Dogs share numerous similarities with their owners, including emotions, enjoying food, and even being susceptible to the same diseases. Like humans, dogs can also develop ingrown nails, requiring appropriate medical attention. So, what should you do when your dog’s nail curls into their paw?
While attempting to remove it yourself is an option, in most cases, seeking a veterinarian’s assistance, care, and expertise is essential. If you have less experience, you should visit your vet or the nearest clinic to have them handle the removal. Your dog will undoubtedly appreciate this thoughtful choice as well.
Read on to learn more about removing a dog’s curled nail and when to seek veterinary help.
Before reading this guide, “What to Do When Your Dog’s Nail Curls Into Their Paw,” check out: Dog Nails Are Too Long – Surgery Options for Overgrown Nails (2023) and How Long Should Dog Nails Be? The Best Answer (2023).
It Is Best to Go to The Vet?
Although online instructions are available to assist you if your dog’s nail curls into their paw, we highly recommend seeking help from your veterinarian. The reasons are straightforward:
- Your veterinarian possesses the necessary training and expertise to remove the nail carefully.
- Your veterinarian utilizes sterilized tools, ensuring that no germs enter the wound.
- Your veterinarian has the appropriate medications and knowledge to administer them.
These three factors emphasize the importance of professional intervention, considering that you may lack training, expertise, or medical knowledge. Entrusting this potentially complex issue to experts is the wisest choice, as there could be underlying complications that take time to surface.
Furthermore, an important reason to rely on your veterinarian is the potential influence of your emotions. When your beloved dog is injured, feelings may cloud your judgment, hindering clear thinking.
It is best to involve an unbiased third party — your veterinarian to ensure an objective approach. They possess a clear mindset, allowing them to address the issue steadily and avoid exacerbating it.
Attempting the procedure alone can lead to mistakes, as fear and shaky hands may impede. By leaving it up to a veterinarian, you minimize the risk of errors and promote the best possible outcome.
You Can Cut It Yourself
These instructions are for cases of non-life-threatening nails that do not require immediate veterinary attention. In certain situations, you can take on the task of trimming your dog’s nail that curls into their paw by yourself, saving on veterinary fees.
First, assess whether the curled nail is in a dangerous position. When we mention not too deep into the pad, we’re talking about its lack of infection. The procedure should be manageable if the nail only starts to curl and has not reached the pad.
Next, use scissor-style nail clippers instead of other tools. These clippers are easier to insert into the curl and are safe and stress-free for your dog.
Now, here comes the challenging part. First, if the nail is in the pad, you must determine if it will be easy or difficult to remove. Then, after cutting, you must pull the nail out from the pad and not leave it in.
At this point, it’s advisable to have someone else hold the dog and keep them calm while you work on the ingrown nail. Then, clip the nail a short distance from the tip.
Proceed by cutting off progressively smaller nail portions until you reach the quick. Be cautious, as cutting the quick can cause your dog pain and bleeding. Exercise patience throughout the procedure. Once you’ve trimmed the nail, use tweezers to grab the part embedded in the pad and pull it out.
During the final step, you must remain composed when you encounter blood. The pad may bleed. Clean the wound with soap and water, and then apply a canine antibacterial cream or ointment to prevent infection and stop the bleeding.
If you have doubts about your ability to perform this task, seek advice from your local veterinarian.
How Can You Prevent Nail Issues In Your Dog?
Taking proper care of your dog’s nail health is essential.
If your dog experiences abnormal nail growth, ingrown nails, or brittle nails, consider the following:
- Provide a healthy, fresh, and raw dog food diet as it supplies nutrients for strong nails.
- Use Aquaphor on your dog’s paws and nails outside in the snow to protect them from the cold and prevent dryness. Apply it to the nail bed as well.
- When your dog has a broken nail, scrutinize it to ensure there’s no bleeding. A bleeding nail is prone to infection, so keep it clean and use Aquaphor to aid in the healing process.
- Consult your veterinarian or groomer for advice on making regular nail trimming easier. They often have helpful techniques to help your pet become more comfortable with nail grinders or clippers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cutting a dog’s nail curled into the paw can be delicate.
However, it is generally best to seek assistance from a veterinarian, as they have the necessary expertise and tools to handle the situation safely and effectively. Attempting to cut a deeply ingrown nail without proper training can cause harm to your dog and result in complications.
