Why has my German Shepherd shed every single one of her nails?

by Sam
(Burbank, CA)

Phoebe walks all over Disneyland as well.

Phoebe walks all over Disneyland as well.







Hello there and thank you for your time.

My Vet could find no infection or cause for the fact that when she was three, my GSD Phoebe started shedding all her nails one by one.

The Black nail would split down the center on the bottom and then moved upwards and off as a new, thicker, white nail grew out from underneath starting with and including the dew claws. It was painful for her at times while some just fell off without our even knowing it.

Over a period of a year she has shed all the nails and now has heavy white nails that seem to no longer grow! They look sturdy enough but I am worried this could be a problem later on. Still, the vet tells me she is in perfect health and she certainly seems to be happy with no foot, pad or nail problems.

Does ANYONE have any idea what this is or what could have caused it? I want to be preemptive if this could be an ongoing thing.

Thank you so much,

Sam and Phoebe

Comments for Why has my German Shepherd shed every single one of her nails?

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Jun 27, 2011
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male gs shedding nails over 2 month period.
by: Anonymous

My GS is doing the same thing at 4 years old. The entire nail is falling off like a snake sheds skin. What is left are small white nails underneath that don't seem to grow longer over time. It started with him excessively licking one a few months ago and it was bleeding. It fell off and the vet gave us a spray to put on 3x a day so no infection would set in along with an antibiotic. But his exam at the vet showed no other problems. Now he has lost 6 nails, but we just find them on the floor. There is no bleeding or other symptoms. We have decided to take him for bloodwork as we fear it may be an indication of another problem.

Jun 13, 2011
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Nail shedding
by: Anonymous

My do is having the same problem and I don't know what to do! This can't be normal.

Nov 30, 2010
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German Shepherd nail shed
by: Patty

I am having the same problem with my Shepherd. She is 4 years old and notice she was always bitting her nails. She would never let anyone cut them so we took her on cement to somewhat trim them. About 2 weeks ago I took her to the vet and when they went to look at her paws she started trashing about so much that the nails on 3 paws tore off and there was blood everywhere. They had to sedate her immediately and wrap her paws. I took the wrappings off 4 days later and now one by one each nail is splitting and shedding and a white nail is there. I see her so sad and hoping the remaining will come off without pain. So far 4 have come off without notice. Only one that bled a little. The vet thinks it might be an auto immune disease but will have to go through extensive painful testing of the tissue. In the meantime she is eating great and licking the nail a lot.
Did this happen to anyone else? I do not know what to do.
I see someone else had this issue. Did the black nail ever grow back? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank so much .. Patty

Mar 08, 2010
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german nails' color
by: Anonymous

can the pure german shepered fews of his nails are white colored


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