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Ask Dr. Scarlett Your Own Question
Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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My dogs nails keep falling off. It started about a month ago,

Customer Question

My dog's nails keep falling off. It started about a month ago, when she split one of her nails as she jumped out of the bathtub, after having her wash. I took her to the vet when this happend, and about a week after that she had split another nail, and I took her to the vet again. They pulled it out, and gave her a shot of antibiotics, and said nothing else about it. Since then her nails keep splitting and falling off, one by one. There is no apparent pain visible, and there is no bleeding. I havent taken her back to the vet yet as it doesnt look like its bothering her too much, but now she has broken the quick of her nail, and she seems to be in pain, what should I do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 6 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Scarlett :

Hi

Customer :

hello.

Dr. Scarlett :

Sorry to hear about Nina's nails--something doesn't sound right with them. Are they particularly long? Do they seem soft or malformed? Which antibiotics did your vet prescribe and did they help? What diet does she eat? Any other problems?

Customer :

She eats jus plain dry food/dog bicuits, they do look quite long, but the vet told me that they are fine.

Customer :

the vet didnt prescibe antibiotics, she gave her an injection but i dont know the name.

Customer :

i feed her 1000mg of cod liver oil a day, and 1000mg of glucosamine as she has an elbow problem.

Dr. Scarlett :

I would be concerned that your dog may have a fungal infection (although those tend to involve just one or two toes, not all of them).

Dr. Scarlett :

There is also a disease called lupoid onchodystrophy, which is a type of auto-immune disease.

Dr. Scarlett :

It might be worth having your vet take another look with that differential in mind. It is generally treated with steroids, pentoxyfiline, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and vitamin E.

Dr. Scarlett :

Labs and Rottweilers are prone to this problem!

Customer :

oh ok.

Customer :

i have read about SLO, but did not know how to solve it.

Customer :

the quick of one of her nails has snapped in two.

Dr. Scarlett :

If the quick of her nail is exposed, that is painful. With a "typical" broken toenail, I cut back the nail to behind the fracture, cauterize any bleeding vessels, and bandage the toe. If Nina's toenail is already gone, then I would just bandage it to help protect the quick for a few days.

Customer :

but the vet is closed now, what should i do?

Dr. Scarlett :

I would put some sort of protective bandage on that paw. If you don't have any bandage material, then even a tube sock over the paw and taped (not too tightly) around the ankle to keep it on will do the trick. If she is licking at the paw, then I would probably resort to placing an e-collar around her neck so she can't get to the paw.

Customer :

for the treatment of the lupoid, can i get what i need from a chemist, or should i take her to the vet?

Dr. Scarlett :

You will need to get a prescription from the vet for the steroids and pentoxyfiline. She should also be under your regular vet's care in case of any side effects to the medications and to monitor for clinical improvement.

Customer :

ok, will her nails grow back to the way they were?

Dr. Scarlett :

With proper treatment, they should grow in healthy. I need to exit this chat, but if you have any other questions, just reply and I'll be back on it a bit.