Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Brittle nails in a dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Standard Poodle
Age: 11-15 years
My dog's nails seem to be chipping off and bleeding. He's not biting them. What is this a sign of and what can I do to strengthen his nails?
Thank you,
Stephen




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your dog is having a problem with brittle nails. This is not a common problem, but it can be a sign of a medical problem.

One problem could be something called lupoid onychodystrophy. You can see some images of lupoid oncychodystrophy here.

This is an immune mediated condition. It usually can be helped with medication but is a life long condition and can be quite serious.

There are other possibilities as well. Is it all 4 nails? Or just the front or back nails? If it is only happening on just the front feet, or just the back feet? If so, then I would be wondering if there is a neurological condition such as a back injury or other nerve injury. This can cause a dog to scuff the top of their nails as they walk.

There are some drug reactions that can cause a condition called vasculitis that can cause the nails to be brittle. These are rare though.

In theory, a bacterial or fungal infection could do this, but I can only think of one case in 15 years where I saw this.

There are some dogs that can have brittle nails because of a zinc deficiency. If this is the case then a zinc supplement could possibly help. But, you have to be careful with this because zinc can cause intestinal upset in dogs.

I would highly recommend having your vet examine your dog's nails. I don't think that this is a simple thing that can be treated at home. If your vet suspects an infection then they will likely start him on medication (either an antibiotic or antifungal). But, they may need to do other tests. They may start by culturing the area to look for bacteria or yeast. Or, they may have to do a biopsy which is the way to diagnose an immune mediated problem.

If you do get a diagnosis, please come back and update us with what the vet found.

Dr. Marie.


Do you have a pet website? Interested in learning more about SEO for Wix?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Dog vomiting clear mucus and white foam. My dog continues to throw up a clear mucus with white foam. He is still very... (20382 views)

13 year old cat losing weight. I have a 13 yr old male cat that has gradually started to lose weight. He has had... (10483 views)

Guinea pig jumping out of my arms. I have had my very young (baby/toddler equivalent)guinea pig for about three weeks.... (6884 views)

Arthritis medicines for cats. Please tell me what you use for daily dose meloxicam for 12 pound 15 yr old cat.... (7818 views)

Good appetite in blind deaf cat. my cat is over 15 years old she is partially blind and deaf she misses her litterbox... (8764 views)

Crusty ears on stray cat. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. There is a small stray cat I... (11998 views)

How much should a dog sleep? I am curious to know how much sleep is normal for an older dog. He is a small breed... (8422 views)

Did I make the right decision? Hello, I guess my question isn't so much of a question but more of a plea for... (43751 views)

Interstitial cystitis? Charlotte is constantly squatting as if she has to go, but nothing is coming out. I... (11156 views)

Does my cat have cancer? Dear Dr. Marie, Greetings from Singapore! This is my 3rd time writing to... (17301 views)

See all questions...

Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.