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Eve,Phoenix, Faith
Member PageMember Page October 03 at 12:30
help ! "long message"

When we took Faith to her vet on Wednesday night he said to look up " Pododermatitis " Her foot looks more like what this describes then the "Interdigital cyst."
Anyway we are at a total loss and very worried.
I just hope putting her through the biopsy on the 7 th. will give us some answers.
I know this is long but if you would please read it and tell me if you have ever heard of this or know anything about it.

Understanding Your Pet's Medical Diagnosis

What is pododermatitis

Pododermatitis is an inflammatory (red, hot, painful) disease that involves the feet of dogs and, less commonly, cats.

What causes pododermatitis?

Many condition and/or diseases can cause pododermatitis. The course of the disease depends on the underlying cause.

Causes include the following:

Infection—bacteria such as Staphylococcus, fungus such as Blastomycosis, parasites such as hookworm
Allergy—food reaction, contact allergy of paws to various substances Immune disease such as lupus
Hormonal disease such as hypothyroidism (low production of the thyroid gland) Cancer such as melanoma
Environment—concrete and gravel dog runs, excessive exercise, foreign bodies in the feet, clipping nails too close to the skin, moist housing

What are the signs of pododermatitis?

The signs vary, but always include the toes, nails, footpads, or entire paw. The feet may be grossly swollen, with or without fluid accumulation.( Faith has a lot of fluid on top of her foot till her toes spread apart)(Faiths foot if not lanced will break open on it's own) The feet may be red and inflamed with nodules, ulcers, and open skin breakdown. Drainage may contain blood or pus. Because of pain and itching, the animal may constantly lick its paws, with resulting hair loss. (Faith does not lick that much ) The tissue surrounding the nails may be especially red and sensitive. Scaling, crusting, and pus or blood filled blisters are occasionally seen. If cancer is the cause, tumors appear as nodules, which can be ulcerated and painful. The animal may appear lame and have difficulty walking, especially if the footpads are involved.

How is pododermatitis diagnosed?

A thorough history of your pet is extremely important information for the veterinarian. The pet's environment and general life-style need evaluation. Information should include whether the pet lives indoors or out, is a working dog or a pet, sanitary conditions, other pets affected, trauma, diet, and travel history. The diagnostic evaluation may include analysis of skin scrapings from the lesions on the feet, and of any drainage or pus. Culture for fungus is also necessary. Depending on the history and physical examination findings, other tests may include biopsy (removal and examination of affected tissue), bacterial culture, and food elimination diet. Radiographs (X-rays) are done after the initial tests if cancer or generalized disease is suspected.

How is pododermatitis treated?

Unfortunately, the cause is often unknown. Even if the cause is determined, management of this disease is often frustrating due to relapses or lack of affordable treatment options. In many cases, the disease can only be managed and not cured; in some cases surgery such as amputation of toes or feet may be the only option for lesion cure.

Unless surgery is indicated, most pets can be cared for at home. Foot soaks, hot packing, and bandaging may be necessary. Your pet will likely be given a hypoallergenic diet to rule out food hypersensitivity. Your veterinarian can prescribe an appropriate diet. Drug therapy includes long-term antibiotics, anti-fungals, steroids, chemotherapeutic agents (cancer), and hormone replacement. The drug therapy selected will depend upon the underlying cause.

If the underlying cause is environmental, eliminating the cause should prevent recurrence. For example, pets should be removed from moist environments, unsanitary conditions, and rough surfaces. Good grooming practices should be followed. If allergies are involved, the offending agent (inhalant or food) should be removed if possible.

What is the prognosis for animals with pododermatitis?

Good preventive medical treatment may help cure or relieve this disease; however, the outcome depends on the underlying cause.

Member PageMember Page October 03 at 18:10
Re: help ! Reply to this Message

Hi Eve. Yeah, that kind of totally sums it up. Usually only seen in kennel dogs, but westies just seem to be unlucky in the skin department. Try the vinegar soaks - this will kill both fungus/yeast and also bacteria. Since its only one foot, most likely an infection rather than an allergy.

Poor baby. Best wishes.
Member PageMember Page October 03 at 18:13
Re: help ! Reply to this Message

Woops, I just had one other thought. This is totally unusual, but occasionally in the south, there are "aberrant" parasites, worms of other species than dogs, that may penetrate the skin and get stuck in the foot instead of migrating wherever. Would be microscopic, most likely. Ask your vet about an ivermectin shot, just to cover. No downside except the cost.....

Eve,Phoenix, Faith
Member PageMember Page October 03 at 18:25
Re: help ! Reply to this Message

Thanks, will ask about that.
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