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Pododermatitis, also known as Canine Pedal Furunculosis, is inflammation on the skin of the feet in dogs. It can be both irritating and painful for dogs, depending on the severity of the condition and, in the worst cases, can result in lameness. In this factsheet, we go over everything you need to know about Pododermatitis, including its causes, symptoms, and how we both diagnose and treat the condition. But, first things first, what exactly is Pododermatitis?
What Breeds are at Risk of Developing Canine Pedal Furunculosis?
Typically, larger breeds and bull breeds are at more risk of developing Canine Pedal Furunculosis, as they tend to have tough short hairs on the skin of their feet that are easily driven into the deeper layers. Such breeds include:
What are the Symptoms of Canine Pedal Furunculosis?
Common signs of Canine Pedal Furunculosis typically include swollen, red, itchy feet that progress into painful sores if left untreated. However, there are a number of other symptoms to look out for, including:
- Excessive licking and biting at paws
- Inflammation on nails (paronychia)
- Pus from lesions
- Hair loss around the paw area
- Presence of nodules
- Scabs, blisters, and abscesses on the paws
- Ulceration on the paw area
- Varying degrees of lameness
How is Canine Pedal Furunculosis Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of Canine Pedal Furunculosis can be achieved with a mixture of a thorough evaluation, the taking of a clinical history, and collecting samples such as hair pluckings and skin scrapings to diagnose Demodex mite infestation. Further to this, a swab sample may be taken to determine if an infection is present.
If signs are pointing towards a foreign body being the cause of the condition, an X-Ray may be performed to establish the severity and of the case, and surgery may be needed to remove the item. Meanwhile, if symptoms indicate Conformational Pododermatitis, diagnosis is usually achieved by thoroughly examining the feet, limbs and assessing the shape of the footpads, x-rays may also be required of other joints.
Your vet needs to accurately determine the cause of the inflammation before being able to prescribe a tailored treatment plan
How to Treat Pododermatitis in Dogs
Treatment for Pododermatitis in Dogs depends on the cause of the condition. For example, parasitic cases are usually treated with tablets, or dips/rinses for the feet. Meanwhile, deep infections are treated with antibiotics, and surgical procedures are usually required for cases caused by forign bodies.
However, cases caused by conformation are the hardest to treat as it due to the shape of the feet. In many cases Conformational Pododermatitis can only be managed, not cured, and dogs often require modifications such as protective boots, foot washing and avoidance of rough/uneven terrain. Anti-inflammatories or even physiotherapy may be required to help other orthopaedic conditions if these are diagnosed, and thought to be involved in the problem. In very severe cases, surgery may be an option to fuse the toe webs together, or laser therapy can also be used in some cases.