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What to Do if Dog Ripped Nail Off

A broken nail can cause a lot of pain to your dog, but luckily, there are things you can do to mitigate the pain. Let’s take a look at them!

When your dog breaks their nail, apply some pressure on the area with a towel to stop the bleeding. Remove the nail with a dog nail clipper, clean the area, and give the dog antibiotics to prevent infection. Keep their nails trimmed short to keep them from ripping them off.

In this article, you’ll learn about what you can do to help your dog when they rip their nail off. I’ll explain how it can happen, why it’s such a big deal for the dog, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. It can be excruciatingly painful for them, but it doesn’t always require a visit to the vet. Let’s jump into the article and see what you can do to take care of your best friend when they’re in pain.

How to Take Care of the Dog’s Nail Step-by-Step

The first thing that you need to do when your dog rips their nail off is restrain them in some way. A muzzle can prove to be helpful because when dogs are in pain, they can become defensive and aggressive.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your dog won’t hurt you just because you’ve shown them a lot of love. You can ask someone to hold them while you clean their toes because they might make an attempt to run away.

Here are some things that you can do to take care of the dog’s broken nail:

  1. Take care of the bleeding
  2. Get rid of the broken nail
  3. Clean the injured area
  4. Keep the dog safe from infections
  5. Keep an eye on the injured foot

Take Care of the Bleeding

Take a towel and wrap it around the toe with the broken nail. Apply some pressure and see if the bleeding stops after 5 or 10 minutes. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to apply styptic pencils or silver nitrate sticks to the bleeding area. They can be found at any pet store or even at pharmacies.

In case you don’t have them at home, you can use flour, baking powder, or corn starch to stop the bleeding. Cold water can also help, but some dogs might not like the cold.

Get Rid of the Broken Nail

Okay, you’ve stopped the bleeding. Now it’s time to remove the injured nail. The broken parts of the nail will continue to cause pain to the dog if you don’t remove them as soon as possible. If you notice your dog is in too much pain when you try to remove the broken nail, it’s best to contact your vet who will numb the injured area before removing the nail.

If the broken part is about to fall off anyway, then you can easily remove it at home with either your hand or a dog toenail clipper.

Clean the Injured Area

If the dog is still bleeding, you might have to wait before you wash the injured area. Wash it with warm water and apply some pressure around the area with a cloth. Your dog might resist when you’re applying pressure so I recommend getting someone to help you.

Ask them to hug the dog so they feel calm and talk to your dog in a gentle voice so you can distract them from the pain.

Keep the Dog Safe from Infections

This is something you should let your veterinarian take care of. They’ll apply antibiotics to the injured area (sometimes given by injection) and wrap a bandage around it so that it stops bleeding.

A broken nail can lead to bone infection because the “quick”, the nail bed that contains the nerves and blood vessels, is attached to the bone and any damage to it can damage the bone.

Keep an Eye on the Injured Foot

Once you’ve taken care of everything, you just have to keep an eye on your dog’s injured foot and take them regularly to your vet to have their bandages changed. You can also do this at home by yourself. Just replace the bandages every day and clean the injured area with warm water.

Your vet might also give pain medication if the injured area still hurts. If you see any signs of infection (swelling, bleeding, pus discharge, etc), take your dog to the vet and let them have a look.

You also have to make sure that your dog doesn’t lick the injured area. You can use an E-collar to prevent them from doing that. You can remove it after 2 or 3 days when the swelling and pain have stopped.

In addition, a broken nail usually grows back within a few months.

How Dogs Break Their Nails

Dewclaws, the nails located on the dog’s front feet, are the nails that break most easily. Every other nail becomes weak when dogs walk on hard surfaces and sometimes due to poor diet. In order to make sure that they don’t break their nails, trim them regularly and don’t let them grow too long.

Sometimes when dogs jump from a higher place to a lower place, their nails can bend and break. Older dogs are even more at risk of breaking their nails. Due to old age, their nails become brittle and break easily.

How to Avoid Dogs From Breaking Their Nails

As I mentioned above, the best way to prevent your dog from ripping their nails off is to keep their nails trimmed short. Longer nails have a higher chance of breaking because they get caught in things easily. If you’re unsure about how to trim your dog’s nails, you can ask your vet for help.

The most important thing that you need to keep in mind when trimming their nails is to avoid damaging the quick. It has a slight pink color so you can easily see it on white nails. It might not be as easy to find it on dark nails, though, so you have to be careful.

If your vet says your dog is susceptible to nail injuries, then you shouldn’t let them walk on hard surfaces. If you can’t prevent that, then you should invest in some dog boots for them.

Final Thoughts

A broken toenail can be severely painful for your dog, especially if the quick has been damaged. In fact, it can sometimes be so painful, your dog might not even let you go near them, which is why you should use a muzzle and get someone to hold them so they don’t hurt you.

Stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the injured area using a towel. If it doesn’t stop after 10 minutes, then you should use a styptic pencil to clean the wound. Don’t worry if you don’t have them at home, because you can also use baking powder or flour to help stop the bleeding. To remove any dangling piece of nail, you can either do it yourself using a dog clipper or contact your vet if it’s causing too much pain.

Once you’ve cleaned everything up, your vet will prescribe antibiotics so your dog doesn’t develop any infection. Since the quick is attached to the bone, dogs can become prone to bone infection if the quick is damaged. Make sure you keep your dog’s nails trimmed short and make them wear dog boots if they walk on hard surfaces frequently.