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Dog Nail Tumors

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Dog Nail Tumors

Nail tumors in dogs appear in the nail bed. The nail bed is that part of the nail that contains blood vessels and the cells that produce melanin. These tumors are not specific to any particular breed of dog. In dogs, they rarely appear as primary tumors, but other types of Dog Cancers can metastasize to the nail bed.

Signs and Symptoms

The obvious symptom is a mass in the nail bed. There can be ulceration and usually some degree of limping will exist. Squamous cell usually occurs in older dogs and primarily in large breed dogs. Most of the dogs have black coats. The bone is usually destroyed at the site and there is a risk of metastasis. In dogs, the tumors are usually the effect of metastasis.


A physical examination by the veterinarian is in order. A needle biopsy should be performed to properly diagnose the tumor. Often the inflammatory state of the lesion will lend itself towards a diagnosis of osteomylitis, which is an inflammation of the bone. Biopsy of the tissue, aspiration examinations and x-rays will all be part of the diagnostic procedure. If the mass is diagnosed as malignant, there will also be x-rays of the chest to see if there is metastasis to the lungs. Blood test, ultrasound and additional lab tests will be done to determine the stage of the disease.


In order to prevent re-growth of the mass, the affected digit will be amputated. This is usually sufficient treatment and the need for chemotherapy or radiological treatment is not necessary unless there is metastasis. Recently there has been a vaccine specifically designated for Dog Oral Melanoma. There are some veterinarians that will use this option for the treatment of nail bed tumors as well. There have been no studies to prove that this is a beneficial form of treatment.


There is a thirty to fifty percent chance that the nail bed tumor will metastasize to other organs. Usually it will affect the lungs and lymph nodes. Even with amputation, there is a chance that the tumor will recur in another digit. Most dogs have a good prognosis following the amputation of the affected digit. On the other hand, mast cell tumors of the bed are very aggressive and the prognosis is not as optimistic as that of a melanoma.

Pain and nutritional management

All forms of cancer or its treatment will cause Dog Pain. Your veterinarian will prescribe pain medication for your dog and it should be used as directed. The pain can be debilitating and treatment is a must.

When pain strikes your dog, the result is the same as for people. There will be a Dog Loss of Appetite, Dog Weight Loss and your dog can become emaciated. You veterinarian may have to order a specific [[Dog Cancer Diets] that are high in the nutrients to allow your dog to heal and thrive during the course of treatment.

Dog Palliative Cancer Care and supportive care is always a necessity. Your dog will be uncomfortable and measures need to be taken to allow time for rest, provide love and comfort and treat the pain.

Suggested Products

ES Clear – Dog Cancer Support Cancer Support Kit for Dogs Nu-Pet Vitamin and Antioxidant Wafers Multi Essential Dog Vitamins

Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Lung Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors | Dog Squamous Cell Carcinoma | Dog Mouth Cancer | Dog Brain Tumor | Dog Palliative Cancer Care | Dog Oral Melanoma

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