What antibiotics treat interdigital cysts in dogs?

Updated February 21, 2017

As a dog owner, you may have noticed nodular lesions on your pet's paws. These lesions are typically located within the interdigital webs of a dog's paw. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, these lesions are interdigital furuncles, often incorrectly called "interdigital cysts," and are almost never cystic. They are in fact areas of inflamed tissue that form as a result of some irritant, such as a fungal or bacterial infection, a parasite or even an infected hair follicle. Treating the underlying infection with antibiotics will clear up the infection.


Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to kill bacterial organisms. It kills them by disrupting their DNA. However, metronidazole can fight only anaerobic bacteria and is commonly used in conjunction with other antibiotics to treat mixed-bacterial infections. Dogs tolerate metronidazole better if they take it with food. This antibiotic has a wide variety of uses; therefore the frequency of use, dosage and length of treatment all vary and are best determined by a veterinarian.


Doxycycline is part of the tetracycline antibiotic family, which fights bacterial infections by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis. The most common side effects of doxycycline are nausea and vomiting, so administer this medication with food.


Cephalexin kills bacteria by preventing them from forming an adequate protective cell wall. This medication is frequently used to treat skin infections in dogs. Side effects from cephalexin are vomiting and sometimes diarrhoea. Dosage is commonly 10 to 15 mg per pound, given every eight to 12 hours orally; however, consult your veterinarian for the proper dosage for your dog. Treatment duration depends on the severity of the infection and how well the dog responds to treatment.

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