How to Treat a Broken Dog Nail
Broken dog nails are common, but they can be painful and uncomfortable for your dog. If your dog breaks a pin, treating the injury promptly to prevent infection and further damage is essential.
Steps to Treat a Broken Dog Nail
- Restrain your dog. This may be necessary if your dog is in pain or if they are likely to resist having their nail treated. You can have someone help you restrain your dog, or you can use a muzzle or harness.
- Clean the wound. Use a mild soap and water to clean the damage around the broken nail. Be careful not to touch the exposed nail bed, which can be painful for your dog.
- Control the bleeding. If the broken nail is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. You can also use a styptic pencil or powder to help stop the bleeding.
- Trim the broken nail. If the fractured pin is still attached, trim it with a nail trimmer. Be careful not to cut too close to the nail bed, as this can be painful for your dog.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the exposed nail bed. This will help to prevent infection.
- Bandage the wound. You may need to bandage the wound to keep it clean and protected. You can use a self-adhesive bandage or wrap the wound with gauze and tape.
- Monitor your dog’s condition. Check the wound daily for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any signs of infection, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What is the threat of a broken dog nail?
A broken dog nail can pose several threats, including:
- Pain: The quick blood vessel and nerve supply runs through the center of the nail. If the brief is exposed, it can be excruciating for your dog.
- Infection: The exposure quickly can be a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to infection.
- Lameness: A broken nail can make walking difficult and painful for your dog.
- Further injury: If the broken nail is sharp, it can catch on something and cause further injury to your dog’s foot.
How to prevent broken dog nails
There are several things you can do to prevent broken dog nails, including:
- Trim your dog’s nails regularly: Long nails are more likely to break. Aim to trim your dog’s nails every 2-4 weeks or more often if they increase.
- Please keep your dog’s nails in good condition. File any sharp edges on your dog’s nails after trimming them. You can also use a paw wax or balm to help keep their nails healthy and strong.
- Avoid rough surfaces: Avoid walking your dog on uneven surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt, especially if their nails are long.
- Be careful when playing: Don’t step on their feet or throw objects that could hit their paws when playing with your dog.
Tips for Treating a Broken Dog Nail
Here are some additional tips for treating a broken dog nail:
- If the broken nail is completely severed, you may not need to trim it. However, you should still clean the wound and apply an antibiotic ointment.
- If the broken nail is embedded in the dog’s paw, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for removal.
- If your dog is in pain, you may give them over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, talk to your veterinarian first about the appropriate dosage.
- If your dog is licking or chewing at the wound, you may need to put a cone on them to prevent them from further damaging the wound.
When to See a Veterinarian
If your dog’s broken nail is bleeding profusely, if the fractured nail is embedded in the dog’s paw, or if you notice any signs of infection, you should take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian can clean the wound, remove the broken nail (if necessary), and prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
By following these steps, you can help to keep your dog’s nails healthy and prevent them from breaking.