Something weird on dog's paw pad

cnvhSeptember 29, 2006

I just noticed something weird on my dog's paw pad and am wondering if anyone has any ideas...

I noticed my dog licking/chewing at her front foot tonight... she's been doing this occasionally (maybe once every couple of days) for a few weeks now, and I never paid much attention to it since she's not favoring the foot in any other way, not limping at all, running around and playing as usual, etc. I just assumed she was grooming herself.

Well I decided to take a closer look, and I noticed something weird at the rear edge of one of one of her middle toes... I can't tell if it's a scab that's healing, or if she stepped in something (like gum, maybe?) that stuck there, or what. It's about half the size of a pencil eraser, not really discolored in any way, but it's definitely something unusual.

Also, the entire underside of the webbing between her toes on that foot is a reddish-brown, like the color of rust; none of her other feet are anything like it.

So as soon as I discovered this, I had her hop into the bath tub, and I gave the foot a good wash, thinking maybe it was dried blood or something... Washing it had no effect; the discoloring is the same.

I can't figure out if it's something I should worry about, or not. Like I said, her behavior is completely normal, and whatever it is on this foot, it doesn't seem to be causing her any pain-- the foot isn't swollen, she doesn't flinch or get agitated at all when I handle it (and i was really manipulating these toes all over the place, trying to figure out what the problem is, picking at "the spot," etc.).

Before anyone jumps on my case, I noticed this about half an hour ago, around 11 PM, and it doesn't seem nearly "critical" enough to warrant a late-night emergency vet visit!! :)

I DO have to stop by her vet's tomorrow to pick up more heartworm preventative though, so I will probably take her along and see if our vet has a minute to take a peek at it.

Does anybody have any ideas? Maybe something caustic she stepped in or something? "Foot worms"? I am clueless right now, but even though our dog doesn't seem very fazed by it, it sure is bugging ME.

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girlwithaspirin

Reddish-brown staining of the fur is caused by saliva. You often see it in allergic dogs, since they lick their itchy areas so much. Between the toes is one of the most common places. Based on that, I'm assuming the mystery spot is really itchy, and she's been licking and chewing it more than you realize. Best guess? A flea allergy or bug bite of some sort.

I hope all goes well at the vet!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 12:26AM
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cynthia_gw

I don't think it's common in non-greyhounds, but could be a corn. There are photos and description at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corns

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 7:35AM
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mazer415

If you dog is worrying something by licking it, it means it is bothering it and it is not normal, take your dog to the vet.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 1:32PM
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barbara_2245

Pitch from my pine trees some times gets between the toes or pads of my dogs feet. It can harden and get painful which means struggling to cut it out. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 2:03PM
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Lillie1441

Mazer-why are you always so rude? She said she will take the dog to the vet tomorrow but was just asking if anyone might have an idea as to what this might be.Certainaly didn't warrant your snappy answer.Take a chill pill!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 6:43PM
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cindyx

from what you are describing it sounds like it COULD be interdigital pyoderma. It often starts with a cyst type growth on or between the toes. Make sure you see a vet as soon as you can as these things always get worse before better. below is a link to compare, see if it looks like anything your dog has.

Here is a link that might be useful: interdigital cysts

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 8:34PM
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cnvh

Mazer, perhaps you should learn to read. Sheesh.

Anyway, stopped at the vet's yesterday to pick up heartworm medication, asked him to take a peek... he said it looks like a tiny cut that has scabbed over. He said she probably got it while on a walk, from a little piece of broken glass along the side of the road or something. Either way, it's on the mend, nothing to worry about.

In any case, I'm keeping my eye on it. Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 3:17PM
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Lillie1441

Glad it was nothing serious and that you can feel comfortable about it now.
Mazer-You always seem to jump to the conclusion when someone asks advice here that they are not concerned enough about their pet to consult a vet or that they don't care enough to spend money on their pets.I think this board is for advice,etc. about our pets,so one would naturally come here and ask questions.That doesn't mean we don't care enough to go the the vet,just that we might get some helpful hints that might solve the problem,before spending $$$ for a vet's visit for something that we can solve without it.You neet to learn to be a little more tactful with you responses and stop pre-judging the motives of the poster.JMHO..........Lillie

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 3:46PM
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cindyx

he said it looks like a tiny cut that has scabbed over. He said she probably got it while on a walk, from a little piece of broken glass along the side of the road or something

Hi cnvh,
either that or a grass awn ( little sharp grass seeds that imbed themselves commonly in the front paws the most)
So I take it the Vet didn't think the discoloration in the web part of the paw was inflamed or infected at all? Well if not that is a good sign. Keeping an eye on this is a good idea as you already stated. Good luck hopefully it was a one time deal. If your dog does get another one though bring a copy of that link I sent you about the interdigital cysts and pyoderma. They can be caused by foreign objects stuck in the foot or by blocked hair folicles etc.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 8:28PM
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girlwithaspirin

Glad to hear it wasn't anything big!

Yeah, I don't get the inevitable condescension that arises whenever someone asks a health question. It's like you've gotta put in giant letters, "DON'T WORRY, I *WILL* BE GOING TO THE VET." Look, vets are human, too -- what can it hurt to do a little research of your own? I like having some idea of what the problem might be. Worst case scenario, I'm wrong. Best case, I've saved me and my vet some time.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 9:09PM
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cnvh

I forgot to mention, vet did say the hair discoloration was probably due to the licking, since it wasn't inflamed or anything-- good call, girlwithaspirin!

I will admit, I have jumped on people's cases (sometimes probably more harshly than I should have, unfortunately) when they post here looking for advice when they really need to be getting their pet to the vet ASAP... but there's a big difference between emergencies and non-emergencies, and message boards like this can be an INVALUABLE resource for getting some good ideas and possibilities to run by a vet if the need arises.

I don't assume that my vet, or my doctor, or anyone with an advanced degree or title is so brilliant as to know EVERYTHING there is to know about their field; if I can help out by doing a little homework of my own, it certainly can't hurt, you know?

Perhaps it would be good for someone to post (or re-post) a list of things which a pet owner should call their vet about IMMEDIATELY, before seeking advice from a message board... there are a lot of pet owners out there with the best of intentions, but just not a lot of practical common sense; perhaps such a list would be a good thing to print out and keep next to the computer or something. :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 11:32AM
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