Dogs that are active and outdoors frequently, may suffer from wounds that may lead to foot infections, or they may develop fungal infections of the feet. A foot infection can make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk or run, and may eventually cause lameness.
Epidermal Metabolic Necrosis
Epidermal metabolic necrosis is a condition that usually affects older dogs. It is an infection that causes lesions to form on the feet. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition are red ulcerations on feet, thickening of the foot pads and crusting of the skin. Dogs that develop epidermal metabolic necrosis often suffer from diabetes, liver disease and certain pancreatic tumours.
Dogs that have dry, cracked foot pads may be suffering from a yeast infection. This condition is similar to athlete's foot in humans and can result in irritation of the paws. A veterinarian may make the diagnosis of a yeast infection by evaluating skin samples taken from the dog's paws. The treatment for a yeast infection in dogs is an anti-fungal medication.
Interdigital pyoderma is a foot infection that may cause persistent cysts or sores between the toes. These sores open and drain, and are often difficult to treat. The most commonly prescribed treatment for this type of infection is antibiotic creams such as mupirocin. Oral antibiotics such as cephalexin may also be prescribed for interdigital pyoderma, as well as other skin diseases in dogs. This condition is thought to be caused by allergies and immune mediated disease. It is more common in older dogs.
Bacterial infections can be seen in dogs that have a pre-existing condition such as mange. Mange commonly affects the feet in dogs, and can lead to itching and scratching. This causes the dog's feet to become swollen and may lead to certain bacterial infections. Veterinarians may take skin scrapings from the affected areas of the feet in order to determine which type of bacterial infection is present.
If your dog has persistent foot infections, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and a treatment plan. Early diagnosis is the key to managing infections in dogs and helping your dog return to normal activities.