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How to treat a broken dog nail? Or, I feel like the worst dog mom ever.

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  • How to treat a broken dog nail? Or, I feel like the worst dog mom ever.

    Emmett has a broken nail and I feel like the worst dog mom ever. His nails were a bit long and he let me cut the rest of them today, but this one is really sore, and pretty close to the base. He's limping slightly, and I can see where it broke/tore. It's not bleeding now, but it did when I noticed it, yesterday. Not terribly so though, just looks a bit red around the tear. I tried to cut the tip, to take some of the pressure off, and he screamed...I feel terrible. Is this something I need to make a vet appointment for? I'm thinking so. Is there anything I can do in the mean time?
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!

  • #2
    quick!..make an appt at meh ling's nail salon..

    how about one of those nail "tips" folks put on to keep the real nails from scratching furniture, floors,etc......it might act like a baid aid, and cushion it some......if it's bleeding, a styptic pencil,or just some flour....

    sorry, i am sure it is ouchie, and could be problematic if the dogs goes along to the barn.......

    Comment


    • #3
      You could put a triple acting ointment on it and bandage it with a pad and vet wrap for support and a little protection. He'll do fine in a day or so.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh geez, I just went through this last week! It's an awful feeling isn't it?

        How is the nail broken? Horizontally or vertically? Is the quick showing?

        My guy split his nail horizontally, right under the quick. The top half of the nail was normal, then there was the exposed quick, then the bottom half was hanging off and I couldn't clip it without my dog screaming, either. The base of the nail appeared to be intact but the split started just a few millimetres away from the base.

        I sprayed it with an anti-bacterial spray to prevent infection. Well-Horse, to be exact, and made sure to get it right on the quick. Put a gauze bandage on it, wrapped with vet wrap. Taped with duct tape over the 'cannon bone'. Put a sock on it, and taped the sock. Changed the dressing every day for 3 days, then switched to polysporin, which did a great job of softening up the nail. 3 days after that, I was changing his wrap and contemplating trying to cut the nail (which was still hanging). My dog was being insistent about licking the nail (which he hadn't been), so I let him for a few minutes and he ended up licking off the split piece of nail...which had softened considerably due to wrapping and polysporin. Kept it wrapped for 2 more days and now it's fine. The quick is showing, but it's receded and hardened. It went from bright pink, to salmon pink, to a dirty white.

        The best thing you can do if you're treating it yourself is to be careful of infection. If it seems hot at all or starts to get pus around it, head to the vet asap.

        Oh, and bitter apple spray or no-chew if you dog won't leave the wrapping alone. I found bits of hot pink vetwrap on the floor one day when I went to the grocery store for 20 minutes, but the wrap stayed on!

        Hope your dog's feeling better soon!

        Comment


        • #5
          My silly Dal, back in her day ground one nail down flush with the pad. Bled like crazy. Hubby rushed her to the vet. She got antibiotics but only just in case.
          The vet said that was something to look out for.

          No you are not a bad dog mom!
          Originally posted by BigMama1
          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
          GNU Terry Prachett

          Comment


          • #6
            If it is split right to the nail bed, you might have to take him in and have him sedated while the vet removes the entire nail. I just had to have this done for my dog. He was on antibiotics for ten days.

            I felt like a bad mom too, I had let his nails get too long! Usually I cut them every week or two but had let them go too long. But the vet laughed at me and said her dogs' nails were longer than his were.

            I had tried treating it myself, but it really was split all the way up and needed to be removed, which would have been pretty painful if he weren't sedated. OTVs approach might also work but I was not patient enough.

            Comment


            • #7
              One time it bled a lot, and my vet wanted to see him and put him on antibiotics. Another time, it didn't seem to bother the dog, and they let it be.

              Whichever, he'll be fine. If I were you, I would call my vet just to check in and get their opinion on whether he should be seen.

              Comment


              • #8
                MrB's parents' Boston has had this happen twice now. Once at the park, she got the dewclaw hung up on chain link fencing while pawing for a tennis ball. The second time was just on Christmas day, but we don't know how that happened. Same dew claw, too. The first time we rushed to the vet and they sedated her and clipped it, then wrapped it for a few days. On Christmas we obviously weren't able to get to the vet, and it wasn't serious enough for the e-vet. Didn't have vet wrap at his parents house (and THAT DAY I finally removed the roll from my purse!) so we did antibacterial spray, triple antibacterial ointment and wrapped it in a sock we cut the toe from, gorilla tape around that. It was a VERY diy rig, but it worked in a pinch.

