Interdigital dermatitis describes a bacterial infection of the skin between the pads.
The inflammation can occur in a circumscribed area or affect the whole paw. In general only one paw is affected. The tissue surrounding the nails are reddened and produce discharge and pus. Open skin breakage may also occur. The animal increasingly licks and bites the affected paw. The dog often walks with a limp which is due to the pain caused by the inflammation.
In most cases the inflammation develops after a small cut or by an entering foreign matter. In summer months, particularly often awns penetrate the paws. Due to their barbed hooks these heads of crops remain in the body of the animal and may possibly reach the bloodstream of the animal and provoke grave symptoms.
In light cases, the affected paw can be bathed several times a day with a mild and disinfectant solution. In case a foreign matter infiltrated that one must be removed by operation. Severe inflammations require treatment with antibiotics.
In fall, you should avoid walks with your dog near mowed grainfields if this is possible. The sharp plant remains on the fields are often triggering factor of the metatarsal pyoderma. In general, the metatarsal regions of the dog should be checked for entered foreign matters after each walk. If you see a foreign matter which already penetrated the skin of the animal, then you should get it removed by a veterinarian.