Dog Might Have Toe Cyst

Kelly Roper
Bulldog pup

Problem: Dog Might Have Toe Cyst

I have a three-month-old English Bulldog. About three days ago I noticed his back paw was a bit swollen and a little red. I assumed it was because he likes to play rough sometimes and may have slipped and scraped his paw. He is a very playful pup, but, because of his paw, I haven't let him play too often. Even though he is kept in a big cage while I am at work, he still manages to irritate his paw. When I came home this afternoon, his paw was bleeding. I have tried bandaging it, but he always manages to bite it off. What can I do to help him heal?~~ Monica

Expert Reply

Hi Monica,

This may be a little difficult, but I want you to remove the bandage and take a very close look at your dog's paw. Check between the toes and between the pads beneath for signs of a swollen lump. What you're really looking for is a cyst.

Dogs can get cysts between their toes, and these pesky sores fill up with puss, causing pain and irritation. This typically causes a dog to lick and chew the site, causing more damage. If there is a cyst, it will need to be drained. I used to do this for my dogs myself by inserting a sterilized needle into the fine red pinpoint that indicates the heart of the cyst. Once opened, I would express the puss and clean the open wound with peroxide. Afterward, I would fill the wound with Panalog ointment to kill the bacteria. The sore would then heal quite nicely.

This is a tricky procedure and not for the squeamish, so it would probably be best to let your vet take a look at your dog's paw and determine what needs to be done. It sounds as though your dog may have already burst the cyst, but it will likely become infected again without the proper treatment. It will be well worth the cost of the office call to get your dog's foot back into shape.

Thanks for your question, and good luck!

~~ Kelly

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Dog Might Have Toe Cyst