One toenail repeatedly rips off -- surgery or alternative?

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One toenail repeatedly rips off -- surgery or alternative?

This is a discussion on One toenail repeatedly rips off -- surgery or alternative? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My parents' dog -- a lab-terrier mix, 5-6 years old -- has had his left-rear outside toenail rip off two or three times over the ...

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Old 01-06-2015, 11:02 PM
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One toenail repeatedly rips off -- surgery or alternative?

My parents' dog -- a lab-terrier mix, 5-6 years old -- has had his left-rear outside toenail rip off two or three times over the last year or two due to standard running/playing/walking (not excessive physical activity).

The vet says that genetically this dog's toe is bad in the sense that the nail will always grow in a way that allows this injury to happen, and he recommended having the toe removed.

I was curious if there are any non-surgical ways to prevent the toenail from ripping, as I assume toe removal isn't necessarily good for the dog (although it may be the best choice between two negative outcomes).

Are there boots for active dogs, or individual toe guards, or anything like that? Anyone have experience with repeated toenail loss?
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:38 AM
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Either boots, or perhaps look into getting the nail removed entirely from the nailbed (not the whole toe). Unless the toe is REALLY long, it would probably be good to keep as much of it as possible, as toes do to a large extent grant stability while walking. Maybe get a second opinion from another vet, or even see if you can get an orthopedic vet's take on the matter, just to verify the costs and benefits to the dog's gait if you take the whole toe out.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:16 AM
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I second the boots and try keeping that nail clipped short all the time
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:58 PM
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I'd get the nail removed, the toe sounds a bit extreme.

There are boots, however dogs are so unpredictable, I think it'd be safest to just remove it.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:07 PM
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Figured I'd give an update in case anyone comes across this topic in the future or on Google.

We did indeed get the toe surgically removed not long after I posted here, almost two years ago. It was pricey, around $600, but it has worked out great for us and the dog. He no longer has issues with an toenails and can go on long walks without any issue.
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