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Slo...anyone Else Dealing With This?


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This started at the beginning of the month. A loss of a dew claw was chalked up to an injury in the yard, as was the loss of another nail on that foot. Mickey now has only one nail left on that foot, and only one foot left with all the nails. He just started on tetracycline a few days ago. Will he lose all the nails? He is also on fish oil, biotin, and vitamin E. I looked at the Grassmere site, and plan to look at the yahoo group. Does anyone keep boots or foot wraps on to protect remaining nails? Would if help? What about other symptoms? He is losing some hair and developed a weird scab on his side overnight! Any tips to get us through this? Thanks!

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For the last couple of years we have had trouble with Silver losing his nails. For us, it seems to come and go. He will go through of period of regularly losing his nails and then it seems to get better for awhile only to start again. I have spent a small fortune on vet bills for this issue. We just went through our latest round this spring. My vet said that it just happens in some old dogs (Silver is 11 and this probably started when he was 9). He hasn't lost his all his nails as your dog has - he seems to lose several and then it seems to stop.

<p>Kim and the hound - Rumor
Missing my angels Marlow, Silver, Holly and Lucky

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First, besides the normal SLO treatment plan the single best piece of advice I can give you is keep your dog's nails as short as possible. Most dogs seem to show less pain when a Dremel is used rather than clippers. Even when not in the midst of an SLO flair up it seems dogs with SLO have nails that just are not attached as strongly. Longer nails are more susceptible to being pulled loose. (you no doubt know that but I'm just emphasizing) Next, talk to your vet about adding niacinamide. Normally SLO is treated with a tetracycline & niacinamide combo, not just the tetracycline. My understanding is that combo has some synergistic properties. (Of course, I don't always understand everything. ;) Some folks use pentoxiphylline instead of that combo.) Also, how much EPA is he getting per day, not total fish oil but just the EPA component.

 

The hair loss & weird scab makes me think some further investigation into the cause may be in order. Has a thyroid panel been done? You would want the full panel, usually referred out to MSU. A thyroid panel is a normal part of the work up before a diagnosis of SLO. (My bet is that you know all this but am mentioning just in case.) What other diagnostics have been run? Where is the hair loss? If it is just the feet could it be from licking? Could the scab be from a scrape or other injury, purely coincidental? Is he licking that spot? Has your vet done a skin scraping from the nail bed area to check for bacteria or fungal infection?

 

Venus lost every one of her 18 nails to SLO. It started with her licking one toe at the nail bed area. It was one of her bad toes, related to injury, so I checked it but there was no inflammation at the bad joint. Took her in & the vet thought perhaps the nail was slightly loose. Put V on restrictions hoping to keep the nail attached & give it time to heal. Didn't happen. Nail began lifting up & examination showed the process might be starting with two more on that foot. Had emailed photos to vet & though no diagnosis could be made, as a precaution our vet recommended 1000mg EPA omega 3 (for my 60 lb girl) & 400 iu vitamin E daily. When a second nail started lifting up & the hollowing out process started with a nail on a second foot the vet made a tentative SLO diagnosis. It was the beginning of the end for Venus' toe nails. She prescribed tetracycline & niacinnamide, increased the vit E, added NSAIDs to control inflammation & pain. Venus is normally very stoic but for her the SLO came with terrible pain. We then added tramadol & later we gave her gabapentin, also.

 

It really was one of the worst experiences I've had with a dog as this stretched out over months. At one point before we got the right pain cocktail worked out poor Venus wouldn't leave her bed or even eat. It occurred to me a couple times we might be better off letting her go but everyone assured me it would get better. And it did! After months of treatment, once all the nails were shed she slowly recovered. At risk of jinxing us, in the two years since that episode Venus has only lost 3 nails. She does have a couple that grow in an almost corkscrew pattern making them very difficult to trim. I work to keep her nails as short as possible. (I only Dremel them, never use clippers as clippers seems to cause excess pain.) The time she's lost nails are when I'd let them get a bit long. The nails really can't be too short for an SLO dog. Their nails seem to be far more susceptible to being pulled off by little snags on carpet, bedding or when the dog digs in for a run.

