How to Heal Your Dog’s Furuncle (Interdigital Cyst)

Imagine having an ingrown hair between your fingers—also imagine that you cannot use your other fingers to scratch it! If your dog is suffering from interdigital furunculosis, they’re probably quite uncomfortable and need a remedy, quick.

Interdigital furuncles, sometimes incorrectly referred to as interdigital cysts, are painful lesions which can occur on the webbing between dogs’ toes. If your dog is limping, licking or chewing on their paws, or you notice something amiss about their paws, you should check closely for furuncles, which look like red, hairless, raised bumps between their toes.

Two furuncles on a Labrador's paw, visible as two hairless bumps between toes

Two interdigital furuncles between a Labrador’s toes

What Causes Interdigital Cysts in Dogs?

There are many factors that may contribute to the development of interdigital furuncles. The most common cause is an underlying skin infection. However, allergies, mites, ingrown hairs, excessive paw licking, and poor foot conformation can also cause these lumps and bumps. Additionally, older dogs dealing with arthritis and overweight dogs may have altered gaits which cause friction on different areas of their paws, which can create furuncles.

Dogs with short, coarse coats or deeply webbed toes (or both) are predisposed to develop this type of skin infection. Although any dog can suffer from furuncles, they are seen most frequently in these breeds:

  • Chinese Shar Pei
  • English Bulldog
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Mastiffs
  • German Shepherd
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Bull Terrier

With so many potential causes, interdigital furuncles are one of the most common dog skin issues. Luckily, this means your vet is probably skilled at identifying and treating them. If you think your dog has developed a furuncle, visit your vet for an official diagnosis.

What’s the Treatment Process for Interdigital Furunculosis?

First, your vet will likely want to extract cells from the skin between your dog’s toes to examine the bacteria, fungus, or mites which may be present, and to check for secondary bacterial infections. They may also send a sample to for lab work to rule out cancer and other issues.

Furuncle on bulldog's paw, the area between the middle toes is red and swollen

A severe furuncle (interdigital cyst) on a bulldog’s paw

Once your vet has diagnosed interdigital furunculosis, they’ll want to treat any secondary infection with a round of antibiotics. They may also prescribe topical ointments and suggest epsom salt foot soaks to help soothe the irritation. In very extreme cases, some vets may suggest surgery to remove the webbing between the toes, but this is not always a guaranteed solution and can cause further paw problems.

Before resorting to extreme measures, give the furuncle plenty of time to heal naturally. In almost all cases, and especially when caught early and properly treated, interdigital cysts will eventually subside and heal.

Other furuncle treatment measures, based on the underlying cause, can include:

  • Allergy testing followed by removing allergens from environment
  • Regularly cleaning and washing paws
  • Visiting a veterinary dermatologist
  • Using an e-collar to reduce paw chewing
  • Reducing your dog’s weight
  • Apply Natural Dog Company Skin Soother 2-3x per day

Skin Soother Can Help Heal Interdigital Furuncles!

Natural Dog Company’s Skin Soother is well-suited to help tackle these irritating growths between your dog’s toes. The all-natural balm is packed with healing herbs that soothe on contact while providing antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Once your vet has diagnosed your dog’s paw problem as a furuncle, apply Skin Soother twice daily to help accelerate healing and keep your dog’s paws clean and tidy. If your dog is prone to developing furuncles, apply Skin Soother regularly as a preventative measure.

Real Results for Furuncles with Skin Soother:

Collage of three images showing a pit bull husky mix as well as her paws, before image shows furuncles (interdigital cysts) on the paw, after image shows the paw healed.

My dog has had bad skin allergies since I got her. I’ve tried medication, allergy shots, mostly everything but my dog’s feet always have interdigital cysts from yeast and bacteria. I bought this product and saw results within a day.

Her feet aren’t as red, the balm makes her cysts go away without popping and bleeding. She doesn’t lick at her feet anymore. I would definitely recommend because it’s the only thing that has given me good results fast for my dog! — Brooke Olinger and @beretta_the_muttsky

Collage of three images showing a pit bull wearing a tiny sombrero, as well as his paws: before image shows a furuncle (interdigital cyst) on the paw, after image shows the paw healing.

My dog Sancho was suffering with a furuncle or boil in between his toes. He did antibiotics at the vet for three weeks and that did not do him any good. I decided to go a natural route and used your Skin Soother every day for two and a half weeks. Look at the huge difference and I am happy to say the issue is now healed! My dog now has healthy pads, thank you so much! — April Miske