My 3 year old black lab, Django, has a reoccurring problem with his paws.
Only on his front paws, the area between the pads gets swollen and raw. The sides of his pads are open and raw and then from licking he gets these little cysts between his toes that are apparently ruptured hair follicles. My vet has put him on Atopica capsules (100mg cyclosporine) which doesn't seem to be helping much. He seems to be in a lot of pain. I did an allergy test and the only thing that came up was dust mites. I have hard wood floors so I don't think that is really the cause.
He eats Natures Variety (Prairie) chicken & Rice kibble. Sometimes I give him the Salmon & brown rice variety. He also gets table scraps because my 20 month old twins feed him and fling food all over the place. Sweet Django cleans up after them.
He swims in the San Francisco Bay or the Pacific Ocean every day and I try to be sure to rinse his paws well after the beach.
He has had this problem off and on since he was 11 months old. It flares up at random times but seems to be more prevalent in the summer. (Heat is not a factor because San Francisco is cold and foggy all summer long)
I am desperate to cure him of this because when it flares up like now, my playful friend doesn't even want to go outside.
Thanks in advance for your help.
It sounds like a grass allergy but it's strange that only the front feet are affected. Do you have any seasonal grasses sprouting?. Anything with prickles?. Where else do you take him besides the bay & your back yard?. Maybe a park or other environment where he's allergic to something?.He has had this problem off and on since he was 11 months old. It flares up at random times but seems to be more prevalent in the summer. (Heat is not a factor because San Francisco is cold and foggy all summer long)
I'm sure you or your vet have done this already, but have you looked really closely at his feet - especially in between the pads for prickles?. Sometimes they can be easy to miss especially on a black dog.
As a last resort, you could ask your vet about giving him Prednisone but only as a last resort & only if your vet thinks it's an appropriate treatment in this case after trying all the alternatives.
capetitt - we've fought this same problem - both back AND FRONT FEET - since puppyhood in my 6 yo choc. Atopica helped for a while, allergy testing revealed lots of allergens - all avoided - etc. etc. etc. That said - we find if we give a low dose of prednosone for a 5 day period - along with almost any antibiotic - they clear up. With out pred - which I absolutely hate to give - we have no luck....if you find something, let me know too!
Normally it's either food or environmental allergies. If it responds well to corticosteroids (like prednisone) it may be worth your while to actually do allergy testing.
Food allergies actually seem to cause this more frequently than environmental allergies.