Squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor that affects the toes of large breed dogs with dark hair coats such as briards, black Labrador retrievers, and black standard poodles. These dogs have higher risks of developing the problem than other breeds. But light-colored purebred standard poodles appear resistant to this type of cancer. Research studies have found out that black-coated poodles lack the gene which can protect them against the tumor. The defect mainly involves the bone which can cause the nail to break easily. The dog tends to keep on licking the affected toe and you may see some blood spots on the floor or carpet. Take note, however, that other light-colored dog breeds can develop squamous cell carcinoma. The research study was limited only to poodles so the findings cannot be generalized to all breeds of dogs which are light in color. Regardless of the color of the hair coat, any dog with a swollen toe should be brought to the veterinary clinic so it can be examined thoroughly by a veterinarian.