I adopted my greyhounds, Cleo and Ramses, from Personalized Greyhounds in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania on April 11, 2009.
In May of 2009 Ramses was running in the backyard and tore one of his toenails off in the grass. The quick was exposed and it was bleeding profusely. The vet sedated him and then trimmed and wrapped his foot and prescribed an antibiotic. After several months the nail cap began to grow back, but as soon as it did it was scaly and immediately sloughed off. The quick was no longer raw so it didn’t bother him.
Everything was good until December 2010; Ramses had just turned 6. While getting his toenails clipped at the vet’s he yelped and jumped off the table when the vet tech was beginning to clip a nail. He was bleeding and the vet was called in to take a look. The nail cap was standing up; it had split up the underside of the nail. She clipped it off and bandaged his foot. That started a downward spiral which for several months required a lot of vet visits. Right away Ramses started getting loose nail caps; they would split up the back and hang by a “thread” on the top of the foot. This made walking painful so he was bandaged most of the time. He lost all the nails on that foot.
I emailed Peggy Levin, the president of Personalized Greyhounds, to ask her if she had ever had this problem with other “greys.” She told me about SLO; I immediately contacted my vet. Ramses by this time had started to lose nails on his other front foot. We began a treatment plan for him. Aller G-3 capsules: 2 caps 2x/day. Niacinamide 500mg: 1 tablet 3x/day. Vitamin E 400 I.U.: 1 cap 2x/day. Doxycycline 200mg: 2x/day.
We started this regimen in January 2011. Eventually Ramses lost all of his nail caps. During this period as the nails were becoming loose and falling off he experienced a lot of pain. He received Tramadol HCL 50 mg: 1.5 tabs 2x/day. His feet were bandaged when the quick was raw and bleeding. After a month Ramses could not tolerate the antibiotic. He had loose stool, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The vet took him off of doxycycline and administered a Covenia injection. Ramses immediately perked up and began eating again.
By the end of April all of the nail caps were gone but now he started to lick his feet and if they weren’t bandaged he would lick them raw. The vet suggested laser therapy – 6 treatments every 2 days – and 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream on the raw spots and bandages. After two laser treatments the feet began to show improvement. He still insisted on licking so I bought baby socks with grippers on the bottoms. I put these on his feet and hold them in place with adhesive tape. The laser treatments did wonders. All the hair grew back and the sore spots healed.
Ramses now has nail caps on all of his nails. They are thin, scaly, and deformed, but they are there. He can now walk a complete circuit around our neighborhood and is a happy boy. We discontinued the antibiotic injections in June and he remains on the Aller G-3, niacinamide, and vitamin E. He wears socks all the time; when it is wet outside I cover his socks with Glad Press n Seal.
This is a painful problem and the cure is long. I will probably keep socks on Ramses for the remainder of his life. He will take the meds forever, too.
– Pam Mowrey, Waynesboro, PA