She has an autoimmune disorder called Systemic Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) and it causes her immune system to attack her nail beds. Her nails lift straight up like a car hood and eventually fall off. There's no cure but there's management. Hers started a couple of months ago and now she has only one nail left on her front paws and has lost at least 2 from her back. She is on fish oil, vitamin E, tetracycline (to increase blood flow) and Niacinamide (b vitamin) for it, plus she gets the odd tramadol for pain. Here's what they currently look like:
front feet-what look like nails are her nail beds. On the right picture, you can see her one nail that is left-it's slightly twisted and was giving her a lot of trouble so the vet clipped it short.
this is just one of her back feet. She wouldn't stay still for me to take pics of the other one but there aren't any lifting on it right now like there was on this foot. You can see the 2 middle nails look weird-those are lifting (they've since fallen off). The one on the left is also lifting but not as much.
from the side:
The scary thing is that it in the yahoo support group I'm in, they get new members daily. That means that either this disease is getting more prevalent or maybe there are just more finding the support group. As far as the dogs, there is no common denominator. There are dogs of all different breeds, many mixed (like ours), small, large, country dogs, city dogs, dogs in the US or dogs from abroad. All different foods. Outside dogs, inside dogs, dogs that lie around, dogs that are active, old, young, etc. Nothing that can lead to a reason these dogs are losing nails. To make it even more complicated, different dogs respond to different treatments.