, or both. The short shafts of hairs are easily forced backward into the hair follicles during locomotion (traumatic implantation). Hair, ie, keratin, is very inflammatory in the skin, and secondary bacterial infections are common. Less commonly, foreign material is traumatically embedded in the skin. ... Canine atopy (Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis: Introduction) is also a common cause of recurrent interdigital furunculosis.


Clinical Findings and Lesions: Early lesions of interdigital furunculosis may appear as focal or generalized areas of erythema and papules in the webbing of the feet that, if left untreated, rapidly develop into single or multiple nodules. The latter usually are 1-2 cm in diameter, reddish purple, shiny, and fluctuant; they may rupture when palpated and exude a bloody material. Lesions are usually painful, and the dog may be obviously lame on the affected foot (or feet) and lick and bite at the lesions. Lesions caused by a foreign body, eg, a grass awn, are usually solitary and often occur on a front foot; recurrence is not common in these cases. If the interdigital furunculosis is caused by bacteria, there may be several nodules with new lesions developing as others resolve. A common cause of recurrence is the granulomatous reaction to the presence of free keratin in the tissues.


Diagnosis: This can often be based on clinical signs alone. The major differential diagnoses are traumatic lesions and neoplasia, although the latter is rare. The most useful diagnostic tests include skin scrapings for Demodex mites, impression smears, or fine-needle aspirations to confirm the presence of an inflammatory infiltrate. Unusual or recurrent lesions should be excised for histopathologic examination. Solitary lesions may require surgical exploration to find and remove foreign bodies such as grass awns.


[Conventional] Treatment: Interdigital furuncles respond best to a combination of topical and systemic therapy. Oxacillin or cephalexin at 20 or 30 mg/kg, PO, t.i.d., is recommended for 3-4 wk of initial therapy. However, because the lesions are pyogranulomatous, it may be difficult for antibiotics to penetrate them; therefore, 3-8 wk of systemic antibiotic therapy may be required for the lesions to resolve completely. Topical foot soaks in warm water with or without an antibiotic solution (eg, chlorhexidine) and the application of mupiricin ointment are recommended. Some dogs may benefit from antibiotic wraps and bandaging. Antihistamine therapy in the first several weeks of treatment may partially alleviate pruritus, if present. Glucocorticoids are contraindicated.


Chronic, recurrent interdigital furunculosis is most often caused by inappropriate antibiotic therapy (too short, wrong drug), concurrent corticosteroid administration, demodicosis, an anatomic predisposition, or a foreign body reaction to keratin. Lesions that recur in spite of therapy can also be a sign of an underlying disease, eg, atopy or hypothyroidism. Lesions in confined dogs are likely to recur unless the dog is removed from the wire or concrete surfaces. In some chronic cases, surgical excision or surgical correction of the webbing via fusion podoplasty may be needed."



"COMMON DISEASES AND CONDITIONS IN THE BULLMASTIFF -- HYPOTHYROIDISM -- This condition results when insufficient thyroid hormones (usually T3 or T4) are produced. It is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms including: obesity, lethargy, hair loss (mostly in patches on the sides or tail areas), infertility, abnormal heats, skin and coat problems, interdigital cysts, and the onset of sudden aggression. Diagnosis is confirmed through blood tests. Treatment with synthetic thyroid supplementation is very effective."

From Dr Andrew J:  "...  sounds as if you are describing interdigital cysts  -- these are infected areas of skin between the toes often secondary to an allergy. I would have the cysts biopsied, and then .... an antibiotic course to clean them up. ... recommend a food trial of 6-8 weeks with a hypoallergenic diet - i.e. Fish and potato.  If not yet done, I would also have a thyroid test - a low thyroid can lead to this  problem. ...  Interdigital cysts that recur are hard to deal with. Some of the underlying things that should be checked for include allergies - consider an allergy test. ... Have the skin scraped in between the toes to check for a skin parasite (demodex). Finally, have a skin biopsy taken and ensure it is sent to a pathologist who reads several  skin biopsies. I would recommend a referral to a veterinary dermatologist in your  area."

