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Bumps on top of dog's paws turning into bigger cysts

by Janyl Pinkepank
(Laporte, Indiana)

back right paw big cyst

back right paw big cyst

back right paw big cyst
front left paw with bump and open sore
front left sore up close
front right paw small bump getting bigger

My dog has a cyst on his back foot - it’s huge, about the size of a cotton ball (see photo). The other two pictures are of his two front feet. All these cysts are on top of his paws, nowhere else!

In the other pictures the smaller cysts or bumps were what it looked like on the back foot before it got bigger. We have since taken him to have 2 syringes drawn out and sent away. The vet saw no signs of malignancy, but would only be certain when the bumps are removed. Comforting huh?

The vet didn’t really give us any other information except to say he needed to be up to date on his shots before surgery. Not a big fan! I'm very against over vaccinating. It’s going to cost us almost $1000 to have this surgery.

Can you tell what these are and whether they are harmless or whether they will possibly go away with an alternative treatment?

Following is additional background:

He is an Airedale Terrier named Frisco, weighs around 67 pounds and is 8 years old. I am very alternative, use organic dog foods, treats and we purify our water with Reverse Osmosis. Both our Airedales have only had the first year of shots required. No rabies vaccine since they were a year old.

I have been feeding them Blue Buffalo dry (Lamb and Rice) and adding a tablespoon or so of the Blue buffalo Wilderness can food to dry. I recently have been adding the Dr. Harvey’s dry mix that you add hot water to in both their food bowls daily. I started doing this when we noticed a lump on his back right foot.

Before I close, I will have to say, even though I try to be alternative, for years I had used essential oils and diatomaceous earth to keep fleas away, but the past couple years, it’s been horrible around here. I started using Frontline last April until August and noticed they STILL had fleas on them and in the house.

I stopped using Frontline in August and used Capstar and the “Program” pills since. We have not had flea problem since September. But now I wonder if all those toxic things are what caused all his problems.

I know the fleas alone can cause problems too, but I’m very upset and feel helpless on what to do at this point. I am now putting Frankincense, “young Living” oil on his paw and wrapping it up with stretchy gauze daily. The sore red area between his toes on one of the pictures just developed yesterday. He was licking on it too.

Thanks! Janyl

Comments for Bumps on top of dog's paws turning into bigger cysts

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Dec 10, 2011
My Online Vet Response for: Bumps on top of dog's paws turning into bigger cysts
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Janyl,
From the photos of your Airedale, and the history you sent, there are a couple of possibilities that come to mind.

I would want to rule out a foreign body, such as a foxtail or grass awn. It seemed these cysts started to appear in August or September when you were battling fleas with Frontline. You mentioned that the cyst had been drained, but not probed for a foreign body. If this has already been done, then I would suspect another condition called "interdigital pyoderma", basically a skin infection between the toes. It can be due to bacteria, yeast or even fungus.

I am a little concerned about the larger cyst on the hind foot. It looks like the toenail on that toe is deviated to one side (Unless it is an old injury or that is just the way he is standing).

Be aware that there are malignant conditions that can go deep to the bone (where the nail is attached) and can cause the toenail to become deformed and even fall off.

Overall, though, I believe these cysts are a benign condition that can be cleared up WITHOUT surgery. Here's what I would suggest:

1. Continue with your program of NO vaccinations.

2. Improve the diet so you are feeding LESS DRY DOG food, and more canned, or even better, a RAW diet. See our page on 10 Best Dog food options for suggestions.

3. The presence of fleas indicates that he has an underlying problem causing him to be weak and attract fleas. Fleas are NOT found on healthy dogs with a strong VITAL FORCE and good immune system.

But which came first, some underlying problem, which attracted the fleas, leading to the formation of cysts, and then the toxic Frontline applied weakening his system even more, making it more difficult for him to heal? Or the toxic Frontline creating a situation where he developed the cysts?

By the way, Frontline works best for ticks, NOT fleas, even though it is advertised for both. If you needed to use something conventional, then Advantage would be the least toxic. It only attaches to the oil layer of the skin, therefore it can be washed off using Dawn or Palmolive dish detergent (these will strip the oils off of the skin, similar to removing the oil off of birds caught in an oil slick). Frontline soaks into the pores, it CANNOT be washed off.

Program is taken internally, and is absorbed into the tissues and will only work against fleas if the flea BITES your dog. Advantage can kill fleas only if they jump on your dog and come into contact with the skin. Fleas do not have to bite him.

