Learn about canine interdigital follicular cysts


Interdigital follicular cysts are quite common in pets. Many times they aren’t diagnosed correctly and are considered a normal lesion. Find out what these cysts are, their causes, and to render proper treatment.

What is Interdigital
follicular cyst?
The interdigital cysts appear as nodular growth between the paws of your pooches. They are 0.5-1 cm in diameter, reddish in colour and bloody material ooze out on squeeze. They are most commonly found on the upper aspect of the paw. This condition is usually painful, and the dog may be obviously lame on the affected foot (or feet). He may lick and bite at the lesions.
The most susceptible breeds for these cysts are – Labrador Retrievers, English Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Pei, and Beagles.
The most common cause is a deep bacterial infection. Chronic, recurrent interdigital furunculosis is most often caused by inappropriate antibiotic therapy, concurrent corticosteroid administration, demodicosis, an anatomic predisposition, or a foreign body’s reaction to keratin.
The diagnosis is often based on clinical signs alone. The most useful diagnostic tests include skin scrapings, impression smears, or fine-needle aspirates to confirm the presence of an inflammatory infiltrate. Unusual or recurrent lesions should be considered for histopathologic examination.
Your vet will find out the underlying cause of the condition. The cause can be different for each dog. Bacterial interdigital furuncles respond best, with a combination of topical and systemic therapy. In some chronic cases, surgical excision or surgical correction of the webbing via fusion podoplasty may be needed.
Interdigital cysts can cause problem and pain, but if diagnosed correctly they can be treated. Your vet might also suggest some lifestyle changes for your pet. Do follow them for speedy recovery.
(Dr Yanglem Pushpa is consultant at Dr Yanglemcha Pets Clinic, Moirangkhom Bazar, Imphal-West, Manipur.)