Interdigital Cysts

Interdigital Cysts, (growths between the toes).
Nobody really knows what causes them,
some people think it is a fungus or allergic reaction
and some think it is an ingrown hair
or that it may form as a result of the penetration
of the skin by a foreign body,
frequently grass awns.

They usually clear up on their own 
they should not be punctured unless the vet is involved
because puncture can lead to infection.

If possible try to avoid the antibiotic route
unless there is an infection.
Interdigital cysts are common in some breeds of dog .
They are soft to firm fluid-filled swellings
that form in the web of skin between the toes.
They sometimes rupture and discharge fluid or pus.


Breed Occurrence

The following breeds of dog are said
to develop interdigital cysts commonly:
English Bulldogs, German Shepherds,
German Short-haired Pointers, Great Danes,
Pekingese, Scottish Terriers,
West Highland White Terriers


A pink, red or brown swelling between the toes.
Pigmentation of the skin and hair
between the toes (red-brown-black).
Discharge fluid or pus.
Increased licking or biting of the feet between the toes.


Bacterial infection or open wounds from licking or biting
can be a secondary complication.


Diagnosis is based upon the typical location
and appearance of the swellings in the interdigital skin.
X rays may be taken to detect foreign materials,
or underlying involvement of bone,
and a biopsy may be taken to eliminate
the possibility of cancer.


Medical treatment usually involves
the use of corticosteroids (like prednisolone)
which are very effective.

Surgical exploration of the cysts will help to identify
and remove any foreign material like grass awns.
Surgical removal (excision) off the swellings is
the usual outcome if a dog does not respond
to medical treatment.

Unfortunately recurrence at the same site
or in another interdigital web is common.
Before starting medicinal treatment
a very good home remedy
to treat the cysts is to give your dog’s paws
a bath in salts (epsom salt).

Let your dog’s paws soak in a bath
of water mixed with epsom salts,
make sure to dry their paws very thoroughly.
Even frequent dips in the sea
can help to treat and prevent cysts.

When your dog will not stop licking or biting
their paws you can use special pet socks.
Make sure to get the breathing kind
and do not use human socks!
When the cysts are being kept warm
the chance of infection will increase.


Good, sometimes a vet or antibiotics are needed for treatment.
Recurrence is common.
Does your dog has this issue
and it keeps coming back?
Use the bathing instructions below


When the area is not infected
applying the bath instructions below
this will help to dissolve it in a few days
in 90% of the cases.

Soak your dogs paws (preferably 2 or 3 times a day)
with Epsom salts.
The easiest way to do this is to do in the tub
or fill the laundry tub up with 2 to 3 inches of warm water
and 1 cup of Epsom Salts.

Put your Bulldog in the tub and just
pet and talk to him for about 10 minutes or so.
After ten minutes or so have elapsed,
put your bulldog on a thick towel
and gently pat his paws dry.
Make sure to thoroughly dry
between the toes and webs.

Remember always consult with your veterinarian
before starting any kind of treatment.

Have a question or know any other remedies for cycts?
Let us know in the forum: