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Ask Dr. Jodi Lynn Smith Your Own Question
Dr. Jodi Lynn Smith
Dr. Jodi Lynn Smith, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1368
Experience:  15 years experience in all aspects of canine medicine and surgery.
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What could cause a blood blister on my dog's toe?

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My dog has what appears to be a blood blister on the top of one of her toes. What should I do for it? She is a very large dog and hard to get to the vet.

Although a "blood blister" could occur with a specific trauma to the toe, in a younger, large breed dog such as yours, there is definitely the possibility that your girl has an actual tumor that typically should not be ignored.

Blood blisters will go away in just a few days. Tumors will NOT go away.

The most common types of tumors in younger, large breed dogs are mast cell tumors, histiocytomas, basal cell tumors, and melanomas. For more information on these types of tumors, please review the following links:

With that said, if this lesion persists for longer than 72 hours, than I would definitely get your girl into the vet for a visit!!

As you mention she can be a handful, you may want to ask your vet if you can get an anti-anxiety medication, like Xanax, to pre-medicate her for her trip. This can make her more calm, relaxed, and easier to evaluate during her physical examination.

Mast Cell Tumors and Melanomas are MALIGNANT tumors and should be surgically removed as expediently as possible.

While waiting to see your veterinarian, it is very important that you do not try to pop, squeeze, or express the "mass" in question, as if it is a mast cell tumor, this can cause degranulation of the tumor cells and spread of the cancer into the blood stream .Not something that you want to potentiate!!

I hope that you found this information.

Dr. Jodi Lynn Smith and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The blister just appeared today after taking her outside. I noticed some blood on the sheets after she got off the bed and then found the bloody spot on her foot. That was about 4 hours ago. It has swelled up since then. It's on her back foot on the top of her toe. She doesn't seem to be bothered with it. Also, if it were a tumor would it bleed?

Hello again and thanks for the update!

Since the onset is so acute, then the odds of it being a tumor are MUCH less!

With that in mind, then trauma, insect bite, or a foreign body may be the culprit for this sudden onset of swelling and seeping of blood. A short term therapy for this type injury would entail you giving her a 50 mg dosage of Diphenhydramine ( benadryl) every 4-6 hours through the night and soaking the affected foot in a warm water Epsom Salt bath for 5-10 minutes every 6 hours.

If the swelling is due to an insect bite or trauma, the combination of antihistamines and Epsom Salts should help reduce swelling significantly in the next 24 hours. If symptoms do NOT resolve with palliative therapy, then you may want to consider that dreaded trip into the vet's office.

I must stress that there COULD have been some type of mass developing there that you were NOT aware of until she abraded it, bumped it, traumatized it there is still a remote possibility that it could be something that has been there for a while!

Best wishes to you and your pet.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Ok I have 25mg Benedryl (generic brand). Are you recommending I give it to her now? Possibly with a piece of food to get her to take it? I just want to be sure exactly what to do so I don't harm her. She is my BABY!! And I don't have any Epsom salt and am a half hour from a Walmart. Any other suggestions on what to soak it in?

No problem if you don't have epsom!!

Yes, I want you to give her (2) 25 mg strength Benadryl's (generic is fine) tonight and then every 6 hours through the night. It may cause drowsiness initially, but as it's bedtime, that shouldn't be a big deal!!

You may just want to try and place a small ice pack on the area for 5 minutes if she will allow you to before bedtime. This can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and discomfort for a short period of time.

You can give the medication in a small breadball, piece of cheese, or small piece of deli meat. It doesn't have to be given with food, but if you have a hard time pilling her, than this can help!