How to Treat A Dog With A Torn Nail

Posted on
November 12, 2020
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In the modern world dogs are such an integral part of human society that there are channels of television specifically designed for them. Because of our close associate with our dogs we have become not only their best friends but also their caregivers. As such when our pets experience an injury or wound we take it upon ourselves to care for them and tend to their wound. However, not every pet owner has a veterinary degree and knows what to do in the event of every possible injury. However, there are plenty of safe at home remedies available to dogs owners. If your pup has injured their nail you can find out how to care for it in the article below. 

dog with paws in the sand
A dog’s paws and its nails are one of the primary ways they orient themselves in the world.

How to Identify A Dog Nail That Is Injured

Keep an Eye and Ear Out For Any Type Of Unusual Behavior or Noises

No pet owner likes it when their pet gets injured. And an injury like a damage nail on your dog's foot can be particularly troublesome. Not only do you have to be concerned for your pets physical and emotional well being, you also have to worry about your carpets physical and emotional well being.

When dogs injure their nails, the injury is very likely to bleed. This is one reason you will want to address the wound quickly. It's bad enough that your furry friend is in pain, but you don’t want to make the day worse with a trail of blood stains all over your new carpet. 

It should be fairly easy to identify if your dog has injured its nail. The first thing you’ll want to do is watch out for any odd behavior. If your dog is whimpering, limping, or all around favoring one paw over the others you should take a look. When you are inspecting their paws be sure to look out for chipped and damaged nails. Sometimes the injury isn’t super apparent so you’ll want to brush the hair back from their nails the best that you can so you can get a clear view.

Once you identify which of the nails is injured, there are a few steps you’ll want to take next.

dog with golfball in mouth
If you notice your dog awkwardly favoring one paw over the others you should take a look.

What to Do Once You’ve Identified A Torn Nail

How to Care for Your Pets Paw Injury

The first thing you’ll want to do once you’ve traced down the injured nail is to remove any excess nail. If the nail is chipped and flaking remove the excess part of the nail. If the nail is broken you’ll also want to remove as much of the nail above the break as you can. Be careful though. If the nail is broken far down the length of the nail close to the paw you could cause your dog a whole lot of pain by cutting the nail too short. Be sure to only cut the nail down as low as you can without hurting your pup. If that means missing some of the nail that's injured thats ok. You don’t want to exacerbate the injury. Removing what you can still prevents the injured nail from getting caught on something and making the wound worse.

Next you’ll want to stop the bleeding. This can be done in a variety of different ways. One easy method is to use a styptic powder that is almost certainly sold at your local pet store. If this is unavailable baking soda or cornstarch can be used in the same way. 

After the bleeding stops you’ll next want to clean the wound. Take a bowl of warm water and submerge the nail into the bowl. The war water should help wipe away any bacteria or debris from the wound. This will prevent infections and help the wound heal faster.

up close of dog's paw with nails
Make sure not to exacerbate your dog’s nail injury by cutting their nail too short.

After You’ve Treated What Should You Do Next? 

Make A Value Judgement About the Injury and Seek Further Treatment If Necessary 

After you have the bleeding stopped and you’ve cleaned the wound you’ll want to take the time to assess the wound. If it is really far down the nail, particularly serious, or seems to be causing your dog an unusual amount of pain you’ll want to get them to the vet at your first opportunity. The vet will be able to properly clean and dress the wound and make sure the nail heals correctly and is free from infection.

If the wound is relatively minor you can care for it right at home. Once you’ve stopped the bleeding and cleaned it up you can go about bandaging the wound yourself. There are a few different ways this can be done. You can use specific pet bandages sold at any pet store. But you’ll probably have an easier time putting a boot over their foot. If you don’t have anything specifically made for your dog, cloth human bandages or even human socks can be used to cover up your dog's paw and protect the wound. Whatever works to cover your pet’s injury in a pain free way will work. Ust make sure to keep the damaged nail covered to prevent the wound from being exacerbated or from becoming infected.

close up photo of two healthy dog paws
After a few days bandaged up your dog’s nail injury will be as good as new. 

Nobody likes it when their dog gets hurt. But with the information in this article you should be able to clean and care for an injury to your dog's nail right at home. But always remember, if the dog is in enormous pain or if the wound is particularly serious, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. But for the wounds that aren’t so painful or serious you can take care of your furry friend right at home.

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Posted on
November 12, 2020
in
Advice
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