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Pododermatitis is a medical term for skin inflammation, particularly inflammation in the feet or paws. With treatment, prognosis is positive. The disease is more common in dogs than it is in cats.


The following symptoms are commonly seen:

  • Lameness
  • Reddened/swollen paws
  • Painful paws and itchy paws
  • Fluid buildup in the paws
  • Small, solid masses
  • Thickened, raised, or flat top areas
  • Loss of the top portion of the skin
  • Discharge from the paws
  • Inflammation of the soft tissue around the nail


Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections can cause this skin inflammation to develop. Other potential causes for it can include cancer, trauma, poor grooming, decreased levels of thyroid hormones, increased levels of steroids present, and irritants from the environment.

While this medical condition can occur in any breed, it is more common in the following:

  • English Bulldog
  • Great Dane
  • Basset Hound
  • Mastiff
  • Bull Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Dachshund
  • Dalmatian
  • German Shepard


In some instances, a skin biopsy is performed to ensure that pododermatitis is brought on by cancer. A thorough skin examination may be done as well.


Treatment is generally done on an outpatient basis, and can include foot soaks, hot packing, bandaging, and a hypoallergenic diet. In the event that there is a more serious underlying medical condition, its symptoms will be treated first.


Maintaining healthy habits for the dog will help the medical condition from recurring.


Good breeding practices and frequent medical checkups can prevent the recurrence of the condition. However, if the inflammation is occurring because of an allergen, removing it from the dog's environment is recommended.