"... My vet said to try soaking her foot first in "Epson Salt" warm water 4-6 times a day. If we didn't see any improvement in 4 days he would give us some antibiotics that would take care of the problem.  I will say the soaking did it's job. Her poor little foot was huge. It took a full 3 weeks and she was back to her normal sassy self. I'm the type of person I like to try the more natural alternatives first.  Below is some info on this type of problem..."

"Interdigital Cysts --This is another problem that no one seems to be sure what the cause is.. But you'll know one when you see an angry red swelling pop up between the dog's toes.  First examine the paw carefully, especially the underside between the pads to be sure there is no foreign matter (a thorn or such). If there is, take it out. Clean the area.  Remedies include: (1) Soaking the paw in warm water and Epsom Salts or Massengale Douche solution, dry and rub in Panalog. (2) Desenex foot powder. (3) ,Preparation H. (4) Division 5 Bulletin formula. Have your veterinarian make this up for you -- one part 60% DMSO, one part Gentavet solution 50 mg. per ml. Apply one drop per day; rub in with a Q Tip. Do NOT use more than one drop, do NOT apply more frequently than once a day. If you start application at the first sign, this solution will prevent the cyst from developing. With all these treatments, it's best to continue the treatment for two to three days after the cyst is gone."

" ... In many cases, interdigital cysts can be alleviated, if only temporarily, by home treatment.... one fairly successful home treatment course ... "

"the following is a  list of things that have worked in at least a few dogs, with some notes about how we use them:

Mupirocin ointment (Bactoderm Rx). Actually, we just started using this ointment more frequently.  We like it so far and it seems to be helping one of our chronic cases some -- but it is sort of early  to be sure.


Metronidazole (Flagyl Rx) has worked wonders for two or three cases of interdigital cysts in our practice. We had one dog who had been to four or five vets prior to moving into our area and had  been treated with everything else on  our list. He responded within ten days to metronidazole and the cysts actually cleared up. They have returned a couple of times now but have continued to respond to metronidazole. Right now, this is our favorite treatment for resistant  cases of this problem but we could just be on a lucky streak since other things have seemed to work well for a while in the past.


Doxycyline, like metronidazole, has worked well for a couple of dogs who did not respond to treatment with other  antibiotics. These cases have been a little more sporadic for us but it still seems worth a try to us.


Fluoroquinolones (Baytril Rx, Dicural Rx, Orbax Rx, others) are the most commonly recommended antibiotics in the  dermatology literature. These are broad spectrum antibiotics that generally penetrate tissue well. Even though your vet chose the antibiotic group to treat with that is usually considered best, sometimes fluoroquinolones just don't work.


Clindamycin  (Antirobe Rx) is an antibiotic that has good activity against anerobic bacteria which seem to be involved  in some cases of interdigital cysts. It is often used in combination with fluoroquinolones but can also be effective alone  in some dogs.


Cephalexin ( Keflex Rx) is our general favorite antibiotic for skin disease, especially in older dogs. We are comfortable using it long term, which is often necessary to control skin infections. It seems to be among the safer of  antibiotics, although no antibiotic is totally risk free.  If there seems to be any response to cephalexin early in treatment we usually try it for at least three weeks.  I like trimethoprim/sulfa combinations (Tribrissen Rx, Bactrim Rx, others)  but am reluctant to use these in older dogs because the side effect we see most often is reduction in tear production and older dogs often have problems with tear production as it is.


A bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing might be helpful in choosing an antibiotic but our experience with this has not been overly encouraging. We get a lot of staph bacterial growth, usually sensitive to most antibiotics we  use even in infections that haven't responded to a couple of the antibiotics -- so we figure that we aren't really growing the organism causing the problem most of the time.


