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Old October 25th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Simdee Simdee is offline
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Nail fungus in a cat?

Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum and I am owned by two beautiful cats, they are brothers and will be 12 years old next week.
I have searched but had no luck in finding any answers so I hope someone can help me. Is it possible for a cat to develop nail fungus? I routinely check my cat's nails and last week discovered that one of my boys has some brownish discoloration at the base of a few of his nails on his front paws. His middle nail on one paw and three on the other paw. He has clear white nails and the brown is only at the base. It looks like it could be dried blood, maybe he was just too rough with his scratching post. He does tear violently at his scratching post, sometimes even knocking it over, and it is huge. There is no swelling or pus at all and he lets me touch them, so he does not appear to be in any pain or discomfort, he also runs around and continues to tear at his scratching post as usual. I did try cleaning one with a Q-tip soaked in salt water but that did not remove anything. Then again, I didn't really scrub hard or for a long time either.
He doesn't seem bothered by it, but I am concerned. He is a very loveable cat but despises the vet, so I would hate to put him through any unnessessary stress if it is something that I could take care of myself. Oh, and there has been no change to diet or litter and my boys are indoor cats.
Thank you for any feedback.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 07:46 AM
vfrohloff vfrohloff is offline
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Location: Tres-St-Redempteur, Quebec
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I have never heard of nail fungus in a cat. Do your cats go outside? My outdoor cat often comes in with black gunk around the base of his nails, probably from digging in the dirt. Is it possible your cat got into something that stained his nails?
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Old October 26th, 2006, 04:29 PM
Simdee Simdee is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Yucky kitty nails

Nope, like I said, my boys are indoor cats. They never go outside and there is nothing they can get into inside. Well, thank you for replying anyways, I appreciate it. I will attach a picture this time to give a better idea of what it looks like. I think I am going to bring him to the vet, even though he is in no pain and doesn't seem bothered, I am.
Thanks again.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Simdee Simdee is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3

Just got back from the vet, and it is a nail infection. I wanted to give an update in case this happens to anyone else's little loved one. The vet cleaned and clipped his nails and sent us home with antibiotics. One pill every morning and night, and clean with mild soap every three days. She recommened Spectrogel, but any mild soap will do. We are going back next week to make sure the antibiotics are working. She said it is common with older cats, they get a bit of bacteria in there and stop cleaning and that is what happens. Which is strange because my cat is a clean freak, always washing his little white paws. But perhaps he was just washing the fur and left the nails alone. At least now, I will know what it is if this ever happens again.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 07:08 AM
noodles88 noodles88 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Belfast, Ireland
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Nail Fungus in a Cat


I know your post was some years ago now. But i saw this after looking into something similar that has recently happened to my Cat. They initially thought it was a nail bed infection. However he's been to a specialist in dermatology and she seems to think Chris (my fluffy black baby) has an autoimmune disease called Pemphigus Foliaceus. I was wondering did you get any further on with your cat and his nail problem. The picture you included looks exactly like what is going on in Chris' Nails. it started off in his left dew claw, then to his right dew claw and now after 4 months its spread to 6 nails altoghther. I'm at my wits end and worried for him as he may need to go on steroids to supress his immune system, but the problem is he has a slight heart mumor which can complicate matters.

PLEASE if you read this i would appreciate your update on your own cats issue.

Many thanks from Ireland xx
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Old July 4th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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mikischo mikischo is offline
Mickey, my angel
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Posts: 1,186
Hi, noodles88, and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry your kitty is having these issues. The OP has not been back for several years. However, others here may be able to give you some helpful feedback on this issue.

I am not familiar with this particular issue myself. Did the dermatologist rule out bacterial, parasitic and fungus infections and do a skin biopsy to get a definite diagnosis of Pemphigus Foliaceus? Does he show any other signs of this disease? Apparently it can also show up on areas such as the ears, nose, chin, around the eyes, etc.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 08:56 AM
noodles88 noodles88 is offline
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Nail Fungus in a Cat

Hi mikischo.
Chris had a biopsy done on his left dew Claw in May. Since then this condition has spread to 6 front toes and one nail on his back foot. He's NEVER had anything on his face, ears. It was pure fate that i looked at his left dew claw one day. I thought it was just dried soil stuck on his nail and when he gave a little cry of pain i looked closer and that's when i saw the swollen nail bed and pus.
The lady in Cedar Grove here in Belfast who he was referred to (Mrs Pat Hart....who is wonderful in her manner not just with Chris but with me as his worried owner, cant praise her enough) took slides of the pus coming from his nails. She explained to me on the phone that he's got alot of bacterial infection going on. Her guts are telling her that it is Pemphigus Foliaceus, but to also treat him for a fungal infection as some can look similar to the PF. There was just a complication that she heard a mumor. He's since had a heart scan and thank God that was ruled out!! He started steroids (sorry some name beginning with P...cant quite recall it) on Wed past there and I have to say his nails look to be getting better already. I know it sounds silly but Chris always had a wee habit of when he jumped onto my bed he would prod on his own wee pillow for ages and when this condition, whatever it is really spread he stopped doing it. Well on Sat there he was back to his normal routine. I cant say how happy i was to see that, perhaps this is a sign that we've got this condition nipped and hopefully the steroids can be reduced in strength.
Chris is my wee son and can't bear the thought of him having something wrong, so i'm obviously doing everything i can to get him back to full health. He's still only a kitten in my eyes (even though he's 9) but to me that's still young.... my sisters cat has recently just celebrated his 23rd Birthday!!!
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Old January 17th, 2013, 05:44 PM
PuffsMom PuffsMom is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: BC
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Feline Nail Bed Infection

My beautiful cat Puff has suffered with chronic nail bed infections for years. We went the antibiotic route and although it seemed to work for a while, the infections always returned. I finally did some research and came up with an easy solution that keeps the ugly sore infections at bay.

Soak your cat's paws in a small bowl with luke warm water and about a quarter to half teaspoon of Epsom salts. Rinse paws and put them in another small bowl with more luke warm water and a small amout of antibacterial liquid soap ( ask your local pharmacist). Make sure that your own hands are clean and gently scrap the crud from your cat's nails. Be very gentle and resoak paws every few seconds to soften the crud.

You will get almost all of the crud off. Gently dry your cat's paws and apply a very light coating of antibacterial cream or gel on the nail beds.

If you do this once a week for a month or so you will see a remarkable change and they will heal. Then, you will only have to so the aforementioned once a month to keep the infection away. It really only takes about 6 mins or so and it is a great bonding time with your kitty. Once he/she figures out that what you are doing will take the pain away I can guarantee that your kitty will almost look forward to the soaks. Good luck.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 08:57 PM
helgafrankradar helgafrankradar is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: alexadria
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Nail "infection" in cat's nail bed NOT infection...

The picture is of pemphigus foliaceus. It's an autoimmune disease. The cells attacking each other. Antibiotics will not work. Steroids are required, oral, but sometime a topical will work. It can also manifest itself around the nipples or the lips/ears. Good Luck!
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