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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4695
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My issue is regarding my dog's nails. She has a mixture of

Customer Question

My name is ***** ***** my issue is regarding my dog's nails. She has a mixture of naturally black and white nails, I recently noticed that her white ones have started growing a brown thin peel and now is shedding said brown peel. She is sensitive, did not like me touching her nails but was not aggressive and allowed me to examine her
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She has not had any pain walking or running, she's been acting like her regular self No weird urine or stool or emesis
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Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 9 months ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

This could reflect a problem such as infection. The most common infection that leads to yellow and brown discoloration to the nails is a yeast infection. However, in dogs with this problem the dog tends to lick the nails a lot. The discoloration usually starts at the base of the nail where it goes into the skin and may extend out a few millimeters. I cannot say peeling is usually associated with this. If she is having a lot of licking of her paws, then I recommend you have your veterinarian check her nails and paws for a yeast infection. This will require a skin scraping to look for the yeast.

If this discoloration is not very dark in color but tan and the peeling involves the entire nail, then this becomes more suspicious to be an immune-mediated disorder called lupoid onychodystrophy. This is not a common problem and is highly difficult to contend with. It starts with the peeling and then progresses to the nails becoming brittle and cracking. At the point the nails break/crack they are quite painful. This can be diagnosed by your veterinarian doing a biopsy, but this is not necessary if the nail look to your veterinarian to be lupoid onychodystrophy. Treatment is very difficult. There is not a clear cut easy therapy for this. These patients must be started on high doses of omega-3 fatty acid (such as 180mg per 10 lbs of body weight) as a starting point. Some respond to a combination of tetracycline (or doxycycline) and niacinamide. This does not respond to oral corticosteroids. There are other drugs that can help.

Overall, if this is a progressive problem, and especially if the nails being to crack and be brittle, then she is going to need an exam by her veterinarian to work through this issue.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She does lick her paws and I noticed some redness in between her nails like in the webbing of skin between her toes
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 9 months ago.

Well, this may be optimistic, then. She may have a paw infection that is also affecting her naileds. The quickest way to diagnose and resolve this is to see her veterinarian. However, in the meantime you could safely do paw baths with an antifngal shampoo such as Nizoral Shampoo made for people. For a paw bath, you do not have her in standing water but get the paws wet. Lather well with shampoo and then let the shampoo remain in contact with her paws for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse and towel dry.

Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit our chat.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the peeling of her nails is common of nail bed infections? She has also been scratching at one of her ears a lot and she's had a yeast infection in her ears before
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 9 months ago.

As I mentioned above, this is not common. But it can occur.

She certainly may have an ear infection as well. However, there is no over-the-counter easy solution for an ear infection; this really needs prescription medication to clear.