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Sailor's Mom

by Andrea
(Boston, MA)

Hi! I have a 13yr old Jack Russell who has always been healthy. Yesterday, it appeared that he cut his back left paw/nail area. He bled quite a bit. Today, our vet removed the entire nail and said it would not grow back. Sailor has a slight fever and infection. What worries me is that the vet did not see a clear sign of trauma to the claw. He said loss of nails can sometimes be a sign of cancer. I could not find any evidence of this online. Does anyone have any experience with this situation? I hope it is just an injury and nothing more sinister.

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Feb 17, 2014
Jack with nail removed
by: Jane

So sorry your Jack has had to go through this! I'm wondering if an infection happened first in the nail bed which could have caused the fever.....which is what happened to my Jack. I was told that the nail usually grows back. I was told that sometimes an infection is difficult to clear and that in turn can settle into the bone. I think you need to be very careful about not letting moisture into that area. The vet felt there was a very very small chance it could also be squamous cell carninoma. Short, coated dogs that spend a long time outdoors, also have a higher incidence of squamous cell carcinoma. And loss of a nail bed can be a sign of this. A friend told me to ask about getting an xray, which I plan on doing, because it can show bone destruction. She also told me she gives her dog benedryl daily and epsom soaks for the paw. I plan on trying that as well. I'm hoping there is nothing serious going on with your pup and that it was just a fluke thing!

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