Interdigital Cysts in the English Bulldog

Common Health Problem in English Bulldogs-Interdigital Cyst

Interdigital cyst, proper name is ‘Interdigital furunculosis according to The Merck Veterinary manual, is an inflammation of the skin between the toes - . Many dog breeds (e.g., Shar-Pei, Labrador Retriever, and English Bulldog) are predisposed to interdigital furunculous because of the short bristly hairs located on the webbing between the toes. The short shafts of hairs are easily forced backward into the hair follicles during movement. Dogs sweat through the bottom of their feet so when the hair follicles get plugged and normal drainage that should go out the bottom of the foot has to stay in. At that point it will start to get infected and will try to rise to the top of the foot to get out. In the English Bulldog it is more common to have it in a bulldog that had splay feet(toes not tight together).
What does a Interdigital cyst (furunculosis) look like?
The Interdigital cyst or nodule looks like a red swollen area in between the toes. They can get as big as a raisin. If left unattended the nodule will normally come to a head and rupture. A common misconception is thinking it is a problem with the top of the foot, it is not. The nodule actually is a plugged skin follicle on the bottom of the foot. If you will turn your English Bulldogs foot over in between the webbing of the toe that the cyst you will see what appears to look like blackheads, pimples, white heads or hair that has not grown all the way out.
How should it be treated?
Wash the bottom of the foot in between the toes with warm water. Clean with the Dermapet Flush. Squeeze all the black head,white heads and hairs that are not all the way out, (just like you would if popping facial bumps on your own face), if ingrown hairs did not come all the way out take the tweezers and remove the hairs. Reapply the Flush. Inspect the foot daily and treat as needed. You should see results by the next day. Apply Flush for several days.
How can it be prevented?
Due to the way your English Bulldogs foot is made it may reoccur. But the good news is now you know how to take care of it. Weekly washing the bottom of your bulldog’s feet in between the toes, inspection and Flush application will help immensely.
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    Note: Trimbull Bulldogs has produced this document for education purposes only. Our definitions of the common problems in English bulldogs are our opinions only.These opinions have been formed by years experience in the bulldog breed having read numerous articles over the years. ALWAYS consult your veterinarian with any problem that may occur.