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What’s Going on with Brittle Dog Nails?

pair of white dog paws -pad side pointed towards camera- on a wooden surface

One of the most frequent nail issues in pet dogs is dry and brittle nails. Brittle nails are caused by a disease known as ‘onychorrhexis,’ commonly seen in dogs. Your tiny companion suffers significantly from this issue as they place their body weight on their paws and nails.

Most of the time, you’ll notice the nails breaking readily during cutting or sloughing while grooming. While breaking nails might be linked to your dog’s active lifestyle, which includes digging holes and scratching posts, brittle nails in dogs are typically a symptom of specific nail or nail bed problems caused by infection, illness, or damage to the nails.

What Causes Brittle Nails in Dogs?

Tan dog paw laying in persons hand, isolated on a white surface

Some of the reasons for brittle nails in dogs are as follows!

Brittleness Because of Long Nails: If your dog’s nails aren’t trimmed regularly, they can grow brittle and cause severe damage during exercise or other activities. Clipping your puppy’s nails should be done with caution since it might cause injury, discomfort, pain, or infection to its veins and skin.

Fungal Infection: Onychomycosis is a word that refers to a fungal infection in the claw folds or around the nail bed. The illness is distinguished by the dog’s frequent licking of its paws, brittle nails, and swelling in the feet.

A skin scraping may be required to detect a fungal infection. Certain medications used to weaken her immune system might be the source of her fungal infections. Antifungal medicine has been recommended to treat the problem.

Other signs of nail infections or illnesses affecting the nails include paw licking, lameness, foot discomfort, edema and inflammation of the surrounding tissues, and aberrant nail color. In certain situations, the problem may be evident if you observe your dog limping.

persons hand holding up a white dog paw to show a broken nail.

Injury or Physical Trauma: Injuries to the nails can be uncomfortable for dogs, especially those with long nails. Untrimmed nails in dogs can split or break during extreme exercise or activity and when the dog is unfamiliar with walking on a hard surface. Regular nail clipping using specifically designed nail trimmers is critical to the health and well-being of your dog.

Yeast Infection in Dogs: Canine yeast infection is caused by Candida albicans yeast, which lives in your pet’s body and consumes sugar and lipids to flourish and develop. They harm the immune system, mouth, nose, ears, and gastrointestinal and vaginal systems of dogs, producing health issues.

Allergies, vaginal and bladder infections, and skin problems are just a few examples. While a healthy dog with an intact immune system may fight off the sickness, a dog with a very weak immune system may experience a variety of health issues. In addition to brittle and dry nails, yeast infections in dogs can cause allergies, constipation, ear infections, itching, skin rashes, and various other canine health issues.

end view of the nails of a black and tan dog. All the nails are chipped or broken

Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy: This immune-mediated illness causes dogs’ nails to become dry and brittle. The illness is caused by an overactive immune system, which damages the nails and nail beds. This, in turn, leads to nail splitting and breaking, which never heals. As a result, you may ultimately notice the disappearance of claws from all paws.

 Other Lupoid Onychodystrophy symptoms include twisted claws, aching paws, secondary infection, and lameness. A biopsy of a claw is required to diagnose the illness. Once the veterinarian has made a precise diagnosis, therapy would involve essential fatty acids (EFA) supplements such as fish oil, vitamin A treatment, and antibiotic treatment with tetracycline and niacinamide.

In some situations, removing claws may be essential to relieve discomfort. Rottweilers and greyhounds are the dog breeds most vulnerable to the illness.

Nail Bed Tumors іn Dogs: Dog nail bed tumors damage the nail matrix, which contains nerves, blood arteries, and melanin-producing cells. In addition to brittle nails, these tumors induce tumor-like development on the nail bed, limping, bleeding, and ulcerations.

Because they are readily mistaken with bone inflammation or nail infections, cytology and tissue biopsy are utilized to diagnose the disease. The therapy for malignant development is amputation of the digits to prevent the tumor from recurring.

Beagle holding silver bowl between front paws on wooden floor

Inadequate Nutrition: Just like humans, dogs require a well-balanced diet to be healthy from head to toe.

If a dog is not fed high-quality dog food, he may suffer from poor nutrition, resulting in brittle nails, a dull coat, dry or oily skin, and other problems.

Inadequate nutrition can also result from a dog’s inability to absorb nutrients due to food intolerance.

Take your dog for an examination to the veterinarian for upset your stomach, fragile nails, dull robe, or a combination of these symptoms.

Rough Play: Dogs’ nails are frequently broken as a result of rough play. The perfect recipe for cracked or broken nails is created when hard play is combined with growing nails.

Sadly, you can’t do much more than keep your dog’s nails as quick as possible.

Brittle Nails Are More Than Just Annoying:

Dog paw being wrapped in blue guaze.

Brittle nails are more than simply a nuisance.

They can be caused by anything from a lack of nutrients to malignancies in the nail bed. If your dog’s nails are brittle, cracked, or otherwise abnormal, take him to the doctor right once.

Your veterinarian will assist you in relieving the pain associated with brittle nails and determining the source of the problem.

Dog Nail Remedy for Brittle Nails:

Human hand holding nail clippers to dog's nail to trim it.

Here are some home treatments for brittle nails in dogs that will undoubtedly improve their health:

  1. Proper Nail Trimming: To avoid unpleasant conditions such as brittle nails, it is essential to trim your dog’s nails regularly. When its nails come into contact with the earth, it is time to trim its nails. Always use a high-quality professional clipper and be forceful when doing this process.
  • A Well-balanced Diet: Vitamin E, gelatin, biotin, zinc, and fatty acids, as well as other nutrients, must be included in dog food. If you prepare your hound’s food at home, it must be vet-approved to provide a balanced diet.
  • Walks on Rough Terrain: You may prevent your dogs’ nails from brittleness by taking them for extended walks on sidewalks, which will naturally cut their nails. It’s ideal for dogs that dislike having their nails trimmed.

To some extent, the treatments listed above will assist you in preventing brittle nails in your dog. It is advisable that you discuss future therapy with your veterinarian!

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brown dog laying down on a bed covered with a blanket with head across its paw.

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