Clyde, a 10 year old domestic shorthair presented to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital with front limb lameness. He was declawed in the front, a procedure that was performed elsewhere when he was much younger. Upon examination, the front paw had an abnormally hard, swollen area and Clyde was taken to radiology. As you can see from the radiograph, there is a bony protuberence from the end of one of the phalanges. Clyde was taken to surgery and it was discovered that one of the nails was not completely removed and had grown continuously in a circular fashion for quite some time. The resulting nail and nail bed was removed and Clyde recovered without incident.
Mags is a 5 year old domestic shorthair cat that presented to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for a nail trim. He had a tendonectomy performed previously. A tendonectomy is an alternative to declawing. The veterinarian removes a section of tendon on each of the front toes. This prevents the cat from being able to extend the front claws and curbs destructive behavior such as scratching furniture, etc. Since an amputation is not performed (as in a declaw), the nail is still present and must be trimmed every few weeks. Mags middle toenail overgrew and punctured his paw pad. The constant irritation caused the toe to swell to four times the normal size and it became infected. After sedating Mags, we trimmed the nail and cleaned out the wound. He went home on antibiotics and will be back to his normal self soon.