Will a Dog Regrow a Lost Nail?

by Deborah Lundin
    Broken or torn nails occur more often in active dogs.

    Broken or torn nails occur more often in active dogs.

    BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

    Injured nails are a common dog ailment. When nails grow long, they often catch on surfaces such as carpet, for instance. While catching the nail can cause breaks or fractures, occasionally an entire nail will pull out from the root, resulting in a lost nail. In most cases, a lost nail will grow back over a few months.

    Signs of a Nail Injury

    Aside from seeing your dog pull out the nail or finding it on the floor, other signs that suggest your dog has torn out his nail are a trail of blood spots when he walks or the act of incessantly licking his paw. Because the nail contains nerves, he is likely to be in pain.

    Treating a Lost Nail

    If your dog has pulled his nail completely out, apply pressure to the paw to try to stop the bleeding. Consult your veterinarian and have him assess the injury. If any small nail pieces remain, the veterinarian may remove these and administer antibiotics to prevent infection while the nail grows back.

    Nail Regrowth

    It may take up to several weeks before the new nail begins to grow. If the nail root or surrounding tissue was severely damaged when the nail was pulled out, regrowth may be compromised, or a replacement nail may not grow at all. If regrowth is compromised, the nail may regrow in a irregular manner, requiring more frequent and adjusted trimmings. If your dog's nail does not appear to be growing back or is coming in irregularly, consult your veterinarian.

    Photo Credits

    • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Deborah Lundin has worked as a professional writer since 2005, though writing has always been a passion. She brings a background in health and fitness, veterinary care, professional cooking and parenting. She studied medical laboratory science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Sites published on include Yahoo, Physorg and MedicalXPress.

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