 

We never wrapped Venus' feet. I briefly tried boots because dirt was getting under the loosened nails & I feared infection. The boots made her even more miserable. Anything on her feet, even baby socks, were intolerable for her. The vet said she doesn't recommend putting anything on the feet of her SLO patients. She approved of my morning & evening foot soaks using a warm water & epsom salt solution with Betadyne added. This helped clean V's feet & hopefully prevented infection. I started this when an odd odor started in V's feet. It's hard to describe it wasn't a good odor but it wasn't offensive either. Just not a normal thing. The 2x/day soaks also seemed to make V more comfortable.

 

Hope this episode passes as quickly as possible & you never have to deal with it again. If it is a chronic thing then let it be like Venus where there is minimal problem after the initial flair up. Good luck.

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One nail came off at the office and it had a hunk of skin on it. We sent that out with an additional scraping to check for bacterial or fungal infection. The hair loss is on the feet, but he seems to be shedding more and losing hair on his belly. Some of this is probably stress related, and he does often lose belly hair in the summer. So far, there is only that one area on the skin, and it is possible that it was just a minor scrape that we missed that day. He was chewing on it during the night, so Im hoping that it is an isolated unrelated injury. I have read about adding niacinnimide. We are ok with the pain meds right now. His routine bloodwork came back clean. Im waiting on the results of the scrapings before I do further lab work. I have considered soaks. Did you handle bleeding nail loss at home or go to the vet each time?

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When Seamie first arrived, he lost probably a toenail a week. He's stayed on just 400U Vitamin E (BID) ever since and hasn't lost a nail in well over a year and a half. I agree with keeping the remaining nails as short as possible. We did not make any vet trips for his incidents.

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So my vet never gave the nail issue a name - this is the first I've heard of SLO. What does it stand for?

 

ETA: We do not go to the vet each time (although I feel a bit guilty that we don't do to the fact that he doesn't get pain meds and an antibiotic if we don't see the vet). He is on thyroid meds and wed thought that would help and actually thought it did until the problem came back. Again, our vet just said "old age". We keep his nails short which helps a lot.

Edited by Houndmommy03

<p>Kim and the hound - Rumor
Missing my angels Marlow, Silver, Holly and Lucky

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So my vet never gave the nail issue a name - this is the first I've heard of SLO. What does it stand for?ETA: We do not go to the vet each time (although I feel a bit guilty that we don't do to the fact that he doesn't get pain meds and an antibiotic if we don't see the vet). He is on thyroid meds and wed thought that would help and actually thought it did until the problem came back. Again, our vet just said "old age". We keep his nails short which helps a lot.

http://www.grassmere-animal-hospital.com/SLO.htm

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My last foster had a severe case of SLO, losing all her nails over 3-4 days. Most cases seem to come on more gradually, with the dog losing multiple nails over a period of weeks or months. I never wrapped her feet except to control bleeding and reduce mess in my house. Even after the nails were all gone, she had 1 quick that bled a couple times. I would wrap her foot for a day, then put a sock on it the next day to provide some protection to keep it clean. After a full day with no bleeding, I would leave it open again. I used a regular adult crew sock so that it was loose fitting and didn't apply any pressure to her toes, which were still uncomfortable.

 

I would think that the hair loss and scab are unrelated as SLO only affects the nails. Where is he losing hair? Bald spots? Can you post a picture of the scab?

 

For Houndmommy03, I'd recommend at least starting your boy on the high dose fish oil mentioned in the Grassmere article. I usually start with a lower dose and gradually work up to the target dose over a few weeks to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea. It sounds like he has a fairly mild case of SLO, and fish oil alone can help. Might also be a good idea to print out the article for your vet...

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Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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For the most part we handled things at home. In Venus' case there usually was very little blood. The only time there was a lot of bleeding was one stubborn nail that the vet removed. I had seemed about to fall off on its own but it didn't. Vet pulled with off with almost no effort but despite that the little sucker bled... a lot. That's the only one the vet removed & the only one that required wrapping to prevent blood getting everywhere. Wrap was only on for 24 hours.

