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Posted on 10-19-2012

All of your pets have nails and we know how hard it can be to trim them at home. Most pets strongly dislike having them clipped at all. Well, it becomes more difficult to do when there is an inherent problem with the nails or nail beds. Some of these issues are: nail bed inflammation, fungal infection of the nail, brittleness of the nails, sloughing of the nail or deformity caused by abnormal growth of the nail. All pets can have this occur. There is no specific breed, sex or genus that is predisposed.

Some signs to look for are lameness, redness or swelling at the base of the nail, pain in and around the toe and deformity or sloughing of the nails. There are some diseases that can promote these issues such as bacterial infections, immune-mediated disorders, trauma to the nail or attached digit, lack of blood supply, cancer, feline hyperthyroidism, zinc-responsive dermatosis or congenital malformations (meaning animals were born with a malformation).

Treatments for these conditions can include the following depending on the specific problem. Antibacterial foot and digit soaks, surgical removal of the affected nail, removal of splintered nails, antifungal soaks and in rare cases amputation of the affected digit.

It is a good idea to keep your pet’s nails trimmed, as well. If you want to have your pets paws examined, get their nails trimmed or have any questions regarding any of these conditions, please contact us at Eagle Animal Hospital.

 Written by Amy Poole, veterinary technician

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