Pet insurance companies call it a pre-existing condition. I call it pododermatitis.

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Canine Pododermatitis

Pododermatitis is a skin condition where the footpad becomes inflamed.


Many cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. However, there are many possible causes for pododermatitis:

  • Foreign objects that puncture the skin: grass, splinters of wood, thorns
  • Foreign objects that accumulate on the skin: tar, gravel, sand
  • Infections: bacteria, fungi
  • Hormonal disorders: hypothyroidism
  • Parasites
  • Cuts, bruises
  • Allergies
  • Drug reactions
  • Zinc-deficiency
  • Cancer
  • Immune disorders
  • Canine distemper virus


Pododermatitis can affect one or all of your dog's feet. The exact signs are dependant on the cause. Look out for:

  • Licking and biting feet
  • Lameness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Thickening of skin
  • Ulcers
  • Wounds
  • Hair loss on the feet


Effective treatment depends on the cause of inflammation.

Your veterinarian will:

  • Review medical history
  • Attempt to determine if your dog has been exposed to something that can cause pododermatitis

Your veterinarian may also perform some of the following tests:

  • Physical exam: for signs
  • Skin scrapings: for parasites
  • Biopsy: for lesions
  • X-rays: to check if the bone is problematic
  • Blood tests: to check for hormonal disorders
  • Bacterial and fungal cultures
  • Urinalysis


Veterinarian recommended treatment depends on the cause. Some examples:

Bacterial infection:

  • Antibiotics
  • Daily soak in salt water


  • Surgery
  • Daily soak in salt water


  • Grooming: cut excess hair from between the toes to prevent foreign objects from accumulating in the footpad
  • Environment change: move your pet between concrete and grass or between nylon carpets and wool carpets


Depending on the diagnosis, most dogs respond well to treatment and can enjoy normal lives.

Some dogs do not respond to treatment and have recurrences. Dogs with allergies or immune disorders may have recurring inflammations.

Among pet health plans, Pet Assure is the best value pet plan for your dog. It is the best pet insurance alternative and available for any type of pet. Pet Assure covers every medical condition, including pododermatitis, ear infections, skin allergies, skin infections, gastritis (vomiting), enteritis/diarrhea, arthritis, bladder infections, tumors and hypothyroidism. We're the cheap pet insurance alternative that covers every medical service, including routine visits, dental work, x-rays, laboratory work, vaccines, cremation, spay & neuter, hospitalization and emergency services. Compare pet insurance to us; whether you are looking for dog insurance or cat insurance, insurance for your pet is costly. Choose Pet Assure, the pet discount plan that more than pays for itself.
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