Research on How to Relieve Pain in Dogs

Pododermatitis or podofurunkulosis (PD/PF) in dogs is a painful inflammatory paw condition. Maren Dölle, European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology, Detlef Apelt, veterinarian at AniCura Tierärztliche Spezialisten Hamburg, received funding from the AniCura Research Fund for their project on Pododermatitis or Podofurunkulosis.

In the AniCura Tierärztliche Spezialisten Hamburg referral clinic for dermatology, patients with the above-mentioned disease are common. The project managers, Maren and Detlef, share their experiences from the project:

Why did you want to do this research and what was your hypothesis?
- We hypothesized that paw pressure distribution of fore- or hindlimbs will normalize in dogs with PD/PF after removing the diseased skin by utilizing a novel laser surgery technique. The main goal is to relieve pain in chronic cases where conservative treatment is no longer effective and quantify the outcome and efficacy of our surgical technique.

How is the project advancing, any results you can share and have you reached any conclusions?
- We established a model for repeated measurement of paw pressure by using digital and metacarpal or metatarsal pads. So far, the pressure mapping data outlines an asymmetry in weight-bearing between the affected and the healthy leg. Pressure distribution of the diseased paw shows a shift away from the painful site, for instance, from medial to the paw’s lateral compartment.

How will the results impact patients?
- Pressure mapping of the paw will help us diagnose and monitor patients with sore paw conditions that require treatment. Patients receiving medical or surgical treatment can be objectively monitored for clinical improvement. Our new surgery-technique will hopefully bring a long-term cure for PD/PF affected patients, with improved wellbeing.

What has it meant for you and the project to be granted money by the AniCura Research Fund?
Getting selected and receiving a grant for our clinical project is a great honour and gives our team the opportunity to progress in our treatment options and improve our knowledge. Publishing our findings and results will help other clinicians to participate from our experiences and contribute to better treatment options for future patients.



Maren Dölle, European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology and practice manager, AniCura Hamburg, Germany.


Detlef Apelt, veterinarian, AniCura Hamburg, Germany.