Cause and Cure for My Dog’s Nail Infection

Image Credit:Keshet Kennels & Rescue

A dog in the wild must maintain their own nails. They accomplish this through a variety of means, including scratching on hard surfaces. When they develop a bacterial infection in their claws, it can be difficult to treat and can be fatal. This is due to the fact that the infection might produce an abscess or even poison the blood. Because our dogs are not always able to care for their claws on their own in the domestic environment, their caretakers must assist in maintaining health and hygiene. Our intervention is especially vital when the dog has a bacterial nail infection.

Nail infection symptoms in dogs

In most circumstances, it is rather simple to determine whether your dog has one or more diseased nails. When the claw becomes infected, the dog will most likely exhibit the following symptoms:

When a dog feels itching, discomfort, or pain anyplace on their body, they will frequently lick the affected area. They do so to alleviate pain and frustration in the skin, but it might aggravate the condition or lead to infection. An isolated or infrequent lick should not be cause for alarm, but if your dog licks their paws constantly, there is definitely a paw problem. This behaviour is frequently caused by a bacterial nail infection.

Nail infections cause a lot of pain and lameness. As a result, affected dogs may avoid laying their limb on the ground and walk with a noticeable limp. They may become indifferent and indolent when their physical activity decreases.

Another common indication of bacterial claw infection in dogs is an unwillingness to have their paw handled. When the diseased nail is touched, they may yelp or whine, and they may even exhibit odd symptoms of hostility if they believe someone is going to cause further harm to their paw.


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Swelling and itchiness of the paw: 

When a nail infection occurs, the affected digit becomes swollen, red, and hot to the touch. If the animal licks or bites, the situation worsens.

When an infection starts, it is typical for pus to form in the area. This is a common form of abscess in dogs. Licking a wound on the dog’s paw can introduce microorganisms for a secondary infection.


Fever is the body’s reaction to a disease, such as a virus or bacterium that could be causing a bacterial claw infection. Normal body temperature in dogs is between 37.8-39.2 oC (100.04 oF-102.56 oF), with any temperature greater than this termed a fever.

Infections that have been active for a long period or are coupled with a purulent discharge produce an unpleasant odour. This could be the case if your dog’s paw smells like Fritos.

If any of these symptoms arise, or if you merely observe that your dog’s nail is discoloured, you should take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. A expert can then assess the injuries and provide proper treatment.

My Dog Has a Nail Infection – What Are the Causes and Treatments? Nail infection symptoms in dogs

What is the cause of my dog’s infected nail?

The nails of dogs are constantly in contact with the ground. Being outside or in an unmanaged environment increases the likelihood of injury. As a result, infections on a dog’s paw are rather common. A dog’s nail infection is almost usually caused by bacteria, although germs can enter the body in a variety of ways. In this article, we will look at the most prevalent causes of nail infection in children.


traumatic nail infections are the most common, especially those affecting the dewclaw. This is because this digit is more likely to become entangled in anything while running or playing. Any of the paw’s digits, however, can undergo catastrophic injury.

Bacterial infection occurs when bacteria infects one or more nails in the affected area. The germs can enter the animal’s paw from a previous wound or injury. However, it is possible that it is already present in the body, producing another concomitant pathology.

Fungal infection: 

In this scenario, one or more forms of fungi are responsible for the dog’s claw infection. These infections are generally followed by localized alopecia (hair loss), and their treatment is usually unsuccessful.

Autoimmune pathologies in dogs can increase the risk of nail infections. Ingrown toenails, tumors, excessive licking, and foreign bodies can compromise nail condition. Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, can cause soft and brittle nails, making them more susceptible to infection. Neoplasms can also compromise nail health due to pressure from tumor growth. Excessive licking can lead to dermatitis, alopecia, ulceration, and secondary bacterial infections. Foreign bodies, such as broken glass or broken glass, can also cause bacterial claw infections. It is crucial to monitor dog paw health and be aware of any changes in nail health.

Treatment for dog nail infection

If you suspect that your dog’s nail is infected, you should always consult with your veterinarian. They can identify the underlying problem and recommend the best line of action.


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When a nail is broken and bleeding, whether due to trauma, cutting the nails too close, or any other reason, you must offer first aid. In this scenario, clean the wound with sterile gauze and saline solution before applying pressure to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, we can wrap the incision with an adhesive bandage or clean gauze and medical tape. We should take them to the veterinarian for further treatment.

If you notice a bad odor, redness, inflammation, bleeding, or purulent discharge on your dog’s paw, it’s possible to remove a foreign body yourself. If the foreign body is deep and painful, take it to a veterinarian. Bacterial claw infections can cause systemic problems and can lead to systemic problems. The veterinarian can perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or ultrasounds, and may need blood tests to determine treatment. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, and recovery may require bandages or an Elizabethan collar. AnimalWised does not prescribe veterinary treatment or diagnoses.