So our basic approach is to start with cephalexin and then move on to the other medications on the list, except that we often use cephalexin and metronidazole together rather than withdrawing the cephalexin. We have been using the  topical mupirocin as an additional therapy in the last few cases but don't have much feedback on it, yet.  We use  fluoroquinolones last, mostly based on expense but also because we like to have an antibiotic that we don't use much,  too. That is just a practice quirk, though. It would be easy to argue that using them first might save money if they work best. ...  Mike Richards, DVM 11/11/2001"

"  ...  Sometimes in heavy breeds of dogs like Bulldogs, Staffies, the hairs on the underside of the feet get pushed back up into the skin and cause a foreign body reaction. This usually gives the appearance of an interdigital cyst. Treatment may involve removing/lancing the cyst to rule out grass seed abscesses. Some dogs need to go on a weight reduction programme to stop the hairs being pushed back in.  Other dogs need antibiotics with a low dose of cortisone tablets for a few weeks to take the swellings away. Use Dermcare Malaseb or Pyohex 2-3 times a week to keep them clean.  Ask your vet to do a skin scrape or examine some plucked hairs to rule out Demodex as well as a Dif Quik stain to rule out a yeast infection (Malassezia). ...  Dermcare website ...  I doubt the cyst will come back of your vet takes it away. You may get other new cysts for the same reason I mentioned before. By analysing the cyst, your vet will have a better idea of what is causing the initial problem."

"Inflamed, infected paws. -- My dog Lacie is about 3 1/2 years old now. When Lacie was about 2 years old she got an infection on one of her rear paws. It was treated with antibiotics and then she had to have these bumps/cysts surgically removed. After more antibiotics, she healed up fine. [Later,] one of her front paws got the same infection. I initially tried to treat it myself with Neosporin and it would improve and then get worse again. After several trips to the Vet and two different antibiotics she had to have surgery to remove the cysts. She recovered afterward with additional antibiotics and her paw seemed to heal up fine. The only antibiotic that helped at all was "Baytril". That was about 6-8 weeks ago. Now I have discovered that 3 of her paws have the same infection with bumps/cysts that ooze and bleed a little. The Vet and I previously discussed allergy tests to try to find the cause."

" ... In dogs, Malassezia is associated with Malassezia dermatitis, Seborrheic dermatitis (with Staph), otitis, pododermatitis, follicultitis/ furunculosis (chin acne & interdigital cysts), conjunctivitis & dacryocyst adenitis and onychomycosis.  [many photos on Web Page - poor animals!] Therapy for Malassezia dermatitis should be responsive to causative agents and may vary depending on its severity. When infection invades below the stratum corneum (superficial layers of the skin) causing the appearance of pustules, systemic antibiotics may be required. For surface proliferation, topical treatment remains the best course of action  since systemic treatment, can be expensive, poorly tolerated, and may not necessarily penetrate to the skin surface where the target organisms are located.


Focal areas of Malassezia dermatitis can be easily treated with the daily spot application by a host of antifungal/antimicrobial vehicles (cream, ointment, lotion, spray, pledgets, etc.) while multifocal or more generalized cases should be  treated with total body applications (shampoo, rinse, etc.). Topical antimicrobial treatments combining 2% Miconazole and 2% Chlorhexidine have proven very effective. The synergistic effect of Miconazole for yeast and Chlorhexidine for bacteria results in superior clinical efficacy. A new generation of surfactant (biologically derived cleansing agents and friction reducers) have been developed that differentially remove abnormal sebum leaving behind a layer of normal sebum. These surfactants are naturally less irritating because of the reduced stripping effects. Clinical trials have shown the efficacy of the Miconazole – Chlorhexidine combination against Malassezia pachydermatis, Dermatophytosis, Staphylo-coccus Intermedius and Seborrheic dermatitis....


Malaseb Pledgets provide an ideal localized adjunctive therapy to be used as part of a comprehensive antimicrobial regimen including Malaseb Shampoo and Malaseb Spray. The pledget applicator is an effective remedial vehicle, distributing actives directly to the infected area in between bathings. Malaseb Pledgets are also a helpful treatment option for hard to reach locations, such as interdigital and skinfold areas.  Malaseb Pledgets are enriched with Vitamin E to help normalize the exfoliation rate and enhance dermal protection and renourishment.

Active Ingredients: Miconazole Nitrate 2%, Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2%, Available in 60 – 2.25 inch (diameter) pledgets."



