You Make The Diagnosis: Paw Problem In A Dog

Pictured below is the front paw of a dog. The dog licked the top of his paw repeatedly. The constant licking turned the hair an abnormal brown color. He refused to let his family look at his paw. When I parted his hair, I found a large inflamed lesion that was the size of a dime.  Below is a close up of the paw. Study it closely then answer the following questions: 1) What is the common name of this lesion? 2) What are the most common causes?

Paw cyst

Diagnosis: Interdigital Cyst

Possible causes of lesions like this include inflammatory cyst caused by an insect bite or foreign body, abscess (infection), allergies or growths that can be cancerous. The dog had surgery to remove the lump. A long thin foreign body was found lodged inside.  He made a complete recovery.


Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.