 

I think the epsom salt soak really helped Venus. I added the Betadyne for a while only because of the odd, not quite right odor. Didn't use it the whole time. If the soaking had seemed to hurt V I would not have continued it. All dogs are different though.

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With Isis she lost all of her nails over about a 6 month period. It's now been over a year and the quicks that were all dried up. Those of you saying to keep them shorter after they fall out, are you dremeling the quicks? I would think that would hurt? When they first fell off the quicks were a bloody mess and very tender. I wouldn't dare have tried to put anything over them. Boots or socks would have just been too painful for her.

 

The other day I did notice that two of hers have become aggravated and are tender and some slight bleeding. But again, there isn't a "nail" to fall off. Just her shriveled up quicks. :(

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Guest ThunderingEarl

Earl started losing his nails last year. I thought this was caused by injury, snagging on the carpet, things like that. He then stopped jumping up the two steps to leading into the kitchen from our back door. He also stopped doing his full-body stretches he would normally do every morning.

 

I took him to a vet who wasn't greyhound savvy and we ended up getting some x-rays done of his spine, which besides a little calcification was otherwise fine.

 

I then contacted the vet at the greyhound rescue I adopted Earl from and he said it sounded like SLO but of course he could not make the diagnosis via email. I made the 7 hour drive the next weekend and upon examination the vet confirmed the SLO diagnosis. Apparently 20-1 more common in greys than other dogs.

 

Earl was losing his nails at an alarming rate (even one overnight in our hotel room the night before visiting the vet). The vet suggested removing the remaining nails as they were coming off anyway and this would most likely be less painful in the long run.

 

I went this route. Earl was put on a daily dosage of doxycycline, salmon oil and niacinimide. After about six months we cut the dosage by half and he is doing fine. All is nails have grown back, although a bit gnarly. Even after his nails were removed we continued our 4x daily walks, which ended up wearing the quicks quite short. All of Earl's nails are now short and we have simply used a nail file to keep them smooth. No more trimming or dremmeling his nails in almost a year.

 

The combination of the doxycycline (antibiotic) and the niacinamide seems to do the trick. The niacinamide allows for the bloodflow to the nails reducing the chances of losing the nail.

 

 

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Here's Dr. Stack's Greythealth link re: SLO: http://www.greythealth.com/toenails.html

 

One of our hounds loses nails periodically. Clotisol (liquid) helps stop excessive bleeding.

 

(If hounds are scheduled for a surgery, might be helpful to let your vet know if your hound is given Vitamin E or fish oil. Either could potentially thin blood in certain doses.)

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I followed Dr. Stack's protocol for dear Scout. He gradually improved to losing only about 1 nail a year. All the nails grew back funky. We called him "troll foot." (Lovingly, of course.)

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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  • 2 years later...
Guest pkregelo

My hound Izzy has lost 4 nails in the last 3 1/2 weeks, and 3 more are separating from the nail bed base. She's on long term antibiotics, niacinamide and fatty oil supplements. I know this is a slow, slow recovery. Has anyone else had any experience with this autoimmune disease? Any suggestions or experiences are welcome, in case there's something else I can do.

Thanks:)


PS: I quit wrapping the nails, except to stop the bleeding, and the open air seems to help the inflammation.

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My hound Izzy has lost 4 nails in the last 3 1/2 weeks, and 3 more are separating from the nail bed base. She's on long term antibiotics, niacinamide and fatty oil supplements. I know this is a slow, slow recovery. Has anyone else had any experience with this autoimmune disease? Any suggestions or experiences are welcome, in case there's something else I can do.

Thanks:)

 

PS: I quit wrapping the nails, except to stop the bleeding, and the open air seems to help the inflammation.

There is a greyhounds with SLO Facebook group with many personal experiences with dealing with it.

Mickey lost all his nails within three months. After that, he could go several months without losing one, and often it was only one or two.

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  • 3 months later...

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