Kado, 7 yo Female Ibizan Hound
Poor Kado hurt to walk! Her toenails were peeling up off her nail-beds, and every time her paws would touch the ground, the loose nails would hurt and bleed.
Kado’s presumptive diagnosis (we did not do nailbed biopsies) was a condition called Lupoid Onychodysptrophy.
“Onycho” means nail, “dystrophy” means “grows wrong”.
The “lupoid” part of the name refers to an assumption that the cause is similar to that of Lupus – a disease in which the immune system starts to attack the body’s own tissues. Recent theories, though, blame the immune system in a more round-about way: instead of the immune system mounting a direct attack, it is overproducing certain antibodies, which become the “seed pearls” of much bigger molecules called antigen-antibody complexes. These get lodged in small blood vessels, especially in the cooler tissues of the extremities, cutting off the blood supply. With no blood supply, cool and delicate tissues such as nail-beds start to die!
Kado got some immediate relief from Laser Therapy: after a treatment, she was able to put her paws back on the ground and comfortably leave them there.
Our strategy with Kado was Immune Modulation: there are 2 medications that together can exert a regulatory effect on the immune system, and tone down its over-reactions. These are:
- Tetracycline – best known as an antibiotic, It also exerts an effect on the T-cell lymphocytes of the immune system.
- Niacinamide – this is what Vitamin B3, or Niacin, gets turned into in the body. Niacin can have some toxic side effects that occur when it gets changed into Niacinamide – if it is already in that form, you don’t get so much side effects. Niacinamide blocks the reaction where antigens fire up the cells.
She also went on nutraceutical supplement, called Immuno Support, which has:
- a carotenoid called Lutein, which is taken up by and activates “clean-up” (phagocytosing) white blood cells called neutrophils
- compounds called arabinoglycosides derived from Larch, which activate the “killer-T” cells
- extract of Shiitake mushroom, which, as well as having anti-viral and anti-tumour effects, provides and across-the-board boost immune function. It boosts T-cells and nuetrophils, increases levels of the immune signal chemical interferon, and decreases the production of inflammation-promoting prostaglandins.
The goal of these is to normalize the immune function.
As for Laser Therapy: as anyone who has been on tetracycline for acne can attest, tetracycline can cause photosensitization.. Acne patients have to protect their skin from sunlight while on their treatment. Well, same goes for Laser Light – once we have tetracycline in the tissues, no more laser therapy.
Kado is doing much better now: she did not tolerate the niacinamide well, and so is off that, and her dose of tatracycline is getting tapered down gradually. She still gets the Immuno support. Her back toenails progressed to sloughing off like her front ones did, but did not seem as painful. The nails are all growing back now, but they are a little distorted.
She will keep tapering down on the tetracycline, but probably not go off it; we don’t want to have her condition flare up again.
Kado’s person comments “What a difference! New Kado”.
Being a lovely dog, Kado was always sitting pretty… now she is walking pretty too!
Thanks to Deb for letting me share Kado’s story.