Ouch…An Interdigital Cyst

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.

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