What Do I Do if My Dog Hurt His Nail?

Keeping your pup's nails short prevents most nail-related injuries.
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Imagine cutting your toenail too far or ripping it off -- that's about how your pup feels when he injures his nail, or you do so accidentally. While nail injuries aren't something to panic about, your vet may need to take a look at the wound.

Minor Injury

If your pup's nail injury happens from you accidentally cutting into the quick while trimming his nails, don't worry. That's a minor wound that happens quite frequently to canines whose pet parents take trimming into their own hands. If bleeding occurs, apply a bit of styptic powder, cornstarch, flour or a bar of soap to the injury and the bleeding will stop.

More Serious Injuries

Nail injuries beyond those that happen when trimming your pup's nails are a little more serious. Nails that are too long and intense play sessions can cause such injuries. Those types of wounds usually manifest themselves as either a partially or completely torn nail. You'll often see the fleshy quick exposed with such injuries, and bleeding is almost guaranteed. As with a minor injury, styptic powder, flour, cornstarch or a bar of soap will stop the bleeding.

Seeking Vet Advice

Cutting into your pal's quick usually doesn't warrant a vet visit, but more serious injuries may require the doc's attention. Call your vet and explain the situation. He may ask you to come in or instruct you to keep an eye on the wound. If your vet's not open, give your local animal hospital a ring for advice. If for some reason you cannot get the bleeding to stop, your vet or the hospital may want to see your dog immediately. Generally, nail injuries are not emergency situations.