If you're nervous about trimming your dog's nails, you're not alone. Many pet owners dread this task because they're worried they will cut the nail too short. If you're wondering what to do if you cut the nail quick, it's not actually as bad as you may think.
If your dog has white nails, it will be easy to see the pink quick through the nail. However, if your dog has black or brown nails, it will be impossible to tell exactly where the quick is. Focus on only clipping off the pointed end of the nail.
If you make a mistake, don't stress about it. Yes, it will be slightly painful for your dog. Think of how it feels when you clip your fingernail too short. That's how it will feel for your bet if you accidentally clip the quick of the nail.
He won't be in excruciating pain, but it will be uncomfortable. Yes, you're sure to feel badly about it, but it's not the worst thing in the world. Stay calm, follow the steps below and your dog will be feeling better in no time.
What To Do If You Cut the Nail Quick of Your Dog
I recommend that every pet owner buy styptic power (or styptic gel), which is a clotting agent that contracts the blood vessels to stop the bleeding quickly. You can find it in any pet store, and it costs less than $10.
I prefer to use a natural alternative – corn starch. You probably already have some in your kitchen cupboard. If you don't, you can grab some at any grocery store for just a couple of dollars.
You can also use baking soda, flour or scent free soap. These things will help to stop a dog's nail bleeding, but they do not prevent any bacteria entering the bloodstream. Styptic powder is the only option that offers sterilization to prevent the spread of bacteria into your dog's body.
As far as home remedies are concerned, my favorite is corn starch because it works the fastest and seems to be the most effective. Flour works fairly well too, if you don't have corn starch on hand. I also prefer these options because they are chemical free.
What To Do If You Cut the Nail Quick
If you accidentally cut the nail too short, your dog will probably whine and pull his paw away. He will probably begin licking it immediately. The first thing you should do is check to see whether the nail is bleeding or not.
Some dogs are just more sensitive than others. You may have just cut very close to the quick, without actually clipping the end of it.
If it's bleeding, apply some pressure. Apply slight pressure with a clean cloth or paper towel for at least 2 minutes. This will help to control the bleeding. You will notice that the nail bleeds a lot, and very quickly at first. Do not worry – this is completely normal.
As I demonstrate in my video above, after you've compressed the nail for at least 2 minutes, you need to dab styptic powder (or whatever clotting agent you're using) on the end of the nail. Simply remove the cloth, take a small pinch of the powder and place it gently on the tip of the nail.
If you notice a bit of blood coming through, just apply another layer of powder. It's also important to keep your dog quiet for at least the next 20-30 minutes. If he gets up and walks around, it will put pressure on the paw, which could cause the nail to begin bleeding again.
If the bleeding doesn't slow down after 30 minutes, you need to call your veterinarian immediately. Your dog may have an underlying health condition that is causing the excessive bleeding.
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