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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28929
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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, Have a 8 year old German Shepherd and he has

Customer Question

Customer: Hi Dr.Gabby,
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Have a 8 year old German Shepherd and he has sore between his toes , they come as small boils that break into pussy sores which bleed and makes it very difficult for him to walk .... have tried almost everything including Augmentin injections and other remedies like dipping his paws in tincture of iodine , hydrogen peroxide as well as applying a powder mix of copper sulphate and zinc oxide ... nothing seems to work. Could it be some auto immune thing like psoriasis ??? please help and tell me what i should do ...thank you
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Customer: Ok ... will pay by credit card as am calling from Goa in India ...
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I understand your frustration at this time. You've described a pedal (foot) folliculitis and furunculosis which is a multifaceted inflammatory disease complex that too often affects the feet of German Shepherds. The cause of this disease is unknown but in no cases are the resulting lesions cysts - a common misconception. The disease is complex and may be frustrating to diagnose and treat. When cases involve several feet, are recurrent or refractory to treatments, and are nonpruritic (not itchy), they may be due to an inherited or acquired immunodeficiency. Despite all of the possibilities, a substantial number of cases are idiopathic (unknown cause) recurrent bacterial infections which can be exceedingly frustrating to manage.

If lesions are draining, foot soaks for 10-15 minutes twice daily are indicated until drainage stops. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) is particularly effective. Antibiotic treatment as dictated by bacterial culture and sensitivity is prolonged and 8-12 week courses aren't unusual. As long as dermal lesions are present and are becoming smaller, treatment should be continued. Some cases, especially those in which infection includes secondary gram-negative bacteria are resistant to medical treatment alone. Surgical debridement of all devitalized tissue may make medical treatment more effective. In severe cases, fusion podoplasty ("plastic surgery") in which all disease is removed and the digits are joined together can be beneficial.

You also have the option of having a specialist veterinary dermatologist take a look at your shepherd. Please see here: and please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.