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What Should I Do If My Dog’s Dewclaw Nail Is Fractured at the Base?


Dear VetBabble,

I recently noticed that my dog’s dewclaw nail is fractured at the base, and I’m not sure what to do. Should I try to remove the broken nail myself or should I bring my dog to the vet? How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

What to Do When Your Pet’s Nail is Fractured

First off, thank you for reaching out and expressing your concern for your furry friend! It’s essential to address a fractured nail as soon as possible to ensure your pet’s comfort and to prevent further complications. In the case of a nail that is fractured at the base, it’s best to leave the task of cutting back or removing the nail to a veterinarian. This is mainly because the process can be painful for your pet, and your vet will have the necessary tools and knowledge to perform the procedure with minimal discomfort to your dog. They can also stop the bleeding and use sedation if needed.

While it may be tempting to attempt at-home treatment, removing a broken nail yourself can be risky. Your pet may react negatively to the pain, leading to potential injury to you. Additionally, there’s a risk of infection if the nail bed is not correctly treated, and this could be made worse if your dog licks their wound.

It’s worth noting that your vet may prescribe pain medications and antibiotics if the nail bed is infected from the dog licking. As for the nail itself, it should gradually grow back over time once the broken portion has been removed.

Preventing Broken Nails

To avoid future incidents of broken nails, it’s essential to regularly maintain your pet’s nails. Proper nail care can reduce the likelihood of fractures and other nail-related issues. Here are some steps you can take to keep your pet’s nails healthy and strong:

  1. Regularly trim your pet’s nails using the proper technique. For advice on trimming a dog’s nails, read the article The No Fear Way To Trim Your Dog’s Nails. If you’re a cat owner, check out The No Fear Way To Trim Your Cat’s Nails for guidance.
  2. Make sure your pet has a proper diet to support nail health. A well-balanced diet with the right nutrients can help strengthen your pet’s nails and reduce the risk of fractures.
  3. Keep an eye on your pet’s nails for any signs of damage, such as cracks or chips. By identifying potential issues early on, you can take steps to address them and prevent further complications.

Addressing Broken Nails and Other Injuries at Home

While a fractured nail at the base requires a veterinary visit, there are some situations where you may be able to provide basic first aid to your pet in case of minor injuries. It’s always useful to have a basic understanding of pet first aid and how to treat your dog’s wounds at home. For more information on this topic, check out the article How to Treat your Dog’s Wounds at Home. Remember that it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian if you’re ever unsure about your pet’s condition or how to proceed with treatment.

In conclusion, if your dog experiences a fractured nail, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for professional care. By maintaining your pet’s nails and overall health, you can reduce the risk of future injuries and keep them happy, healthy, and active. Take good care of your furry companion, and remember that VetBabble is always here to help with any questions or concerns you may have!

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