A couple of remedies are suggested -- best to consult with an experienced veterinary homeopath

"... She finally consulted with a homeopathic veterinarian, who changed her diet, put her on supplements like Vit.E, flaxseed oil, bee pollen and treated her with a homeopathic remedy (not sure which one exactly). Her dog is pyoderma free! I can't say enough about homeopathy. ..."

An interesting article by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, director of Animal Natural Health Center, Eugene Oregon [Excerpt] "... What I am suggesting to you is that, because of repeated vaccination, the acute disease of canine distemper has changed form to appear as a variety of chronic diseases. In the table below, the acute form of the disease ...  has become the chronic (or new acute) disease ... :

Acute Form of Canine Distemper:  Swelling of the feet, red footpads.


Chronic/New Acute:  Habit of licking the feet; eruptions between the toes, inflammation and swelling of the toes & bottoms of the feet; interdigital dermatitis. Allergies.

"... suggesting here is that the original disease, Distemper, has been, for the most part, replaced by Distemper Vaccinosis, a chronic disease of great variety. This chronic disease also creates a susceptibility to new acute forms of distemper like parvovirus. Because by its nature, chronic disease is more developed than an acute disease, the many ramifications of this condition have been given new names from the mistaken idea that they are different and distinct diseases."

"Sounds like it might be interdigital pyoderma. Here is some information: "Skin issues are usually a symptom of an underlying problem - from a homeopathic view, an imbalance in the Vital Force. Until the Vital Force is brought back into balance, the symptoms will continue. If they are suppressed (i.e., 'treated'), they can internalize and become liver, kidney, digestive, etc. issues. It is important to discover the underlying problem before attempting to 'cure' the skin issue.


Consulting a holistic or homeopathic veterinarian is something to consider. You've tried the conventional route, and it obviously is not working for your girl. A h/h vet will look at the entire picture - diet, environment, history, vaccinations, other medical issues, etc. - and make treatment recommendations based on the entire dog, not just the one symptom. A diet change will probably be suggested, and is usually extremely effective in relieving skin issues.


Other things you can try are rinsing the paws with an apple cider vinegar (the unpastuerized, unfiltered kind) dilution (this stings, so make it very dilute if the sores are open/oozing), or giving acv in the food or water (some dogs don't like the taste, others do). Raw honey would probably help but she'd lick it right off Colloidal silver may help, a few drops on the sores a couple of times a day. But again, these are only palliative remedies to relieve the symptoms; they do not address the underlying cause."

"Interdigital eczema or interdigital cysts - the most common cause is vaccine damage. With the first, the skin between the toes becomes red and sore and sometimes raised spots occur. With the cysts, swellings occur between the toes and sometimes on top of the toes. These swellings become hard and can burst. Both these conditions are extremely painful and can cause the hound to go lame. First signs are usually constant licking of the feet. Treating the vaccine damage is the first step, using either THUJA or MALANDRINUM as above, but there are homeopathic remedies that can help with the symptoms as well. Colloidal silver would be the most helpful application."

"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, and sometimes open sinus tracts form.  Interdigital abscesses may form as a result of the penetration of the skin by a foreign body - frequently grass awns.


Cause:  The underlying cause of interdigital cysts is usually unknown and in fact they are not true cysts, but they form as a result of inflammation.. Bacterial infection is thought to be a secondary complication if it is not associated with a foreign body penetration


[Conventional] Medical treatment involves the use of corticosteroids (eg 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.


Long term problems: Recurrence: Osteomyelitis if underlying bone gets involved with infected "cysts"."

"...  Interdigital pyoderma -- often erroneously referred to as "interdigital cysts" though no cyst structure is present -- is located between the toes and pads of the feet. It is a type of cellulitis (a condition where inflammatory fluids are forced into the tissues, rather than being discharged on the surface) that is characterized in the active stages by deep draining tracts of large pustules in one or more interdigital spaces.


Due to the potential chronic nature of interdigital pyoderma, a thorough search for underlying causes is essential. All cases of interdigital pyoderma require skin scrapings, bacterial cultures and sensitivity tests. If no underlying cause is determined for persistent interdigital pyoderma, a genetic predisposition is suspected, and intermittent lifelong antibiotics will usually affect control of the symptoms. .."

