Dog Nail Injury Treatment

The dog nail is very sensitive due to all the nerves that are present in the nail bed, so an injury will be very painful. Dogs can injure their nails while playing or running. You might accidentally injure the nail while trimming it too short. Knowing how to treat a nail injury and relieve the pain of your pet is essential for a dog owner.

The Dog Nail

The dog nail is made up of a keratin shell that covers some sensitive nerves, known as the quick. The nail is fixed and grows continually, so it should be regularly clipped. Otherwise, the nail can break off or curve into the paw, causing wounds in the flesh and infections. A nail that's too long can also cause back pain for the dog and can make him more prone to injury.

Knowing how a nail is structured is important to be able to prevent nail injuries, and to offer proper treatment, should an injury occur.

Dog Nail Injuries

A nail injury can occur during regular activities. A dog can get hurt by sharp objects, for example. If the nail is sharp it can get caught in materials such as carpets or bedding. When clipping your dog's nails, you should pay close attention so as not to injure him.

A nail injury can be painful, and can cause severe foot pain and limping. If not treated, a nail injury can lead to infection and severe pain; the infection can spread to the foot and enter the bloodstream.

Dog Nail Injury Treatment

The treatment of a nail injury should focus on preventing an infection and speed up the healing of the nail. The treatment depends on the type of injury.

If the injury occurs due to a trim that's too short, you should stop the bleeding by using some styptic powder. Make sure the nail is kept clean. You can cover it with bandages to prevent the dog from licking the wound. The nail should be washed with an antibacterial soap twice per day. Apply some antibiotic ointment and remove bandages during nighttime. The healing time may range from a few days to a week, depending on the severity of the injury.

If the nail is cracked, the dog should be given a sedative, because the nail should be trimmed. If the crack is vertical, you should visit the vet, because the crack may extend as the nail grows.

If the nail is torn or broken, it should be trimmed until the point of the injury. Avoid cutting into the quick.

The injury should be cleaned to remove harmful bacteria that can cause infections. Use a mild antibacterial soap. The infection should be prevented with oral antibiotics and topical ointments that contain antibiotics. Cover the nail with a bandage.

If the quick is affected, the injury will be painful, due to the numerous nerve endings that are located in the nail bed. A painful nail injury may require pain medication as well.