Your poor pup has interdigital cysts, so you’re wondering if you can use apple cider vinegar to treat it. Below you will find the information you need on whether or not you should use apple cider vinegar for interdigital cysts, also known as interdigital furunculosis.
Let’s tackle one of the most important questions first about apple cider vinegar.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Dogs?
Yes, apple cider vinegar is safe for dogs. It can be used topically and ingested orally.
Now that you know apple cider vinegar is safe for dogs, let’s dive into whether or not you can use apple cider vinegar for interdigital cysts.
Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Interdigital Cysts?
No, you should not use apple cider vinegar for interdigital cysts. Apple cider vinegar is not effective in treating interdigital cysts because it doesn’t cure bacterial infections.
How You Can Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Interdigital Cysts
While apple cider vinegar will not treat interdigital cysts, it can clean the affected area. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties restrict the growth of bacteria such as yeast, staph, and E.coli.
Apple cider vinegar can also relieve skin irritation and itchiness, which is a symptom of interdigital cysts.
CBD oil can also be used to relieve the irritation of skin conditions like interdigital cysts. Learn more here: CBD Oil for Dog Allergies
When considering apple cider vinegar for interdigital cysts, know that it’s simply a way to clean and manage symptoms. It’s not the best treatment for the infection.
How to Treat Interdigital Cysts
Interdigital cysts are caused by deep infections. The only way to treat them is with antibiotics prescribed by your vet.
Contact your vet immediately if your dog has interdigital cysts because trying to treat them at home could cause the infection to worsen.
The vet may refer you to a veterinary dermatologist or take a skin biopsy or bacterial culture him/herself if possible. This skin biopsy or bacterial culture can identify whether your dog is suffering from the condition.
The vet will likely prescribe a combination of oral antibiotics and topical formula to cure your dog’s cysts.
Epsom Salt for Interdigital Cysts
Some people recommend bathing a dog in a bath with Epsom salts because it draws out the foreign bodies causing the infection. While this can be part of a treatment plan for the cysts, it should not be the only treatment for them. Speak to your vet about using Epson salts in warm water for your dog.
The Causes of Interdigital Cysts / Interdigital Furunculosis
Interdigital cysts are bacterial infections between a dog’s toes. One of the most obvious signs of it is redness and irritation between the dog’s toes. Most dog owners also notice their pup licking in between their toes excessively.
The most common cause of interdigital furuncles is hair coat. Dogs with short or coarse hair coats often suffer from interdigital furuncles.
Breeds that suffer the most from this fungal infection are:
Dog’s Paw Shape
Dogs with wide paws are also most susceptible to interdigital furuncles. Their poor foot conformation causes them to bear weight on the skin between the pads leading to fungal infections.
Breeds with wide paws include:
- Labrador Retrievers
- English Bulldogs
- German Shepherds
Overweight dogs are most likely to suffer from deep infections between their paws because of the weight that is put on the skin between the toes.
Joint Problems or Arthritis
Dogs suffering from joint problems or arthritis have a difficult time walking, which may make them walk awkwardly. This can cause them to put more pressure on the skin in between the toes or parts of the paw.
Irritation on a dog’s paw can cause him/her to lick, which then leads to ruptured parts of the paw. This can then cause foreign bodies to enter, which results in an infection.
Environmental allergies and even food allergies can cause irritation on the paws as well as other parts of the body such as the dog’s legs, body, ears, etc.
If your pup suffers from food allergies, you may want to consider a fresh raw dog food diet.
How to Prevent Interdigital Cysts
Understanding the underlying cause of the fungal infection can help prevent it. For instance, decreasing the chances of suffering from allergies, losing weight, and ensuring your dog’s paws are well cared for can keep the condition from appearing repeatedly.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
Apple cider vinegar is a good idea to have if you’re a dog owner, even though you may not be able to use it to treat interdigital cysts.
As mentioned above, ACV relieves itchy skin caused by many skin conditions such as dry skin, yeast infections, Demodex mites, atopic dermatitis, and environmental allergies.
All dog owners have to do is make a 50/50 solution of ACV and water. Apply the solution to the skin twice a day.
Using a Q-tip dipped in the solution on the outside of the ear is a good way to clean it. Do not go into the ear and if an ear infection is suspected, contact the veterinarian.
Flea and Tick Treatment
Just because you can’t use apple cider vinegar for interdigital cysts, you can use it for fleas and ticks.
Use the same AVC solution identified above in a spray bottle and spray down your pup with fleas or ticks.
Dogs can take an oral supplement of ACV as a natural flea or tick preventative. Add about a tablespoon of ACV to water or food for every 50 pounds your pup weighs to keep those critters at bay.
Dogs suffering from diabetes may not need as much insulin if they receive a daily supplement of ACV. Studies show ACV helps reduce blood sugar levels in dogs.
CBD can also help manage diabetes in dogs. Learn more here: CBD for Diabetes in Dogs
Heart Attack Risk
ACV can lower high blood pressure and improve heart health in dogs due to the acetic acid.
Urinary Tract Infections
Research continues but some studies have revealed that ACV can reduce inflammation caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Apple Cider Vinegar for Interdigital Cysts
Apple cider vinegar is not a treatment for interdigital cysts. Instead, it can help keep the area clean and relieve the itchiness commonly associated with the infection.
Dog owners should first contact their vet for recommendations on treatment for the cysts, and then implement and at-home remedies.
Side Note: If this is a regular occurrence, you may want to consider dog insurance to help with the costs of treatment.