"Interdigital  Cysts  ... are a common problem in short haired breeds of dogs. Males do seem to be worse and Labs probably worst of all. There are a number of differential diagnoses to consider such as demodex, fungi, pyoderma secondary to atopy, dermoid cysts, etc. Dermoid cysts are invaginations of the skin which forms a pocket of hair and misc. junk. They are often infected and they always recur unless surgically removed. Especially if the cysts are recurrent, a good option is to have the cyst surgically removed and send it to a dermatopathologist, not a regular pathologist. It is expensive but it will greatly reduce the number of return trips to the vet. With that diagnosis, it will be easier to deal with future recurrences. Other treatment includes long-term antibiotic treatment -- three to six months may be required. Make sure the antibiotic choice and dosing is appropriate. Culture and antibiotic sensitivity tests are recommended.


Also, demodectic mange may be underlying the problem. Skin scrapes can make the diagnosis, but false negatives are possible. Foot dips in mitoban (diluted) followed by warm soaks in dilute chlorihexidine may clear it up. Fitting the dog with a rubber boot to protect the foot may help speed recovery following the removal of the cyst."

"Interdigital cysts ... many practitioners who use the word "cyst" to describe many skin problems, only a few of which are real cysts. ...  One of the most common foot problems is interdigital pyoderma -- infections between the toes. Unless the underlying infection can be controlled, there is a strong likelihood of return of the cyst or development of a similar cyst in another location on the feet. Allergies and immune mediated disease can be the initiating causes of interdigital pyoderma. Often, if this is the case, there will be other skin disease or chronic ear infections in conjunction with the foot problems. If Demodectic mange mites are present they can cause severe secondary bacterial foot infections as well. Whatever the cause, when these infections get bad, lumps form that look a lot like cysts but are actually granulomas (solid lumps). Since most clients recognize the term cyst and few recognize the term granuloma, vets tend to mislabel these as cysts for convenience sake.


Some cancers can resemble cysts when they occur on the feet, as well. The most notable of these are probably melanomas which seem to occur on toes pretty frequently. It is hard to prevent recurrence of these without amputation of the toe or even the leg. These are clearly not cysts when examined after removal.


Real cysts are usually follicular cysts or sebaceous gland cysts (epidermoid cysts) in most dogs. These are benign cysts and complete removal should eliminate them. Dogs that are prone to cyst formation, especially epidermoid cysts, tend to get more than one of them, though. It is highly likely that a cyst will develop somewhere else if this was the type of cyst present. It is not always necessary to remove epidermoid cysts but they are prone to rupturing or becoming inflamed and painful.


If you elect to have surgery again, consider asking your vet to have a pathologist examine the tissue removed to determine what type of cyst is present and to confirm that the problem is cyst formation and not a "look-alike" problem like a granuloma or cancer.  --- Mike Richards, DVM"


Interdigital cysts Part2

"  ...  [the dog] has had food allergies (to meat, protein, brewers yeast, you name it all of her life) and it is very interesting that you mention allergies. Also, she has had recurrent ear infections! Never, did I realize there could be a connection! Also, before the surgery, the cyst would occasionally "weep" pus, and then seemingly heal up again. That was why we thought that perhaps she had something "embedded" in her paw that was coming to the surface. Is a granuloma cancerous? Is there any ointment that can be applied to the area? ... "


A: A granuloma is a mass that is formed around an irritation to the body's defense mechanisms. It is an attempt to "wall off" an infection, foreign body or other irritation and it is not a form of cancer. If one is lucky enough to remove the offending irritant with the granuloma there usually won't be a recurrence.


I haven't had much luck with ointments when treating interdigital pyoderma and other weepy foot conditions but I have had some luck using a cortisone/antibiotic powder, NeoPredef (Rx). The drying action of the powder seems to help some. In general it is necessary to use some sort of systemic medication (oral or injectable medication that affects the whole body) to control these types of problems."  -- Mike Richards, DVM"

"... an update on my Bullmastiff "Tootsie" with the Pyoderma problem. After protracted antibiotic treatments I finally decided that I was just going to have to live with this problem ... However, a few months ago Tootsie started to develop abscesses on her feet. Then she started with interdigital cysts (very common in bullmastiffs) ... Not only did she have huge abscesses, cysts (apart from the abscesses) but she seemed to be growing bloody, ulcerated polyps...her pads were oozing pus! She was quite miserable. I took her back again to her vet (who specializes in Bullmastiffs) and she just kinda shook her head and said to powder her feet with Gold Bond Medicated powder as she did not want to give anymore antibiotics. I powdered her feet; she wore cotton socks ... then the cysts started to appear .... I was miserable right along with her.


