Torn Toenail in Dogs

Torn Nails in Dogs

Suddenly you notice – there’s blood on your dog’s paw and he is limping and licking his paw. When you take a closer look you see the problem – a terrible torn toenail. Toenail problems, specifically torn or broken nails, are common in dogs but rarely life-threatening. Nevertheless, they are quite painful.

Nails often get snagged on fabric or carpet fibers, and in an attempt to dislodge the attached material, your dog might pull away, tearing the nail in the process. You might not even notice until you see blood or your dog begins to limp or cry. If left untreated, a torn nail can bleed intermittently and become infected, not to mention the pain and irritation for your dog.

Veterinary Care for Torn Nails in Dogs

Some torn nails can be treated at home if your pet will allow it, but veterinary care can reduce the potential for infection and provide easy removal of the torn nail. Depending on the extent of the tear, removal of the nail at the level of tear is usually sufficient. This is most easily done with nail trimmers. After removal of the broken part, your veterinarian may apply a temporary bandage to stop bleeding. He may also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Home Care for Canine Nail Injuries

If you try to treat your dog at home, remember: a torn nail is painful for your dog and you should take care to avoid getting bit. The following steps are important:

Preventative Care for Torn Toenails in Dogs

The best preventative care is to trim your pet’s nails frequently. Overgrown nails are most commonly affected.

Toenail problems in dogs are common and fortunately, rarely life threatening. The most common problem that afflicts the toenail is a torn or broken nail. Usually, the owner is unaware of the cause of the torn nail and only notices the problem when blood is seen on the feet. After breaking or tearing a nail, bleeding occurs due to the significant blood supply to the base of the nail.

Frequently, dogs can catch their nails on fabric, carpet fibers, etc. In an attempt to dislodge the attached fabric, the dog pulls away and the nail is torn in the process.

A torn nail, if left untreated, can have intermittent bleeding episodes, result in infections and cause persistent pain and irritation to the dog.

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