The other morning I woke up to a blood bath in my kitchen.
Turns out the blood bath was also in my family room but I didn’t realize that until I turned all the lights on in my house.
I knew it was coming from one of the dogs because if it would of been one of the kids I would of been awoken by the sound of panic.
Of course, given the circumstances, my first crazy thought was that Leroy was internally bleeding all over my house.
Hey. I was half asleep.
But when I looked at his happy little face and inspected his area I knew it wasn’t him.
Then I caught the sad little Sherman face sitting in the corner and I knew exactly what was going on.
Sherman had lost a nail.
On which paw he lost a nail was still to be determined but that didn’t take long because when he got up and took a few steps it was obvious it was the left front paw, digit 5 which would be the nail on the outside, furthest away from the dewclaw.
I was able to get the bleeding stopped with some clotting powder and then quickly put his bootie on so it would stay clotted.
I was even able to locate the nail to show you guys!!!
You can thank me later.
So why did Sherman lose a nail?
Sherman has a condition called SLO.
Short for Symmeterical Lupoid Onychodystrophy.
SLO is a condition that is considered to be an auto immune disease that affects the nails of dogs.
SLO can affect dogs differently.
Some dogs experiencing sloughing of the nail, split nails, receding quicks and separation of the nail from the quick.
Sherman’s nails tend to separate from the quick at the base of the nail.
1/2 of his quick is left attached, which is why the base is hollow but the other 1/2 of the quick is still in the tip of the nail.
Sherman’s condition was confirmed by a dermatologist and a culture of his nail. It was NOT confirmed by a biopsy of the toe because that would of been a partial amputation and Jenny don’t play that way with her dog’s toe. 🙂
I’ve written briefly about Sherman and SLO here.
When Sherman was first diagnosed with SLO he was losing at least a nail a month, one time he lost 3 nails in a week, and he was put on medication and supplements to help. His nails would split very bad and he would need to be sedated and have the nail cut back to the base. Now what happens is that the nail separates from the quick and the entire shell of the nail falls off leaving a little nub of the quick exposed. This happens maybe once a year so he longer takes any medication for the condition, except for Vitamin E and fish oil caps, otherwise we just manage it as needed.
This condition is not contagious or hereditary.
We’ve been dealing with this for so long we mostly just manage it at home but we will be watching for any signs of infection and keeping it clean and away from Sherman’s soothing licks by covering it with a bootie. It’s sore but not to the point that I think he needs any oral pain medication but I will using a numbing spray on it.
Sherman’s nail will eventually grow back. It won’t be a good looking nail but hopefully it will be a functioning nail.
This post made me blow the dust off of my memory about SLO and in doing so I realize that there is not a lot of information out there about the condition and some of the stories that are told are frightening.
There is no cure for SLO but in most cases it is a condition that can be managed under veterinarian supervision and most dogs, like Sherman, will have periods of remission. While the condition can be seen in any breed of dog it is often seen in greyhounds and GSD’s.
p.s. Sorry if I grossed some of you out with the nail but I thought it might be educational 🙂