... [a vet states that] commercial diets are one of the causes of health problems and his second concern are the inferior genetics brought about by rampant breeding ... .Anyway, I recently started ... [the dog] on a prednisone treatment. I gave her 5mg one morning, 5 mg that evening and when I went to give her the next dose the following morning was I shocked! Her feet had completely cleared up! I couldn't believe it! Her pus filled, cyst covered, ulcerated feet had miraculously cleared up. By the next day any evidence of infection and cysts, pustules whatever were gone.


It's been only two weeks now on this regimen and ... her feet are back to cysts ... And, her personality has undergone an enormous change. She is so playful now! ... and obviously feeling 100% better. so far, I have not noticed any of the more common side effects of prednisone use. I know the risks involved but right now I feel that if this dog can have a few good years pain free I'd rather have that than a longer life of pain and crippling disease. ..., this may be an animal that can be kept on a low dose of prednisone forever. I'm hoping for the best.


But I have to also add that I had consulted two veterinarians and neither mentioned this possible course of treatment. Frankly, it was a friend of mine, a vet tech of 15 years that basically came up with the idea. I had it in the back of my mind (in fact in my original post to you I mentioned my concern about being an auto-immune disease) and finally, in desperation, just went ahead and dosed her myself. I'm keeping a close eye on things and hope to find a low dosage to maintain her on. I plan on this dosage for a couple of weeks then will try to drop her to 5mg once daily to see what happens.


I should have taken before and after pictures. I know you won't be pleased with my playing vet with my dog but if the results are there I'll be happy., Right now I am enjoying not having to clean up bloody pus off my tile floors every day; ...not having to powder and wrap her feet every day ... and am enjoying the happy look on her face."



"Herbal remedies are gaining in popularity for use in both humans and animals. In the USA a highly regarded Veterinary School is planning to develop a specialist unit looking at Herbal Remedies and other Complementary forms of treatment. -- Garlic and Fenugreek Tablets"

"Dorwest Herbal medicines for dogs and cats -- Garlic and Fenugreek Tablets - Active Ingredients: Powdered Fenugreek 16mg, Essential Oil of Garlic 0.22mg  A traditional herbal remedy for the symptomatic relief of rheumatism, arthritis, skin conditions, coughs and minor infections in dogs and cats.  This stronger Garlic tablet has the added synergistic benefit of Fenugreek, making a superb herbal combination to treat a wide range of conditions. Used to treat minor infections, such as interdigital cysts, eczema, pyoderma, cystitis, coughs etc and when given regularly increases resistance to these infections by stimulating the immune system. Garlic has long been renowned for its antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-viral properties and this has been confirmed by modern scientific studies, which also show its ability to help with the removal of toxins from the system. This herbal medicine is particularly effective in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints when given in conjunction with Mixed Vegetable tablets, which are also recommended for these conditions."



" ... in an area in which Lyme disease is prevalent but I am assuming that your vet tested for this more for the lameness problem than the foot infection.


Regardless of the underlying cause it will often take very long term use of antibiotics to control an interdigital infection. I usually start out with twenty days of antibiotic therapy as a minimum and then adjust upward from there. We have used antibiotics for as long as six months straight in some particularly difficult cases.


If your vet is unable to resolve this problem you may wish to ask for referral to a veterinary dermatologist for a second opinion. They see the most difficult cases and sometimes can discern an obscure underlying cause that a general practitioner just doesn't see often enough to recognize...."


ã Copyright 1995-2008 Helen L. McKinnon All Rights Reserved

Back to   Index Page

Your comments, questions, suggestions are welcomed: