Interdigital skin is the skin between the toes. Allergies, irritants, bacteria and fungi, and parasites can infect this area. Dogs with Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis usually lick their feet excessively, which causes a characteristic rust-colored discoloration to the feet. External irritants are also a common problem. Lawn chemicals and herbicides as well as pebbles and hot road tar are often incriminated. Walking on recently cleaned carpets is also irritating. Interdigital skin is also affected by demodectic mange, certain bacteria and a variety of fungal infections.
Pemphigus is a type of skin disorder that may involve the footpads. The bridge of the nose, especially sunburned noses, and the eyes are also often involved. Pemphigus is associated with a defect in protective immunity in dogs and humans. Secondary bacterial infections are common. The skin is sore and covered with cysts as well as pus-filled sores.
* Constant licking and chewing of the feet.
* Saliva from constant licking causes rust-colored discoloration to white paws.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
* Epsom salt soaks are soothing. Cotton socks prevent sore feet from further irritation.
* Rinse the feet off with water to decrease exposure to irritants like salt and deicing chemicals used in winter. Keep a spritzer bottle by the door and use it every time the dog comes inside, then dry his feet off with a towel.
* Trim excess fur between the toes and remove mats between the footpads.
* Diagnosis for Pemphigus is confirmed by a skin biopsy. Treatment is geared at symptomatic relief of foot lesions, antibiotics to eliminate secondary bacterial infections, and immune system stimulation.
Immuno stimulant herbs include Echinacea, Reishi, Astralagus, Maitake, Shitake, Ashwaganda, Ginseng.
Sulphur 30c given twice daily provides some relief of local irritation. Immuno stimulant vitamins include Vitamin A and Vitamin E.