Nail trimming is important for your pet’s health. Dogs with over grown nails not only have trouble walking, but also often the nails can grow into the pads or break off above the quick and cause bleeding and discomfort. Cats’ nails on the other hand, are retractable and tend to be more brittle. Often cat’s nails will break off when they get too long; however, they also tend to do more damage to furniture and people. We recommend that you trim your pet’s nails once a week.
QUALITY TOENAIL CUTTERS:
Don’t make the mistake of buying cheap toenail trimmers. The steel in the blades of cheap cutters is not strong enough to cut toenails smooth, but rather “crushes” the nails, which can be very harmful to the interior parts of the toenail. You may purchase a quality pair of nail trimmers through our clinic.
NAIL TRIMMING PROCEDURE:
Handle their feet
You will want to start by getting your pet used to having their feet handled. Give them lots of treats and praise while you handle each foot.
Trim And Reward
Once your pet is used to having its feet touched then you can begin trimming their nails. With white nails you can see where the “quick” (blood vessel in the nail) ends, however if your pet has pigmented nails you’ll want to be careful and trim off just a little at a time. Clipping your pet’s nails once weekly helps keep the quick short, and keeps nail trimming easy and safe. When you first begin trimming your pet’s nails you will want to have LOTS of treats handy. Giving them a treat after each nail is clipped keeps their attention elsewhere, and keeps them holding still and being good. When you finish all the nails be sure to make a big deal out of how wonderful your pet is – lots of praise and rewards.
Cutting the toenails too short will result in bleeding. Although it looks like a lot of blood, it really is not. It is impossible for a pet to “bleed to death” from a toenail trimmed too short. If you do cut your pet’s nail too close to the quick and it begins to bleed there are several “quick fixes” you can use. A product called Kwick Stop powder is available for this and is probably the easiest and quickest fix. Around the house you can also try a little piece of bread, cornstarch, or a small piece of cotton to stop the bleeding. We DO NOT recommend Styptic sticks – they sting too much, and your pet would not appreciate it. Remember to give your pet a treat after a nick. You don’t want to let this be a bad experience – finish cutting the rest of the nails, and give treats and praise for good behavior.
The quick grows out as the toenail grows longer. Keeping the toenails cut short allows normal walking pressure to keep the quick short. If the toenails are not kept trimmed, the quick will grow out so far that the toenails cannot be trimmed back properly without making them bleed. In cases where this has happened, we recommend a toenail cautery procedure. This procedure involves sedating the pet to prevent pain so the toenails can be cut back to proper length. After they are trimmed to proper length, the quick is cauterized to stop bleeding and seal the quick to prevent infection. An antibiotic injection is also given to prevent infection. Sometimes oral antibiotics are dispensed if nail bed infections were discovered at the time of the procedure. It is important after the procedure to keep the feet clean and dry for the next 7-10 days until healing occurs.