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My 18 yr old cat has a badly split nail that has been

causing her to limp for...
My 18 yr old cat has a badly split nail that has been causing her to limp for some time. We took her to the vet initially and the vet thought she had just torn it and it would heal but it’s been more than a month since then. It looks slightly yellow and crusty so I wonder if there might be an underlying issue.
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/10/2018
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

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Does she have any other nails on other feet with the similar signs?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
There is only one bad one although I took some pics of a couple. There also seems to be callouses on the pads. One is quite bad

That does look worse than just a typical injury. I wonder if there is some type of auto-immune process going on. The only way to diagnose that is with a biopsy sample. If the foot is still painful, it may make the most sense to just amputate that toe. It would be like doing a single toe declaw. That would remove the painful digit and also resolve the issue in case of some type of tumor present.

If you do amputate the toe, I would biopsy it to rule out auto-immune or cancer.

The other option would be a week of antibiotics and pain meds and see if that resolves it. I would go with Clindamycin that gets to bones/ joints as an antibiotic. I would use Onsior or Meloxicam or Gabapentin as a pain med.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks for that. I will discuss further action with my vet. Removal of the toe does seem extreme so I imagine we will try treatment first

You're welcome. Sounds like a plan.

Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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