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Alright guys, it has been a while since the last time I posted here but have always lurked on the threads. Now I come to posting because I am so unsure of what is going on to my girl (Athena). She has reached the fine age of 8 years old or more (she is a rescue) and has been a good girl and relatively healthy. Lately though I have noticed the oddest thing happening to her nails as of lately. Now before I go on with my story, I want to put out there that I did go to the vet and I'm doing all he told me to do atm. All I want is some educated guesses and advice.

This is going to be long......

Alright now to begin, it started off about two weeks ago when she lost a nail. Like literally the whole shell was gone and all was left was her quick. Now, I didn't think much of it. Just more like, okay lets make sure it doesn't get infected and put it off as a one time thing.

Fast forward from that first nail lose to about a few days ago. I noticed an increase in licking of her paws and it wasn't localized in one area only, all four paws were getting licked. So I go ahead and check the paws, I see no noticeable reason for that behavior so I try the preventative measure to keep her from licking herself excessively (because I know that can create more problems than necessary). And that was going on all weekend, come Monday morning I come back from dropping my little bros at school. Again, I see her licking herself excessively. So I go ahead and take a peak to try and figure out what in the world is going on with her paws, because this is not a normal behavior for her. I look it over again and just can't tell what is going on, so I'm like, you know what your nails are looking a little long lets clip them a little.

So I proceed to cut them like I normally do, now mind you her nails are tough and I have to put effort into cutting. But you know what, her nails were EASY to cut. To the point that i cut all the way to the quick. I became really confused and concerned, and I grabbed a flash light to shine on her nails. To find out that not only that nails is soft and loose but the others were looking bad. Looking from the top they didn't seem so bad but when looking from the bottom I see a ton of concerning things. For example there was blood on some of them, some looked hollow inside, some looked soft and wet.

So my first thought is to take her to the vet asap and I do. I get to the vet and what sucks is that it wasn't even my regular vet, he was out for a couple of days and someone was covering for him. So I proceed to tell him what is going on and what my concerns are. He goes on that it was probably just her food (she has been on for the past 2 years, it is the one from Costo - Natures Domain) *while I know it isn't the best of the best, it was good enough for financial reasons* Anyways, so he goes on that it was food and to change it, ok.... I can do that, then he gave me antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin) and a foot dunking solution. I told him I was planning on going to Victor as her diet change and from that he went on about how it was a fad the holistic approach and the raw diet is also not so good and that I should go for something like science diet, eukeneba?, Iams, etc etc......

Whatever, so I get home and try my best to start on antibiotics and foot dunking solution and put her on an ecollar. That night, I get home from work and I checked her paws. And low and behold she lost her dew claw nail exposing her quick. Now fast forward to now as I keep up with the meds and start trying to switch her diet to victor, since I already bought the bag. She has lost another nail, this time her back paw and it was the same paw as her first nail has fallen off.

Now I feel powerless as I watch her lose nails and so I try to do my research online like always. And I am seriously thinking that she may have Symmetric Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) but that is just a self diagnosis and I am planning on taking her back to the vet and my regular one should be there.

I will attach pictures and feel free to give out an educated guess on what is going on, because something is wrong with her that is for sure.

Thanks
 

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Yikes! That looks painful. It looks fungal to me, not bacterial. I am not a doctor, though. If I were in your position, I would do a tepid sea salt or epsom salt soak, if the dog would stand for it. Twice daily until resolved.

Hopefully someone who has more experience than me will comment.
 

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Sounds like what happened to my friend’s GSD. Yes it was SLO. She ended up losing all her nails, and it was definitely painful for her. The vet was stumped, but I did some research on it and found a treatment plan. It took some time, but her toes have healed up and her nails look semi normal again.

I believe she was in doxycycline for awhile, and fish oil everyday. The fish oil is VERY important. Let me see if I can find my notes on it.
 

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SLO info

Fish Oil:
It is such an important part of the treatment and a lot of us think it is the "magic bullet" in the treatment of this disease. *The dose is 180 mg of EPA per 10 pds. of dog per day. *Make sure you look specifically at the EPA content and not the total milligrams of the capsule. * For larger dogs, many here use triple strength fish oil capsules so less pills have to be given per day.**Also, it is best to start out slowly on the fish oil *to acclimate their system so they don't get "the runs". *


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Niacinamide or Nicotinamide (B3) is known to be an anti-inflammatory on it own. *We pair it with the cycline drug because they are thought to work better together but it does have a positive role in reducing inflammation on its own.

——> OR USE Pentoxyfilline instead of the cycline/niacinamide combo
 

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Oh, don’t discontinue the fish oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright, she needed to get fish oil in her diet anyway. I was giving her fish oil for a bit but don't remember exactly why i stopped in the first place but definitely something to start her on again. And definitely take her back to the vet for the other medications.

It could be fungal and thankfully the vet did give me something to treat it if it was that. He gave me that foot dunking solution that kills off any fungal stuff and bacteria (the name of it is Chlorex Solution). And it seems to have helped with her itching too, so at least that is good.

Hopefully she doesn't keep losing anymore nails and she gets better. Time will only tell...

Thank you so far!
 

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If you do the fish oil, make sure you get the one recommended. The amount of EPA is key!
 
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