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"Libby" - Lurcher with Lupoid Onychodystrophy
Photo: Libby the lurcher

I am sure everyone has had at least once in their life time some damage on one of their nails. Remember the splinter that slipped under your nail, the hammer that smashed your thumb or just cracking on your nail which was slightly to long? Ouch, painful, wasn’t it?

Imagine that all your nails were damaged and painful..... sadly, that is what happened with Libby the Lurcher. She was presented with a very painful disease that affects all the nails called lupoid onychodystrophy. It is a not very well understood immune mediated condition that causes loosening and shedding of all the nails. As long as the nails are attached, they cause continuous pain when walking.

So, when Libby arrived at the vets, we decided to remove all the loose nails. Several diagnostic tests were performed to exclude other possible causes of nail shedding and, once we had the correct diagnosis, Libby was promptly put onto specific medication.

Antibiotics were prescribed to treat secondary infection and also anti-inflammatories for pain relief. We know that it can take 4 to 6 months before the nails look back to normal so some patience was warranted.

Before finally achieving a satisfying response in Libby’s condition, we had to adjust the medication regime a few times. After several months of daily pedicures, foot baths and tender loving care Libby is doing extremely well. The nails are looking much better and more important; she can now lead a pain free life with just the occasional visit to the manicurist!

Michele Lampens MRCVS

Separation of the claw
from the inflamed claw bed.
New claws are very brittle.
All claws are involved.
One recently sloughed claw
next to three regrowing nails
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