A broken nail dog can be a common occurrence. However, it can result in serious problems such as blood loss, infection, or improper nail growth when left untreated. This is why it’s important to deal with it immediately and correctly.
Why is it Important to Treat Dog’s Broken Nails?
Before discussing the steps on how to treat a broken toe nail on dog, it’s important to understand why it is something that you should urgently address.
Dogs can break their nails due to a lot of reasons. It could be because their nails were snagged on the carpet or because they jump from somewhere and they land on their nails. Either way, if your dog has broken nail, it will definitely be painful for them.
Broken nails on dogs can be a major problem because it has a central collection of blood vessels and nerves, which is also known as quick. This is a living tissue, so when the keratin (the nail) that surrounds it is broken, it will definitely bleed a lot and can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.
Steps on How to Treat a Broken Nail of Dog
Here are the general steps of how to treat broken dog nail:
Step #1: Inspect the Area
It is easy to identify if your dog has a broken nail because you will notice it bleeding or your dog can be visibly limping. When you have a feeling that there is a problem with their nails, the first step is for you to inspect the area. You need to know whether the broken dog nail at base is only cracked or completely broken off to know the next best step.
Be careful when inspecting the broken nail of your dogs because most of the time, they can be reactive to pain. This means that even the most docile and loving dog can turn aggressive when their injury is touched.
To be safe, put a muzzle on your dog while inspecting whether the broken dog nail still attached or not. But, avoid using this if you notice that your dog is showing symptoms of hyperventilation, gagging, or difficulty in breathing.
Step #2: Remove the Damaged Portion of the Nails
What to do for broken dog nail? Suppose you notice that your dog’s nail is split or is hanging. In that case, you need to remove it because it will eventually cause more damage and prolong the healing time. However, doing this on your own can be very tricky because it will definitely hurt your dog, so your best bet is to take your dog to the vet.
A broken nail on a dog may sound like it does not warrant a visit to the vet, but it’s the safest way for you and your dog. If you do try and remove the damaged portion of the nail, there is a possibility that your dog might bite you. But, if you bring them to the vet, they can use local anesthesia to give your dog some pain relief while removing the damaged portion of the nails.
Besides, if you are not familiar with the anatomy of dogs, it is best not to try and deal with removing the damaged portion of the nails on your own. This is because the last bone of the dog’s toe is at the beginning of the nail. If you remove too much, you might end up damaging that bone and cause more pain to your dog.
Step #3: Stop the Bleeding
If your dog has excessive bleeding because of their broken nail, you need to control it before going to the vet. You can do this by wrapping the foot in a towel or gauze. If it continues to bleed, you can apply a silver nitrate stick or styptic pencil. These are readily available in local pet stores.
Make sure to avoid the urge to check whether the bleeding has stopped or not. This might cause it to bleed again. Just make sure to keep the toe bandaged and apply pressure.
Also, try to distract your dog from licking the area by rubbing his back or tummy to soothe him or her. Licking the affected area is a natural reaction of dogs when they are hurt. Still, in this case, they might move the damaged portion or ingest the first aid medication that you applied.
Step #4: Disinfect
Disinfecting the injured area yourself is not really necessary if you are planning to take your dog to the vet immediately. However, if you do decide to disinfect it, using warm water to remove the remaining debris is enough.
Do not use hydrogen peroxide because it can be painful, and your dog can react aggressively. Instead, you can use diluted betadine solution or plain Neosporin. Once the injury is disinfected, bandage it to avoid other harmful things coming in contact with the wound. But, make sure that your bandage is not too tight or can affect the toe area’s blood flow.
Once you are in the vet clinic, they will remove the damaged portion of the nail. After that, they will bandage the toe and prescribe your dog antibiotics or painkillers. These will mitigate the chances of a toe infection.
Will a dog’s broken nail heal on its own? Sure, it will. But the process can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, which is why you need to help your dog by giving them treatment immediately with the steps mentioned above.
Broken dog nail care is extremely delicate. Make sure to assess their condition properly and if you do not have the confidence to handle it, bring your dog to the vet. Also, use precautionary measures to prevent the wound from developing infection so that it can heal as soon as possible.