If your dog’s nail is severely in the paw, it is best to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can evaluate the condition and determine the most appropriate action to alleviate it without causing further harm.
Assess the severity
Determine the extent of the twist and whether it is causing discomfort or affecting your dog’s mobility. If the deformed nail is causing significant pain, bleeding, or impairing movement, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Consult a veterinarian
We advise consulting with a veterinarian who can examine the deformed nail and provide appropriate guidance. They may recommend various treatment options based on the severity of the twist, including nail trimming, sedation, or, in some cases, partial or complete nail removal.
Provide pain relief, if necessary
If the deformed nail is causing discomfort or pain, your veterinarian may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter options suitable for dogs. Follow their instructions carefully regarding dosage and administration.
Keep the area clean
Maintain good hygiene around the deformed nail. If there is any bleeding or open wound, clean it gently with a mild antiseptic solution recommended by your veterinarian. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or substances that may further irritate the area.
Monitor for signs of infection
Watch for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, discharge, or excessive heat around the deformed nail. If you observe any concerning symptoms, contact your veterinarian promptly.
Prevent further damage
During the healing process, protect the deformed nail. Regularly trim your dog’s nails to minimize the risk of additional twisting or damage. Provide a safe and comfortable environment to prevent accidental injury to the affected nail.
It is generally not recommended to let your dog lick a broken nail.
Licking can worsen the condition and delay healing. In addition, when a dog licks a broken nail, it can introduce bacteria into the wound, potentially leading to infection. Excessive licking can also cause irritation, inflammation, and further trauma.
If your dog has a broken nail, keeping a close eye on them and preventing them from licking the affected area is essential. You can use a cone or Elizabethan collar to control access to the nail. Additionally, keeping the nail clean and applying a pet-safe antibacterial ointment, as your veterinarian recommends, can help protect the wound and promote healing.
They can guide wound care, pain management, and whether any additional treatments are necessary.
Assess the severity
Evaluate the extent of the nail break. You can manage it at home without significant bleeding or pain if it’s a minor break. However, if the crack is severe, causing excessive bleeding, or your dog is distressed, it is best to seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Examine the nail and surrounding area
Carefully inspect the broken nail and surrounding tissue for any signs of injury, such as bleeding, swelling, or exposed nerves. Take note of the location and extent of the break, as this information will be helpful for your veterinarian if professional care is needed.
If bleeding from the broken nail, apply gentle pressure using a clean cloth or gauze pad. Maintain the pressure for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. In some cases, styptic powder or a pencil (available at pet stores) can help promote clotting and stop bleeding.
Clean the area
If the nail or surrounding area is dirty or contaminated, gently clean it with a mild antiseptic solution or warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or substances that may cause further irritation.
Protect the nail
Depending on the severity of the break, you may need to protect the nail to prevent further damage or licking. You can use a cone or Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from biting or licking the affected area.
If your dog appears to be in discomfort, you can offer them over-the-counter pain relief specifically formulated for dogs. However, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to ensure your dog’s correct dosage and appropriate pain management options.
Consult your veterinarian
Even if the nail break seems minor, it is still best to consult your veterinarian. They can provide professional guidance, assess the situation more thoroughly, and determine if any further treatment or trimming of the nail is necessary.
Conclusion for “What to Do When Your Dog’s Nail Curls Into Their Paw”
When it comes to addressing ingrown or broken nails in dogs, seeking the assistance of a veterinarian is generally the best course of action. Veterinarians have the necessary training, expertise, and tools to handle these situations safely and effectively.
They can carefully remove the nail, use sterilized tools to prevent infection, and provide appropriate medications. Choosing professional intervention helps ensure the best outcome for your dog’s well-being, mainly when underlying complications occur.
If you find this guide, “What to Do When Your Dog’s Nail Curls Into Their Paw,” helpful, check out:
- Best Dog Nail Grinder – Top 5 Picks! (2023)
- Dog Nail Bleeds After Walking – What Should I Do? (2023)
- What to Do When Your Dog’s Nail Quick Is Exposed? (2023)
Learn more by watching “INGROWN DEW CLAWS EMBEDDED IN PAW PADS GET CLIPPED- VIEWERS DISCRETION ADVISED!” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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