Mombu 2010-06-15 17:41:43
Perhaps nearly two months ago, my 15.5 year old aussie shepherd
apparently injured the innermost toe on one of her hind legs. One day,
underneath her nail, where the nail connects to the foot, we noticed
that there was some blood that she was licking at. We cleaned it up,
and put a sock on the foot, but it seemed not to be moving towards
“healed” status so we asked the vet about it when we took her in for an
The vet looked at it, and he seemed to recognize it as something that
sometimes happens to dogs, but didn’t seem all that concerned; he
shaved off some fur and put some anti-biotic ointment on the injury,
and that was the extent of his ministration to this problem (mind you,
she was in the midst of being successfully treated for a more serious
kidney-related problem, so a toe injury might have seemed very minor to
the vet at the time). He did say she might lose the nail, but in fact
thus far the nail seems to be totally secure, sound, and permanently
That visit to the vet was a couple weeks ago, and I still don’t see us
moving towards a “healed condition.” Underneath the nail, where it
connect to the foot, there is some firm raw flesh about the size of a
pea (or a bit larger); other nails do not have this bit of flesh. It
doesn’t bleed all the time, but it does ooze a bit if she licks at it
for a while.
This injury has never…not even initially…caused her to limp, and it
doesn’t seem to cause her much (if any)pain when we touch it.
Naiively, it seems to me as though she perhaps stepped on something
which jammed her toenail upwards, and the raw flesh is part of some
scarring/healing/regeneration process which is happening as a result.
As I said, that is my NAIIVE impression. A previous dog I had got his
toe/toenail caught in something and broke it right off at the
foot…and it seemed to grow back fine (and in fact, I still possess
the broken-off bit as a souvenir…a fact which causes my wife a tiny
amount of distress).
Any thoughts as to what happened and, more importantly, what we can
expect as part of the healing process? As I said…there is no pain to
the dog at all, but I confess it is a drag to have to always worry
about her licking it to a bleedy state and then transferring the blood
to our rugs, etc. We’ll see the vet again in about 6 weeks, but I am
wondering if this fleshy bit should be cut off (which I doubt)…or
whether we are heading to a point where this fleshy bit becomes a
hardened scar, callous, or new toenail if the old one does decide to
Thanks in advance for any advice!