                His parents just looked after it and kept it wrapped and with the cream on it and after several days it fell off and healed up just as the other poster experienced. I would have been tempted to just remove her dew claw surgically at the vets after the second issue with the same nail, but she'll probably be just fine any way ;-)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                  If it is split right to the nail bed, you might have to take him in and have him sedated while the vet removes the entire nail. I just had to have this done for my dog. He was on antibiotics for ten days.
                  SO's Golden just had to have this done. She split it wayyyy up while gallavanting in the woods, and they just had to remove the entire nail/part of the bone/I stopped listening because I was queasy. She gimped around on a bandaged paw for about a week and a half afterwards, with some pain meds and antibiotics, and now she's fine.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    So I mistyped, it's not actually broken but torn, sort of ripped, all away around. He has his whole nail intact, but it's just got a tear in it, and is very sensitive. It had only bled a little but, but with the way his nail is positioned it puts pressure on it everytime he walks, and he wouldn't let me cut the tip to help him out. It IS ripped up by the quick. I don't know what best practice would be. I don't know if it'll heal itself or not if I wrap it/keep it dry? Sort of grow back together?
                    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

                    COTH Barn Rats Clique!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      well, the horn won't grow back together

                      Maybe you can super glue it!
                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                      GNU Terry Prachett

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If it's broken at the base, see a vet who will remove the nail. A nail broken that far back is VERY painful to walk on. Please don't try to treat yourself or avoid going to the vet.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yep, if it's broken at the base a vet will be your best bet. If it's not split all the way to the base, you can try wrapping it like I did. My plan - besides stopping infection - was to wait til the bottom of the nail grew out enough that it would protect the quick and then I could clip off the hanging part (without hurting dog). I found wrapping the paw helped stop the nail from being so 'split'. It seemed to provide some support. If I didn't wrap it, there'd be a big gap between the top of the nail and the bottom. When I removed the dressing each day, the gap was barely visible.

                          I should also add that the nail wasn't bugging my dog much. He wasn't licking it or limping. It wasn't until I was clipping his raptor-like nails that I noticed he had split one. If it's really bugging your dog, a trip to the vet might be in order.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks, I'll call them today just to ask what they think. The quick isn't exposed, persay, but it is torn up near where the quick is and I know it's kind of painful for him to walk on. Regardless, I'm going to grab some vetwrap from the barn tonight and wrap him to provide some support before I can get him into the vet.
                            "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

                            COTH Barn Rats Clique!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                              If it's broken at the base, see a vet who will remove the nail. A nail broken that far back is VERY painful to walk on. Please don't try to treat yourself or avoid going to the vet.
                              This. If the nail is broken at the base you want your veterinarian's help.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I'm certainly going to call them on my lunch break, it sucks for the little guy because it tore right where the quick starts, if it had been a little bit lower, he'd be fine.
                                "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

                                COTH Barn Rats Clique!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by OTV View Post
                                  My guy split his nail horizontally, right under the quick. The top half of the nail was normal, then there was the exposed quick, then the bottom half was hanging off and I couldn't clip it without my dog screaming, either. The base of the nail appeared to be intact but the split started just a few millimetres away from the base.

                                  I sprayed it with an anti-bacterial spray to prevent infection. Well-Horse, to be exact, and made sure to get it right on the quick. Put a gauze bandage on it, wrapped with vet wrap. Taped with duct tape over the 'cannon bone'. Put a sock on it, and taped the sock. Changed the dressing every day for 3 days, then switched to polysporin, which did a great job of softening up the nail. 3 days after that, I was changing his wrap and contemplating trying to cut the nail (which was still hanging). My dog was being insistent about licking the nail (which he hadn't been), so I let him for a few minutes and he ended up licking off the split piece of nail...which had softened considerably due to wrapping and polysporin. Kept it wrapped for 2 more days and now it's fine. The quick is showing, but it's receded and hardened. It went from bright pink, to salmon pink, to a dirty white.
                                  Just went through this exact same scenario... except add about 4 more days and the rest of the nail came off. Kira's was split all the way through to the base. It is healing MUCH better now. Poor girl thinks I have her because of the pain I had caused her while trying to get it better. The only thing left is the fleshy quick. It has hardened up a bit, but she is still protective of it.

                                  Comment

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