Red paws!

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


feed me
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 12:27pm PST 
My dog's paws started going red when the snow became a permanent fixture last year. It's moderate pink between the toes, but between the large pad and the toes it's a deep rust red.

I suspected that a fungal infection because of the constant moisture, but as I was shaving between the pads today I noticed that on one paw, the skin between the pads was also red, rough, and bleeding slightly. All the other paws have normal pink skin, and she's not been chewing or licking any of her feet.

Could it be something else? Does anybody have any experience with anything like this?

Edited by author Sun Feb 10, '13 12:27pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 11:37pm PST 
My dogs thankfully haven't had those red paws, but from what I know, there are two causes why a dog's paw(s) could turn red. The primary cause(s) could be either irritants like rock salt in winter, lawn chemicals and/or floor cleaners. The secondary cause(s) would be allergies or a symptom of parasites.

If only one foot is red, the cause is unlikely to be contact irritants or allergies. It may be an insect bite, splinter, broken toenail or fungal infection (you guessed right). Fungal infections can attack a single nail or paw pad. Also check in-between the toes for foreign objects or interdigital cysts. Unless it's a bite or easily-removable splinter, the dog probably needs veterinary attention. If the cause is due to hookworms, a single dose of vet-prescribed wormer will kill the worms and the irritation should quickly subside.

feed me
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 2:52am PST 
Irritants: Don't use them
Salt: Rarely exposed to, and I wax her paws when she is
Bug bite: Wrong season, and no bite that I could see/feel
Splinter: Nothing I could see/feel
Broken claw: No pain, and the red area is just by the metacarpal pad
Cyst: No bump or pain
Fungal infection: Still probable
Hookworm: Oh god, I've never even heard of that. She's due to get her next wormer right about now, actually

We're going to the vet todaythinking

Lola, in memory.

Her name was- Lola, she WAS a- show girl..
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 4:20am PST 
Interestingly enough, Lola has pretty much always had swollen, red paws which I assumed was a food allergy due to Frenchies being prone to that AND having another closely related to her with a chicken allergy and the same symptoms.
Change of food, including limited diet did nothing.
Finally, my vet suggested the possibility of demodex mange. I was very skeptical, she is almost three and hadn't had issues with it as a puppy, and I have never heard of it on the feet.
We treated her with ivermectin every 10 days and by the third dose her feet were completely healed with no swelling and/or redness left.

Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 5:06am PST 
Lola that is very interesting.

Kalisi, Bella has the exact same problem that is mainly brought on by rain. She does have food allergies though and her vet did a swab and it is yeast. We keep her feet shaved on the bottom and between her toes. Sometimes her poor feet are so red and inflamed the skin cracks. Her feet ae currently looking great even with the recent rains. I clean her feet (it never seems to be both at once) daily with allegroom shampoo and weekly with a ketaconazole shampoo. When the skin is intact I will use a miconasole cream but when the skin is broken I use Neopredef powder until it heals up. I have used regular antibiotic ointment when I knew I couldn't keep her forms moving around since the Neopredef falls off in areas that are not moist.

If you do get Neopredef, ask your vet for a script because it is 3 times the cost at the vet...52 compared to 19 from online pharmacy...my vet told me about it because I have to keep it in hand all the time...my previous saint had recurring hot spots so needed it then too.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 2:33pm PST 
This is really interesting as we've been going through something similar with Rexy this fall and winter.

Twice in the last few months, she has come back from a trip to the yard with a swollen, sore webbing and toe on her front paws.

The edge of the webbing was very swollen and red, and as the days progressed, leaked clear fluid. The swelling also progressed to a lump in the middle of the webbing between her toes. The vet was puzzled as she couldn't squeeze anything out of the lump, it didn't appear to be a foreign body and it wasn't impeding Rexy's movements at all (no limp whatsoever). We did just over a week of antibiotics (and twice daily washing and espom salt soaks) and while it did reduce in size, it took about a month for it to disappear completely.

In mid-December it happened again. She came back in the house with the webbing on one paw sore and swollen. In this instance she also immediately and violently started to chew at her foot. I couldn't find anything imbeded in the skin. This time, no vet visit, no washing, I just kept an eye on it and she didn't chew it or lick it and now over a month later, it's finally gone.

Both times the fur around the swollen webbing and around the large pad turned a very dark rusty red and has stayed that way.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 11:09pm PST 
It can be a fungal infection or some hookworm problems, but yes, going to the vet will definitely clear things out. Let us know what the vet says about your dog's red paws.

feed me
Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 9:53am PST 
The red skin is now on 3 paws! frown However the vet checked her for allergies and all sorts of things, but it turned out to be a minor fungal infection, because of the snow.
And also: supposedly her first heat, which we suspect was recently, may have something to do with it. Apparently bitches tend to have slightly lowered immune systems during heat. Who knew?

We've been prescribed a bottle of Malaseb for 2x foot baths a week.way to go

Member Since
Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 11:39pm PST 
Ah, finally you found out it really was fungal infection. At least it's a minor fungal infection though. I've heard about Malaseb and it works great for skin conditions in dogs. way to go

And I didn't know about the relation of a low-immune system to a bitch in heat. New information here. Thanks! big grin