How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Drew Your Own Question
Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16844
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
6340741
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Drew is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My elderly dog is losing his toenails. He has lost two, and

Resolved Question:

My elderly dog is losing his toenails. He has lost two, and is now limping and I suspect is going through the pain of losing another. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question about Gizmo. Is there any swelling of the skin at the base of the nails, before they fall off? Are the nails brittle, or mis-shapen?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just looked - I don't believe so - they look normal
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
OK, thanks for the reply. In many dogs who lose toenails, there is either an infection of the nail bed, or a cancer of the nail bed. A biopsy obtained by amputating a toe is often the only way to diagnose such an issue, so certainly there are cases where we just try to treat the symptoms.

A fatty acid supplement such as flaxseed oil or salmon oil, given daily in the food, might help to improve nail strength somewhat. There are also some prescription medicines that could help, such as Niacinamide, and Tetracycline. It would be best for Gizmo to be seen by a veterinarian, so that an assessment of his overall health can be made, since some underlying issues such as organ disease or cancer can sometimes lead to weak nails.
Dr. Drew and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

Related Dog Veterinary Questions