Dogs and Nail Disorders

Dogs and Nail Disorders

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The nail bed or nail disorders in canines are terms given to any disease or abnormality which affects the dog's claw or the immediate area surrounding it. The medical name for such a condition is dystrophy. One infection termed paronychia, results in inflammation around the claw or nail. There could be onychomycosis or fungal infections encircling the nail bed.ย  Canines may suffer from onychorrhexis or extremely brittle nails. The nails could chip, slough, or peel away too- a condition known as onychomadesis. A majority of nail bed or nail disorders can be treated in a comparatively shorter time. The treatment of prognosis is excellent in such cases.

Signs and diagnosis

A few signs are observed in a dog suffering from nail bed or its nail disorders. It includes licking at paws or lameness. The dog will have difficulty walking. The canine's feet will be in pain. There will be redness or swelling of tissues which are found surrounding the nails. The nail plate could be deformed. This is the component of the nail which overlays the animal's nail bed. The color of the nail will also be an abnormal one.

Your dog can suffer from nail disorders due to many reasons like infection, cancer or tumor, immune system, congenital (present during birth) disorders, fungus or bacteria, trauma, excessive growth hormone levels, or cutting nails too near to nail bed. If you find that the nail bed of your dog has suffered an injury, check to verify whether only one nail is being affected. In case, the condition has affected many nails; the cause could be a serious underlying disorder. Scrape the skin to find out what kind of skin condition your dog has. Send the fungal or bacterial culture to the laboratory for more detailed analysis as well.


The treatment of such disorders will depend on the specific underlying medical condition which causes the nail bed or nail complication. In case of inflammation in the nail area, the nail plate could be surgically removed. This is a must to drain the underlying tissue. Antimicrobial and antibiotic soaks are given to reduce or prevent inflammation. This will also bolster the healing process. If this condition is linked to a fungal or bacterial infection, then you should administer ointments or topical treatments to the affected area. It is observed, that in a majority of cases, the application of an ointment or the topical treatment clears up the majority of the nail issues. It is essential that you monitor your dog's progress as the animal recovers. Do consult your veterinarian if the healing process is slower than the standard rate. When you clip your dog's nails, do not cut it too near to the canine's nail bed. If the cut is too near, then the vein could be reduced, exposing the dog to infection.

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