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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2474
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My dogs toenails are turning dark at the base and also his

Customer Question

my dogs toenails are turning dark at the base and also his skin seems darker on his feet as well. He's a white dog so it looks like he's wearing boots. Help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Coley's feet. I'm so sorry he's having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
By far the most common thing to cause this to happen is that Coley's feet are being exposed to some kind of irritant. Skin response to chronic irritation and inflammation by turning darker. This can certainly affect the skin and base of the nails, as well as anywhere else on the body. Sometimes it's the result of exposure to some outside irritant; sometimes it's from the dog himself licking a lot. Eliminating exposure to whatever is irritating the skin is how to fix this problem, although it may take some time.
It's important to note that once the skin is irritated and unhealthy, secondary opportunistic infections can develop. These infections can be bacterial or fungal, and your vet can make this diagnosis. If a secondary infection is also present, your vet can prescribe the necessary treatment to make the problem go away.
While bathing him is not likely to make the dark color go away (you are correct) it can help to remove any irritating substance. So bathing is still a good start.
Yes, urine is irritating enough to cause this kind of problem. But he would have to leave his feet soaking in it for a long time.
One final consideration is that this may be due to allergies. Dogs with allergies can lick their feet so much that they become discolored.
I hope this information helps.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I'm just checking in to ask if you have any additional questions after reviewing the information I provided above. I want to be as helpful as possible.
Thank you.