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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My dog has been licking her paw while, I didn't think

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My dog has been licking her paw for a while, I didn't think anything of it at first but I have just looked as she was laid next to me and it looks like a lump on the top of her paw which is quite red and looks to have little tiny blisters I think - I gave it a very gentle squeeze to see if it was like a spot, but she gave a little yelp so I stopped straight away as I didn't want to hurt her. I have put some antiseptic cream on it but Im really worried now - I will take her to the vets tomorrow but can you tell me what you think it could be - she is 4 and a whippet cross toy poodle.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Ellie.

Do you think you could send me a picture of her foot? The following link walks you through the process:

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi DR Deb
I have attached a photograph it's difficult for you to see though I think
Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry my number is ***** 840008 I dont mind email or phone call


Unfortunately, my state board prohibits phone conversations but I hope that this format continues to be is acceptable to you. My apologies for the inconvenience.

If you'd like to continue in this format, please give me a few minutes to type up a response to you. The picture is a little fuzzy, but I have a reasonable idea of what the lesion looks like.



I have several thoughts as to what might be going on with Ellie's foot.

Interestingly enough, I saw a patient yesterday with a very similar mass on their toe in a very similar area. My initial thoughts about this patient...and for your lab as well....are as follows:

1. A cyst which would be benign...and most commonly seen in a dog this age.

2. A small abscess or infection

3. Possibly something more serious such as a mast cell or other cancerous lesion, I'm sorry to say.

It is often not possible to determine what a lump or bump might be based on feel or visualization alone; therefore, in these situations, an aspirate of the contents with staining and examination under a microscope can often be quite helpful in trying to determine what this lesion might be. If #1, then non-specific debris and a few cells might be seen; if #2, then pus and white blood cells are usually present. If #3, then different sized cells (indicating rapid growth) or granules (suggestive of a mast cell tumor) or other changes in the cells might suggest something more problematic.

And, when it comes to treatment options, we are somewhat limited....we either monitor them, freeze them off if small enough, or surgically remove them.
I'm glad you're having her seen tomorrow, but in the meantime, I do have a few suggestions which may be of help:

1. The foot can be soaked in a warm Epsom Salt bath for 5-10 minutes twice a day.

2. If she's not vomiting nor currently taking steroids or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, then Aspirin can be given which may help reduce any inflammation which is present. The dose would be 10 mgs per pound of body weight twice a day with food to avoid stomach upset. My only hesitation about its use would be that it might interfere with what your vet might want to prescribe but one or two doses won't be harmful.

3. After you dry off her foot, if you'd like to continue applying antiseptic cream/ointment to the lesion, this won't be harmful at all. Just distract her for 10 minutes or thereabouts so the cream has time to be absorbed. It won't necessarily harm her if she licks it off, but the cream won't be effective if she does.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She isn't a lab she is a whippet cross toy poodle aged 4. I will take her to the vets but would you say that it's more likely to be a cyst than anything else - I wondered if it could be something like a nettle thorn or something she may have stuck in her while we have been out walking -

My apologies for referring to Ellie as a lab. I clearly now see where you identified her as a whippet cross/toy poodle!

It's possible that she has a foreign body (such as a nettle thorn or something similar) which has triggered an infection or abscess. Either that or a cyst are the most likely explanations for what you're seeing.

That's the value of an aspirate, though, as opposed to just trying to figure out what it might be just by looking at it. The cells will tell your vet a lot about what this probably is. Deb

Dr. Deb and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you for your help. I will take her to the vets tomorrow

You're more than welcome although I'm sorry that I was off my computer when your responded back.

I also wanted to thank for you the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I hope you'll keep me posted about what your vet thinks may be going on with Ellie; I'd very much like to know what they think. Even though you've rated, we can continue to discuss this issue at no additional charge to you.

Best of luck with her. Kind Regards, Deb