Occasionally I add blog posts about a disease called symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy (SLO). It’s an auto-immune condition in which the immune system attacks the affected dog’s nails. It’s not an infection caused by bacteria, virus, or fungus.
SLO causes a dog to lose, break, and split toenails on more than one foot. Studies are now showing that it has a significant genetic component, but it probably also has an environmental component. The environment can include everything from events that occur in the womb before birth, to anything that happens to or around the dog after birth.
The reason I write about it is that my dog Cooper has it.
If you think your dog has SLO…
Go see a veterinary dermatologist. Many regular vets have not seen very much SLO, so they may not recognize it. On the other hand, many veterinary dermatologists have seen SLO because skin, coat, and nails are what they specialize in.
My posts on SLO
Here are a list of the blog posts I’ve written on the topic, from earliest to latest:
- Broken nails, broken hearts
- 13 pills and some powder
- More broken nails
- Surgery worse than the condition?
- SLO nails don’t break, they explode (photos of nails)
- 11 weeks of no broken nails
- 11 weeks of no broken nails, part 2
- Abandoning our SLO experiment
- 4 weeks of no broken nails
- Horrified fascination
- SLO check-in
- Change in the SLO regimen
- Skin, coat, and nails go to hell (photos of nails)
- New and improved coat and nails!
In addition to the information and photos on my blog, I’ve found some other useful information and photos on the web about SLO:
- SLOdogs yahoo discussion group
- S.T. Auxilla, et al. “Canine symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy: a retrospective study with particular reference to management” (abstract) J Small Anim Pract. 2001 Feb; 42(2): 82-7.
- Jim Bader, DVM. “Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy” House Calls column. CG Magazine. Summer 2004; 9(2): 12-13. (very helpful photos)
- “The Horrors of SLO” post from Black Schutzhund Shepherds blog (very helpful photos). Accessed 4/1/2011.
- Andrea Chee. “Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy” 2001. Accessed 4/1/2011.
- Stephanie Colman. “Hell’s Nails.” The Whole Dog Journal. September 2011; 18-20.
- Grassmere Animal Hospital. “Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystropy “SLO” Accessed 4/1/2011.
- Dr. Ralf S. Mueller, et al. “A Retrospective Study Regarding the Treatment of Lupoid Onychodystrophy in 30 Dogs and Literature Review” Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. March/April 2003, Vol. 39: 139-150. Accessed 4/1/2011.
- Amy Schnebelin. “Ouch” and “Nail problems” (great pictures), as well as “Please question, think and research” from PS…and now my heart is full blog. Accessed 6/1/2011.
- Aine Seavers. “SLO: symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy.” The Veterinarian; Sept 2009. 53-54. (very good photos) PDF at Virbac website accessed 11/19/2011.
- Suzanne Stack, DVM. “Toenails Falling Off: Pemphigus Aka Symmetrical Lupoid Onchodystrophy” Accessed 4/1/2011. (helpful photos)
- Suzanne Stack, DVM. “What’s Wrong with His Feet?” Accessed 12/6/2012.
- Maria Wilbe, et al. “DLA Class II Alleles Are Associated with Risk for Canine Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystropy (SLO)” PLoS ONE 5(8): e12332. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012332. Accessed 4/1/2011.
- Martine L. Ziener, et al. “Symmetrical onychomadesis in Norwegian Gordon and English setters” (abstract) Vet Dermatol. 2008 Apr; 19(2): 88-94.