Poor Henri’s been a bit under the weather recently. I noticed him limping one morning as we headed in from our morning walk, but when I checked his paws to see if anything was stuck there as has happened before, I couldn’t see anything unusual. By that evening though, things had gotten much worse. I discovered when it was time to leave for our evening walk that he could only take a few steps before lifting his paw and refusing to walk any more. This time, when I had a look, I could see what appeared to be a raw-looking lump on the edge of one of his toe pads.
Given his history of suspect lumps and the fact that it was obviously bothering him, I decided to take him in to our trusty vet the next day. The diagnosis: an interdigital cyst. There’s plenty of information out there on the internet about this affliction, so I’ll leave the official explanations to your research. In layperson’s terms, as explained by Dr. Judy, he sees it more often in English bulldogs and one cause is that the dog’s footpads are not being placed down properly as they walk. The portion of the foot that is contacting the ground becomes abraded and an infection can occur along with the cyst. This appeared to be part of what had happened with Henri. He’s got a bit of a tendency to drag his front paws due to some mild nerve damage from back troubles over the years and his age. This, combined with the fact that his allergies seemed to be flaring up, leading to an increase in bacteria and yeast, seemed to have created the perfect conditions for this problem to present itself. Interdigital cysts can be chronic, but since it’s never happened before, we hope that it will fully resolve. Henri’s treatment included a steroid shot to bring down the inflammation and a follow-up course of antibiotics and antifungal medication. The vet also recommended that, for the first few days at least, I treat it with warm epsom salt soaks and the application of some Preparation H.
So, Henri has been taking it easy and
enjoying tolerating some foot soaks:
He also appears to enjoy the taste of Preparation H (gross!). The good news is, his paw is already much better- the pep in his step is back and the lump is barely visible anymore.
This action shot goes back quite a few years to one of Henri’s trips to Santa Barbara. He and his friend Chloe got along incredibly well and it was so adorable when they played together. Doesn’t someone look like he’s about to bite a girl’s face off? Vicious!…and with the classic Frenchie buggy eyes to boot. Don’t worry, Chloe held her own when it came to putting the smackdown on Mr. Hopper. You can see it’s about to go into effect here. Frenchie pancake coming up!
Can you imagine getting a package containing this from Mr. UPS? A Frenchie in a box, not much cuter than that…just messing around, about three years ago. Happy Friday, friends!
One of Henri’s favorite things to do is wander on the beach. We live only three blocks away but I’m sure if he could speak, he’d tell you he doesn’t get to go enough. Also depending on whether there is anyone around, he may or may not get to go off his leash. In case you were wondering, for Henri, leash=major BUMMER. And for me too really. He is a terrible walker!
In the picture above though, he runs unencumbered through a leash-free sandy paradise- Ocean Beach’s dog beach. It was a beautiful day and for some reason unknown to me to this day because I am still not an intentionally very good photographer, all my pictures turned out stunningly great (if you don’t think the above is a lovely picture, just don’t tell me) and still they are some of my favorite pictures I have ever taken of Henri. This one just makes me smile because he seems so happy and free.
In his younger days, Henri was quite the little jetsetter. Paris was a favorite destination…of course! He’d fly in-cabin, under the seat, or sometimes on the seat, being fed tidbits of salmon and omelette by a cadre of adoring stewardesses…We’d wander round Montmarte together, go into restaurants and shops…I’m pretty sure Henri adores Paris just as much as I do! Here we are at the Eiffel Tower circa 2000. Such good times…