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Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.I'm sorry to hear about Tater's extra nail.Is the "nail" a true nail, as hard as his normal one and growing out of the nailbed on top of or under his normal nail?Or is it growing out of the pad itself and softer, almost like a human nail and sort of flaky?Please see these links to pictures of the second thing I am describing:1)http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w258/blambdin_album/Isis/IMG_9621.jpg2) http://www.groomers.net/discusalbum/messages/89/18619.jpgIf the second nail looks like a normal nail it could be secondary to trauma to his nail bed that caused the nail bed to split and thus led to 2 nails growing. Sometimes though the second nail grows because there is a tumor in the nailbed. These dogs will usually have a swollen toe, and may be uncomfortable. On radiographs we usually see changes in the bone of that toe. It is worth taking a radiograph if the second nail has been present for period of time because if this is related to a tumor metastases (spread of tumor cells) is possible and ideally that toes should be amputated before that occurs.If the "nail" is more of a flaky type nail, growing from his pad and not causing any swelling of the toe then it may be a keratin horn. These are usually benign and can simply be trimmed to keep them from breaking or catching or eventually removed, making sure to remove the base too, to permanently solve the problem.If this nail looks like a regular nail, growing out of her nailbed, I would want to take radiographs of that toe to look for bony changes which could indicate a nailbed tumor.As an aside there are some dog breeds (Great Pyrenees, Beaucerons) that have double nails on their dewclaws, and if he were a mix of one of these breeds this could be a cause, but then I would expect more then one foot to be affected.Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
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