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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23797
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Interdigital cyst, Cyst, Feet, Josh 3, No

Customer Question

Interdigital cyst
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the dog?
Customer: Cyst
JA: Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: Feet
JA: OK. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Josh 3
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Josh?
Customer: No
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Chronic cyst. Seem to occur more when feet get wet. Antibiotics have been given for 20 days. No improvement. Soaking in Epsom salt does help but only if 2x daily. Once stopped they come back quick
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 months ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have a couple questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible.....

How long has the cyst been there?

WHat kind of dog is Josh?

Is the cyst bothering him?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He's 3 and just now in the last 6 months or so have they became an issue.
He's a bulldog
Yes they can bother him if soaking is not done. They become very big and painful and once have split open.
I'm a breeder and judge of 20 years with breed. I'm at a loss as to where to go now. I've pulled out all the tricks i know
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 months ago.

And you're positive they're cysts and not something like a foreign object?

How often does he have them?

Has the vet ever suggested removing them?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He has them all the time. They never will full go away. I have opened them and drained them. Once I do that and wrap them they will be good for a week then come right back
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No. Never talked about removing them. Low succes rate
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 months ago.

Has he ever been tested for allergies?

Have you tried antibiotics?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
As I said in previous response yes. Antibiotics for 35 days
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No allergies I'm aware of
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 months ago.

Gotcha. Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.

If this were me, knowing that he's a bulldog, who are prone to allergies, and the fact that these cysts never quite clear up, I think I'd have him tested for allergies.

As someone who lives with an allergy dog herself, I can completely understand how frustrating it can be when you're trying to figure out what is causing your dog to be so miserable.
With my pup, I had my vet do VARL testing (more info here: ), which determined exactly what he was allergic to (turns out he's allergic to ragweed and a specific type of pollen), which made it easier to control his contact with the items he's allergic to. As a side note...many, many, many dogs are highly allergic to corn and corn products, so it could very well be that if any of the dog foods you're using contain corn, that could be part of his problem.
We also began using the medication Atopica (more info here: ), which helped control his itching and made him a happier guy. Atopica is sort of the 'big gun', and once we got my dog's allergies under control, we were able to switch to Temaril P instead (which is less expensive and it only takes 1/4 tablet once a day to keep my dog's allergies in check).

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Well not really.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 months ago.

With all due respect, you've covered all the normal routes....the antibiotics and the soaks....the next option is to have him tested for allergies to see if that helps.

You could try talking to your vet about a course of steriods to see if that helps with the itching and helps him control the itching. If this is allergies, that will help get those under control and then the cysts should go away. If it does, then you'll have to look at long term options.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I said he has no allergies that we know of. We have exhausted the allergy testing as well.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 months ago.

I'm going to go ahead and opt out and see if another expert has any ideas.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'll follow up for CVT_in_MN for you. You're apparently dealing with canine pedal furunculosis. This is how it's currently addressed:

The etiology of canine pedal furunculosis has an unclear etiopathogenesis is unclear but one hypothesis is that sterile pedal furunculosis is a persistent, immune-mediated, inflammatory response to keratin and triglycerides liberated from ruptured hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and the panniculus (fatty layer of the skin). Here's a synopsis of this disorder for you:

1) The clinician should make sure that the initiating cause of the furunculosis (e.g., food allergy, wet environment, dirt kennels, friction in short-coated breeds) has been identified and corrected if possible.

2) If draining lesions are secondarily infected, appropriate antibiotics or antifungal medications should be administered for a minimum of 4-6 weeks.

3) For solitary lesions, surgical excision or laser ablation may be curative. I understand that you want to avoid surgeries, however.

4) Cleansing wipes (alcohol-free acne pads, baby wipes, chlorhexidine-containing pledgets, or other antimicrobial wipes) used every 12-72 hours work very well. For developing bullae, topical dimethy sulfoxide (DMSO) combined with the antibiotic enrofloxacin (to make a 10 mg/mL solution) and steroid (dexamethasone or fluocinolone) should be applied every 12-72 hours until lesions resolve. To prevent recurrence, the feet should be wiped or scrubbed in the direction of hair growth to remove any "ingrown" hairs.

5) Alternatively, treatment with combination tetracycline and niacinamide may be effective in some dogs. Please discuss this option with Josh 3's vet. Anecdotal reports suggest that doxycycline can be administered every 12 hours until response occurs, then tapered to the lowest effective dose or doxycycline may be substituted for tetracycline.

6) Anecdotal reports suggest that treatment with cyclosporine may be effective in some dogs.

7) For severe, nonsurgical, or multiple lesions, treatment with glucocorticosteroids such as prednisone may be effective.

Finally, consider having JOsh 3 see a specialist veterinary dermatologist if you wish. Please see here: Such a specialist will know of the very latest approaches to this vexing disorder - approaches that haven't yet reached the veterinary literature.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. This all good info.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're quite welcome. I appreciate how frustating and vexing this disorder is for both caretaker and vet alike. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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