Have you ever cut your nail just a bit too far and ended up in a bloody mess? It’s painful and seems nearly impossible to stop the bleeding. Well, the same thing can happen to dogs. If you cut your own pup’s nails, you know how to unpredictable it can be. One minute your dog seems fine, then the next they could be squealing in pain.
If they’re squealing in pain because you cut the nail too close and they’re bleeding – don’t fret! There are some tips and tricks to treat the cut.
Know Where to Cut
Nail trimming is almost always harder for dogs with black or dark nails. Their vein and nerve – also known as a quick – is not as visible as dogs with white or light nails. In general, you should clip them where the nail makes a curve towards the floor. If you cut too far past that, you could cut the quick.
Get the Right Tools
Even if you’re an experienced nail trimmer, having a nearby emergency kit while cutting your dog’s nail is essential. It’ll allow you to quickly grab the necessary supplies in the event of an emergency.
The best and most effective way to stop bleeding is with styptic powder or a styptic pencil. They are available major pet stores and pharmacies. Styptic powder does have an initial sting to it, though, so be prepared to hold your pup down while applying it.
If you don’t have styptic powder readily available, a home remedy of corn starch and baking soda can do the trick. Or, rubbing a clean bar of no-scent soap or wet tea bag can help lessen the bleeding.
No home remedy is as effective as styptic powder, though!
Also, be sure to keep paper towels, a clean cloth, and ice on hand.
What To Do if You Cut the Quick
If you do accidentally cut the quick, immediately use a clean cloth or paper towel to compress the cut. If it’s a minor cut, you can try rubbing a clean bar of no-scent soap. If the cut is a major one, you can wrap ice enclosed in a clean cloth or paper towel to help with the bleeding.
Then, cup your hand and put a small amount of styptic powder (or the cornstarch blend) and dip the dog’s bleeding nail into the powder. Repeat that step if the bleeding doesn’t come to an immediate stop. It’s important not to wipe away the blood before dipping as it will help with clotting.
Once the bleeding stops, continue wrapping the cut with a cloth or paper towel and try to keep your dog off their feet for at least a half hour. Then, wash the nail with lukewarm water and bandage it up to prevent the dog from licking it and causing an infection.
If the bleeding does not stop within 20-30 minutes, call your veterinarian.
Accidents happen. If you cut your dog’s quick, just follow these tips to stop the bleeding. And remember, if your dog’s nail doesn’t stop bleeding after 30 minutes or their paw appears red and swollen, contact your veterinarian.
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