Oh My Aching Paws: 3 Things To Do If Your Labrador Has Interdigital Furuncles

Posted on: 14 June 2016

If you have a Labrador Retriever, you need to pay close attention to its feet. This is one type of breed that's susceptible to interdigital furuncles, or toe cysts. The reason is because their feet are webbed and the hair between their toes can become ingrown. When that happens, an infection develops which causes the cyst. Because toe cysts can cause pain and discomfort, your dog might start limping. If it does, you should inspect its feet for large lumps between their toes. Here are three simple steps you can take to help reduce the discomfort associated with interdigital furuncles.

Remove Foreign Objects

If you've discovered lumps between your dog's toes, the first thing you should do is look for foreign objects. Things like foxtails or desert tacks could have embedded themselves in between the toes. If you find foreign objects, carefully remove them with a pair of tweezers. Once the foreign object is removed, you'll be able to proceed with the rest of the treatment.

Soak the Paws

The affected paws will need to be soaked to help reduce the swelling and discomfort. Fill a bucket with one gallon of warm water. Add one cup of Epsom salts and ½ cup of betadine solution – available at any drug store. Soak each affected paw for about 10 minutes. If all of your dog's paws are affected, fill your tub with warm water. Add the Epsom salts and betadine solution to the tub and have your dog stand in the water for about 10 minutes.

There should be about 4" of water in the bottom of the tub. After 10 minutes, drain the tub and rinse your dog's paws with clear water. Dry them well with a soft cloth. Be sure to get in between the toes with the cloth. For best results, soak your dog's feet at least twice a day until the cysts absorb into the skin. It's important to note that Epsom salts are often used as a laxative, so you should avoid letting your dog drink the water.

Call the Vet

If your dog continues to experience discomfort from the cysts, or you see pus coming from the between the toes, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog may have developed a deep infection that will require antibiotic treatment.  Here are some additional warning signs you should be aware of.

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

If your dog has developed interdigital furuncles, the simple tips provided above will help alleviate the discomfort. Contact a business, such as the Animal Emergency Clinic, for more information.