Pododermatitis in Dogs

Pododermatitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
4 Veterinary Answers

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Pododermatitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

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What are Pododermatitis?

Breeds that are most commonly affected by pododermatitis are English Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, Irish Setters, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Bull Terriers, Dachshunds, Boxers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Weimaraners, and German Shepherds. If your pet is excessively licking or chewing at his paws, it is important to take him to the veterinarian. Pododermatitis is painful and may become debilitating to your pet.

Pododermatitis (Interdigital Dermatitis) is the inflammation of the interdigital skin; the area of skin in between the toes and footpads. Pododermatitis is a common canine skin condition that may also affect the nail.

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Pododermatitis Average Cost

From 443 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$450

Symptoms of Pododermatitis in Dogs

Your pet may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Paws are red and swollen
  • Pus from the lesions
  • Abscesses on the paws
  • Paws have hair loss
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Nodules
  • Dog excessively licks and/or bites at his paws
  • Crusts (scabs)
  • Ulcerations of the paws
  • Blisters
  • Thickening pads
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Causes of Pododermatitis in Dogs

  • Fungal - Ringworm, yeast, mycetoma, blastomycosis
  • Bacterial infection - Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Mycobacterium
  • Parasitic - Fleas, ticks, mites, mange mites, hookworms, nematodes
  • Allergies - Seasonal allergies, dietary, grass allergy
  • Immune-mediated diseases
  • Tumors or cysts
  • Auto-immune diseases - Pemphigus and lupus
  • Trauma - Foreign object, hard surface irritation, hot pavement
  • Environmental - Humidity, rainy 
  • Obesity - Too much weight on the paws, may cause friction
  • Malnutrition
  • Hormonal diseases – Cushing’s Disease,  Addison’s Disease, hypoestrogenism
  • Idiopathic – No known cause
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Diagnosis of Pododermatitis in Dogs

The veterinarian will take a thorough medical history of your pet.  Let your veterinarian know what symptoms you have observed and when they started. The veterinarian will do a physical exam on your dog which may include checking the dog’s temperature, listening to his heart and lungs with a stethoscope and taking a closer look at your pet’s paws.  Pododermatitis can be diagnosed from a physical examination.  

Diagnostic tests will need to be done to find the cause of the pododermatitis.  Bloodwork, serum biochemistry panel, and a urinalysis will help determine your pet’s overall health, and it may help determine if there is an infection. Other diagnostic tests that may be performed include bacterial culture, fungal cultures, skin scrape, skin cytology, hypoallergenic food trials, and biopsies.  Biopsies will require that your pet is sedated. A DTM culture may be recommended to rule out ringworm or dermatophytosis. If your pet has a tumor on his paw, x-rays will be required. Your veterinarian may refer your pet to an animal dermatologist.

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Treatment of Pododermatitis in Dogs

Treatment of pododermatitis will depend on the cause of the inflammation.  It may include a combination of topical and systemic therapies.

In dogs with infections, they will need to be treated with systemic antibiotics and anti-fungal medications. Bacterial infections usually need to be treated for at least 6 weeks.

Malnourished canines will need to be placed on a balanced, high-fat and low carbohydrate diet.  Vitamin supplements may be suggested.

To control food allergies your pet will need to have his diet changed. To help find which foods your dog is reacting to, your veterinarian may suggest an elimination diet. This is done by solely feeding your dog one or two food item, such as ground chicken and sweet potatoes. Once it is established that your dog doesn't show a reaction to those two food items, you can then try another two items, such as beef and peas.

Medications such as steroids, antihistamines, cyclosporine and fatty acids may be prescribed for allergies. Allergy injections or medications may be needed. 

Topical treatments, special shampoos and/or weekly dips will help with parasitic mites.  If your pet was diagnosed with parasites, his bedding, toys and area will have to be thoroughly cleaned.

For a cancerous tumor, your dog will need to have surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy.  The veterinary oncologist will go over all the options available. If your pet was diagnosed with an underlying disease, the veterinarian team will discuss the proper treatment plan with you.

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Recovery of Pododermatitis in Dogs

It is important to follow the treatment plan you are given for your pet.  It may be necessary to get an Elizabethan collar (cone) so your pet does not lick off topical medication.  

If your pet had surgery the veterinarian surgical team will give you specific postoperative instructions.  Your pet may be prescribed pain medications and antibiotics. It will be very important to keep the bandages dry. Follow-up visits will be needed to check on your pet’s progress and to remove sutures.  Exercise and walks will be restricted. A cone will help keep your pet from biting at the bandages.

Prognosis depends on what was diagnosed by the veterinarian team.  In most cases dogs respond well to the treatment plan. Some conditions and or diseases will require a lifetime of treatments.  Allergy related pododermatitis, can’t always be cured, but the symptoms, when treated properly, can be minimized.

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Pododermatitis Average Cost

From 443 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$450

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Pododermatitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Collie

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness Itchy

My dog has bright pink paws. Front two paws look worse than the back two. She licks them every day although not excessively. We moved into a house with a back yard in April and that is when her symptoms started. She had always gone on walks in the grass at the apartment but we play out in the back yard more frequently and there are also a lot of fire ant hills back there, which I think might be contributing to her issue. She has been given 3 steroid allergy shots over the last few months but it made her gain a lot of weight due to increased hunger and lack of energy.

July 17, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. It sounds like your dog is suffering from pretty significant allergies. I would recommend returning to your veterinarian to go over other potential treatment options such as apoquel (oral allergy medication) or cytopoint. Sometimes the itchiness gets worse when they have a secondary skin infection going on which the vet can look for as well. You could also consider performing a novel protein or a hydrolyzed protein diet trial in the event that your dog has a concurrent food allergy. Good luck with your pet. I realize how frustrating allergies can be as they are an on going problem and there’s no one size fits all solution for our pets.

July 17, 2020

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Booster

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German Shepherd

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Red Cysts, Ittchy

Hi, I am from Nepal currently living in the US. I've a 5 years old German Shepard back home. He has been getting these small mole like thing filled with puss between his paws since he was 1 years old. After several examination it was discovered to be Pododermatitis. With a little bit of research we were able to find the medical history of his parents and realized it's in his genetics. We use solutions, anti fungal injections, powered and antibiotics which only helps for short term. VET back home are saying there's no medicine available back there. Is there any medicine or anything similar that would help his condition. Help will be greatly appreciated! Thank You!

April 24, 2018

Booster's Owner

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0 Recommendations

There isn’t anything specific I can think of to help Booster back home, regular bathing of the paws and drying whenever they are wet may help; also keeping hair clipped short between the digits may help with airflow as well. I cannot think of anything which will cure this situation for Booster unfortunately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 24, 2018

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Pododermatitis Average Cost

From 443 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$450

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