Dog Nails Discoloration [Facts]

There could be a variety of causes for dog nail discoloration.

The causes can range from fungus to allergies and yeast infections.

The discoloration could be red, brown, or black, but it could also be due to your dog age.

However, if you notice a change in the color of your dog’s nail, you should consider taking him to the doctor.

Continue reading to find out more!

Dogs Nail Turning Brown
Dog Nails Discoloration

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Dog Nails Turning Brown

There could be a variety of causes for dog nail discoloration.

The causes can range from fungus to allergies and yeast infections.

The discoloration could be red, brown, or black, but it could also be due to your dog age.

However, if you notice a change in the color of your dog’s nail, you should consider taking him to the doctor.

Continue reading to find out more!

Reasons of Dog’s Nail Discoloration

  1. Nail Fungus
  2. Auto- Immune Disease
  3. Trauma
  4. Aging and Allergies
  5. Detached Nail

Nail Fungus

Dermatophytes and Malassezia are the most common fungi that cause infections in dog nail.

Infections can arise in the nail bed, claw folds, or the nail itself.

Typically, only one or two nails are damaged at a time, but postponing treatment can result in the infection of more nails.


Itchy paws, biting, and licking of the paws are some of the indications of fungal infection.

Brittle nails and discolouration of the nails are also signs.

A dog’s nail fungus is rather simple to identify.

Your veterinarian will scrape the contaminated area and maybe perform a biopsy to examine it under a microscope.

If it is discovered that the dog’s nails have a fungus, therapy will be administered.


Antifungal therapy will be used in the treatment.

You’ll need to get rid of any loose brittle nails.

The treatment can then be administered, which could take several months.

To avoid setbacks, excellent cleanliness will be essential.

You’ll also have to keep trimming your dog’s nails to remove any infected areas until the test results come back negative.

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These are known as fungal cultures.

It is a technique for detecting the presence of fungus in different regions of the body.


Trimming your dog’s nails on a regular basis can help avoid nail discoloration caused by fungal infection.

You can also avoid injuries such as a nail becoming lodged in a carpet or someone stomping on your dog’s paws and breaking a nail this way.

How do you determine when your dog’s nails need to be trimmed?

They’re too lengthy if you hear them clicking on the floor.

Take him to a groomer or, if you know what you’re doing, do it yourself.

Don’t forget about the dew claw!

By avoiding fungal infection, you can avoid more significant health problems like bone infections, arthritis, and pneumonia.

Auto-immune Disease

Nail darkening in dogs can also be caused by SLO, an autoimmune disorder (symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy).

These are the breeds that are prone the most on this condition:

  • German Shepherd
  • Schnauzer
  • Greyhound, Rottweiler
  • Gordon Setter
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Schipperke
  • Welsh Corgi
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Bearded Collie
  • Akita
  • German Shorthair Pointer
  • Labrador Retriever


Pain, cracking nails, and nail loss are some of the symptoms of SLO.

Some veterinarians believe that SLO is a response pattern to leishmaniasis or other infections rather than a particular syndrome.

In this scenario, the veterinarian will treat the condition as well as any accompanying symptoms.


Trauma is another possible cause of nail discoloration.

If your dog’s nail is smashed by a door or becomes trapped when trying to get out of a tiny location, trauma can occur, and a nail or multiple nails can turn discolored.

Aging and Allergies

Some dog’s paw nails are naturally colored differently.

Natural dog’s nail pigmentation causes different colored nails in pet’s, which can vary even among dogs of the same breed.

In truth, some puppies may have white nails (or a combination of white, black, or beige) that gradually grow black or darker as they age.

Due to heredity among dogs, a stripe in nail pigmentation might also be a common occurrence.

As dogs mature, their nails may thicken and become tough.

This transformation may also be accompanied by a color shift – from black or white to red or brown.

If your dog is allergic to something in their environment, this might cause discoloration of their nails.

Allergies can also result in the formation of red or brown tones in the nail.