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Dec 10, 2011
My Online Vet Response for: Bumps on top of dog's paws turning into bigger cysts PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Janyl,
Here is the continuation of my response:

Capstar is also internal, but very short-lived. It will only last 24 hours or so in his system. Therefore, if you needed to use something for flea control until he regains his health, then Capstar and Advantage would be the least toxic.

See our page on dog flea medicine/treatment for some other suggestions for Natural flea control.

4. SUPPORT HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM. Add Immuplex from Standard Process to his food. Open and sprinkle in one capsule to his food two times daiy. Also, add OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder to his food, 1/4 tsp to each meal, two times daily.

5. Have him groomed to keep his feet clipped and the hair short, so there is no hair going into the lesions. Use hydrogen peroxide one to two times daily to clean the cysts. Keep his feet clean and dry.

You may need to also soak his feet either once daily or every other day with diluted apple cider vinegar (this may help if it is a yeast or fungus).

Finally, he may need a consult with a holistic veterinarian in order to find a constitutional homeopathic remedy if he does not respond in 3-6 weeks to these suggestions.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Warts,
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Warts, Cysts and Strange Growths Section





Jan 24, 2012
Boxer who get those all the time
by: Margo

My daughter has a Boxer and he gets those all the time. She had a hard time finding a Vet that knew what they were and gave her medication in pill form. when he takes the meds they go away, but when he doesn't they come back. They really get bad without the meds to a point where it hurts him to walk and will bleed, but as long as she keeps him on the meds he is fine.

Jan 25, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Bumps on top of dog's paws turning into bigger cysts
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Margo,
It sounds like your daughter should seek the help of a holistic veterinarian for her Boxer. The longer she continues those pills that merely 'suppress' the condition, the HARDER it will be to treat him in a 'holistic' manner to cure him.

Encourage her to subscribe to Organic Pet Digest, I may be able to give her some suggestions to guide her along to improve her dog's overall health. The goal is to treat the WHOLE patient, not just the bumps on the feet!

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us
by clicking the like button at the top of the left
margin
. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.




Mar 05, 2013
mine has it too
by: Anonymous

food allergies

Mar 16, 2013
mine too
by: Anonymous

My airedale had one of these between his pads on his front foot. The vet gave me something called nfz puffer...a powder that I put on after soaking the foot and then wrapping it with the "stick to itself" wrap they gave me. It cleared up. That was about a year or so ago and now I just found one on the top of his foot between the toes. Interestingly, I have been feeding Blue Buffalo for years and both my dogs have big lumps. It makes me wonder about the food, I have never had a dog develop lumps like this.

Mar 16, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Bumps on top of Dog's paws turning into bigger cysts
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Anonymous,
You wrote,

"My airedale had one of these between his pads.... The vet gave me something called nfz puffer...a powder that I put on after soaking the foot and then wrapping it... It cleared up.

That was about a year or so ago and now I just found one on the top of his foot... I have been feeding Blue Buffalo...and both my dogs have big lumps..."

Basically, you are treating the symptoms and not the WHOLE patient. It is important to find out WHY your dog is developing these bacterial infections in his feet. (nfz pufferis made of nitrofurazone powder used as an antibacterial)

While Blue Buffalo is a balanced dog food, if you are feeding your dogs only the DRY version, that is NOT healthy. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options, and consider a RAW diet for your dogs. Too many vaccinations can also affect their immune system, making them more susceptible to infections.

Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian for more specific treatment. Otherwise, I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).

Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos.

I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Jul 18, 2013
Bumps on dog's paws
by: Babs

I have a Havanese who also gets these bumps often. In addition, he also has irritated pads on the bottom of his paws. He tries to lick both the pyodermas and paw pads often, which further exacerbates both, especially if one is near the nail bed. He has always had skin issues and now only receives the Rabies every 3 years. No other vaccinations. One vet had me soak his paw for 5 min, in a tsp of bleach diluted with 1/2cup of warm water - which helped - a vet dermatologist gave him tamaril-P, which helped - and we've used the "collar cone" which he hates. And will all the above advice they always come back. Especially the incessant licking on his paws top and bottom. He is 10 years old - I feed him canned white meat chicken over a dry dog food (Fromm Family senior). I find your suggestions interesting and will try them as well. I feel sorry for my little guy and don't know what else to try. Thanks.

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