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Whippet Health

a resource for whippet owners & breeders

symmetrical lupoid onychoclystrophy

In this disease the immune system targets the nail beds.


The whippet's nails break and fall out and as they regrow will break and fall out again

This condition is frequently misdiagnosed as a fungal infection, and treated as such to no avail.


SLO is thought to be an autoimmune disease , the immune system mistakenly targets the nails as a foreign substance and attempts to destroy them. Much research is still being done on this quite rare form of immune-mediated disease and the treatment protocol giving most success.


Signs and symptoms


-Nail loss, often multiple

-Licking and chewing of nails

-Separation of nails from the quick inside

-pain and limping

-possible severe bleeding when nails come off

-infection and smell

-oozing around the nail bed

-Nails grow back deformed, crusty and fall off again




Fungal infections should be ruled out first

Anti-biotics will not cure this disease

The only accurate way to diagnose this is to amputate the end of the toe for biopsy, however

most vets will feel this is unnecessary as the dog is otherwise healthy so will make a diagnosis on the appearance of the feet and nails


Treatment is very much trial and error as different treatment works for different dogs


Usually loose nails which cause much pain are removed under anaesthetic


Essential Fatty Acids are the first treatment along with Vitamin E,  with tetracycline and niacinamide if the condition is severe

Steroid treatment can also be used if the other less aggressive treatments dont give relief

Pain medications are a must if the condition of exposed quicks is causing pain which can be very severe

Your vet will discuss the best treatment regime for your dog


This problem will probably remain with the dog for life but can be managed successfully.

The nails will tend to grow back  but may well begin to break as soon as they become long enough

With a controlled treatment plan the new nails should regrow , relapses however are common

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