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Dogs who have allergies or are experiencing allergy-related flare-ups are more likely to get a yeast infection in their nails.

Nail discoloration is caused by allergies and is unlikely to necessitate medical attention.

However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian!

Nail Detachment

Another reason your dog’s nail is turning black or discolored is that it is falling off when there in ingrown nail.

If the nail is dead, it may become semi-detached with tear stain and black before completely detaching from the paw.

This detachment is a natural process and is most likely not indicative of more serious concerns for the paw pad.


Although discoloration of a dog’s nail is usually an indication of one of the more common, less serious issues, it can also be a sign of a growth or tumor.

Growths near the nail bed can cause nail irritation or infection, causing the nail to appear black or discolored.

But don’t be alarmed – a lump or tumor in the paw does not necessarily indicate a serious problem.

Benign cells might produce a growth.

A bulge could also be the result of trauma or illness elsewhere in the paw.

If you suspect your dog has a growth or tumor, take him or her to the vet straight away.

Your veterinarian will assess whether or not there is a foreign object under the skin that is causing the illness or lump.

What causes the dog’s black nails?

There could be various causes for your dog’s nails to turn black.

One of these is a bacterial or fungal infection.

In this scenario, topical drugs can be utilized to treat the condition.

If the infection is serious, the dog may need to take antibiotics or other treatment.

Another cause of black nails is hyperpigmentation and heredity.

Some breeds have multiple nail colors, which are normally white as puppies and black as they develop.

If this is the case, there is no need to be concerned.

How to Keep Your Dog’s Toenail From Turning Black

It is critical for dog owners to maintain a high degree of hygiene and care for their dog’s nail plate.

Regular nail care (clipping or grinding), cleansing after playing outside, and proper grooming all aid in the prevention of fungal diseases.

One of the greatest ways to help avoid fungal and bacterial infections in your dog’s nails is to trim them carefully and on a regular basis.

What causes a dog’s nails to turn red?

Nail discoloration of white nail is a common indication of a fungal infection.

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A yeast infection could be one of the causes of red nails. This is sometimes misinterpreted as trauma, as if there is a buildup of blood.

Observing the dog is the best approach to establish whether the red hue is caused by an infection or not.

If he’s licking and chewing on his paws, they’re probably itchy and could be infected.

What caused my dog’s nails to become brown?

Finally, dark nails can be the result of a yeast infection.

Dogs with a history of allergies are more vulnerable to these diseases.

You will notice that your nails are growing longer than usual and that the quick is going brown (the blood vessel and nerve inside the nail).

In addition, the dog will begin licking and chewing its paw on a regular basis.

In both cases of red and brown nails, your veterinarian will establish the origin of the discoloration and treat it appropriately.

Final Thoughts

While it might be difficult to detect nail problems abnormalities in dogs at times, it is critical to be watchful and check for changes in appearance or behavior.

If a dog’s nails became black, it might not be a sign of anything serious.

However, certainty is still required.

Even simple symptoms, such as discolored nails, might be indicators of more serious symptoms or health issues.

If something appears to be causing your dog pain or discomfort, it is critical that you take him or her to the doctor to have any potential problems evaluated.

Your veterinarian will assist you in determining what is causing your dog’s nails to turn black and whether it is an indication of a medical problem that requires treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does it mean when your nails turn brown?

Melanonychia develops when pigment cells, known as melanocytes, deposit melanin in the nail.
Melanin is a pigment that is brown in color.
Typically, these deposits are gathered together.
As your nail grows, a brown or black stripe appears on your nail.

How do you fix brown nails?

The only approach to remove nail polish-related discoloration is to stop painting your nails.
Even a two or three-week sabbatical can solve the problem.

What should I do if my dog’s nail is infected?

Swollen nail bed is one of the symptoms of a bacterial claw infection in dogs.
1. The foot hurts
2. Limping
3. Pus leaking from the nail bed
4. The claw is discolored
5. The claw is soft
6. Cracked claw

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