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Dr.Kris, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 112
Experience:  Small Animal/Avian/Exotic Veterinarian for 16 years
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Our dogs right first toe is red and swollen at the base of

Customer Question

Our dog's right first toe is red and swollen at the base of his fingernail. Looks like a human paronychia. He keeps licking it, walks normally, mildly tender. Best treatment? He is a schnoodle, 20 pounds, 3 years old. Very healthy.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Kris replied 8 years ago.



If the swelling and redness is at the base of the nail, it is likely that there has been some trauma to the nailbed and possible infection. If the nail is cracked or loose, I would recommend removing the nail and placing your dog on an anti-inflammatory medication +/- an antibiotic. If the nail is firmly attached, I would use the anti-inflammatory medication and possibly an antibiotic if I suspect infection.

If the nail looks at all deformed, I would recommend a radiograph of the toe to rule out any problem (infection, tumor) with the bone itself. This would be unlikely.

Until you are able to take him in to your vet, it may help to soak his paw in water and Epsom salts. This will help draw out any infection and swelling and may give him some relief. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your furry friend!


Dr. Kris

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
His nail is firmly attached, no evidence of cracking or trauma. We'll try the Epsom salts, for how long and how many days?. Do you think a topical antibiotic would help? How much ibuprofen per kg could we try? Thanks!
Expert:  Dr.Kris replied 8 years ago.



I would try soaking for about 5 minutes at a time twice a day. I don't think a topical antibiotic will do much to help.

DO NOT give him ibuprofen!!!!! This is toxic to dogs and will cause kidney failure. You can try buffered aspirin, (about 1/2 of an adult 325mg tablet) every 12 hours for 3 days. If the swelling and redness doesn't improve significantly, then you will want to have your veterinarian evaluate him.


Dr. Kris

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