What To Do If Your Dog Breaks A Nail - | Doggy Brace

What To Do If Your Dog Breaks A Nail

Our furry friends, just like little children, have a tendency to injure themselves while they are excited, running, jumping and playing with each other. Although we love to see them that way, unfortunately it may cause a broken nail which is quite painful both for them. At Doggy Brace, one of our employees’ mini Dachshunds just tore off one of his nails, so we wanted to share with you what we learned. Here’s what to do if your dog breaks a nail

What To Do If Your Dog Breaks A Nail

If your dog is limping, holding its paw in the air, resisting when you want to examine its paw; it is possible that they damaged a nail. There are some steps to follow in this situation. You can take action with these steps. However, as infections are possible in these cases, you may need to go to a veterinarian to make sure that everything is okay in the end.

1)  Restrain Your Pup Gently and Safely

Firstly, you need to limit your dog’s moving space so that they can not escape from you when you try to check their paw for a broken nail. You can ask someone to hold your dog for you, or put on their harness and leash. If you restrain your dog like you hug him, it may make him feel safer. 

You should keep in mind that your dog could be in pain; no matter how good-tempered they are, they may bite you out of fear. Keep your hands away from their mouth or just be aware of how they react when you’re inspecting their paws. 

2)  Check If Their Paw is Bleeding 

A towel may help to see if your dog’s paw is bleeding. Apply pressure to the paw. If there is blood and it does not stop in 5 to 10 minutes, you should apply styptic powder to the paw or take them to the vet. Flour or cornstarch may help under the circumstances you do not have styptic powder. You can also find cauterizing powder at the pet store.

3)  Carefully Remove The Sliver

Only attempt removal if the nail is very loose!

One of the things if your dog breaks a nail is to remove the damaged part of the nail. It is possible that a sliver of the broken nail can be trimmed away. You may use the clippers if your pup lets you or you have him under control. However, you need to keep in mind that a veterinarian may be a better choice to do it. 

As the degree of the pain changes according to how deep the damage is, your dog may need sedation and numbing.

While going to the vet, you can wrap the damaged paw in a towel or gauze as long as it is not too tight. The vet will trim the nail above the break and remove the damaged area completely.

4)   Clean Nail Bed and Protect it

Cleaning the wound is crucial to avoid infection. Using warm water is a good way to get rid of the dried blood and dirt. You need to be very careful about protecting the nail bed while doing this to prevent further injury. 

After being sure that the paw is clean, you can bandage it so that it won’t get dirty again. As the dogs are not keen on bandages on their paws, you can put the paw in a sock and tape it so that it won’t be moved. A cone is helpful in this circumstance too!

Change the bandage regularly and be gentle when doing so. There is a chance it could be dried to your pup’s skin while the nail heals. 

5)  Monitor their Pain

After everything mentioned above is done, your dog may still be in pain because of the quick — the innervated, vascularized core that supplies blood to the nail. If the quick is exposed, your dog will be very uncomfortable and could be limping to avoid putting weight on their foot. You should go to the veterinarian to see if they can numb the area or prescribe pain medications until the nail grows back. 

6)  Change the Bandage On A Daily Basis

You should not ignore changing the bandage on a daily basis to keep the damaged area clean. Also, you need to open the bandage to see how the wound is. You can use warm water to bathe the area and check if there is any swelling, discharge or bleeding. Take your dog to the vet if you see any signs of infection.