We have a 4 year old male yellow lab. We've only had him for 2 months. He was always an outdoor dog but has become an indoor dog since living with us. A few days ago we noticed what looked like a blister or a boil on the webbing between his 2 middle "toes" on his front paw. It looked like it was going down, then the next day it was worse. He must have picked at it because later it had a hole in the top and had drained. The next day there was another one right next to the first one. He has been licking at picking at this one, too. What should we do? Should we try to pop it and drain it for him or let him do it? Should we take him to the vet? We're worried about him and want to take care of him but can't afford a huge vet bill right now.
It sounds like interdigital pyoderma. They develop cysts (although not in the true sense of the word) between the toes and these become infected. The only way you are going to clear it up is with antibiotics, but what type of antibiotics depends on a couple of different things. A culture should be done to determine what type of bacteria is causing it, and then depending upon how deep into the skin the infection is, sometimes a topical antibiotic can take care of it, but if it is deep into the skin, oral antibiotics will be necessary.
Try to keep him from licking at it, because this will keep it wet and in the folds of the toes it won't ever dry real well, and this is just going to keep it going. If he won't leave it alone, put an Elizabethan collar on him to prevent him from messing with it until it heals up.
Make an appointment with your vet ASAP so that you can start him on his antibiotics. Wet spring weather is coming, and it's going to turn into a real uphill battle if you don't get a handle on it soon. Remember to always dry his feet well when he comes into the house from being outside if it is wet out. Pay special attention to the areas between the toes.
Please post back often to keep us up to date on his progress! :)
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