Skip to content

Red Bumps on Dog Paws

dog eating a treat

Written by Dr. Sam Parker, DVM

Those dreaded, mysterious red bumps on a dog’s paw or between their toes! What the heck are those red bumps? How do you get rid of them? Dr. Parker, a vet from Hello Ralphie, discusses what those baffling bumps are and how to keep your dog from getting them.

My Dog has Red Bumps on His Paw!

dog paw

I know that dog paw issues can be “ruff!” If a dog has irritated paws, there is little chance he will leave them alone. All the licking, biting, and chewing! It can drive anyone crazy.  So what exactly are those red bumps on dogs paws?

There are a few reasons why your dog may be getting red bumps on or between his toes.

Virtual veterinarians are available! Schedule a virtual vet appointment

Interdigital Cysts in Dogs

One common cause for red bumps on dog paws or between toes is interdigital cysts, also called pododermatitis, or interdigital furunculosis. These cysts can present as red raised bumps which may be oozing in between the toes. Interdigital cysts sometimes require antibiotics or foot soaks to heal, so it is important to contact a veterinarian if you notice them. These bumps can also be irritating and painful when walking and pressure is applied to the area.  

Interdigital cysts are particularly prevalent in certain breeds, such as bully breeds. They are also common in dogs who are overweight and dogs with allergies. 

Red Bumps Due to Trauma or a Foreign Body

senior dog in woods

Red bumps between a dog’s toes may also be caused by trauma to the area or an embedded foreign object, such as a thorn.

Dogs often get plant material (grass awns, thorns, and stickers) in these areas that penetrate through the skin and can cause a bump, granuloma, or an abscess to form.  

Another thing that can present in these areas, often on top of the toes and not between them, are benign or malignant masses. It’s always important to have a veterinarian assess your dog’s paws if they appear irritated, swollen, or painful!

Schedule a virtual veterinary appointment today

Preventing Dog Paw Irritation and Issues

  • Avoid walking your dog in heavily weeded areas.
  • Check your dog’s paws daily for foreign objects (such as thorns) or bumps.
  • If your dog has sensitive skin, be diligent about keeping them on their anti-allergen medications and regimens.
  • If a dog’s paw seems painful, swollen, or has oozing red bumps, please contact a veterinarian right away.

Share this post: