How to Prevent One of the Most COMMON Dog Emergencies

When you have dogs, things happen. Common problems that emergency room veterinarians see every day include vomiting, diarrhea, lacerations and trauma (e.g. from being hit by a car). Another very common emergency is torn nails.

Dog’s nails continue to grow and trimming them can be a challenge for some dog owners. This is not uncommon. As the nails get longer they can get caught on the rug, in an afghan or something else. (They can even turn back and start growing into the paw!) When the nail is caught it actually tears away from the skin. It commonly bleeds and is very painful.

When a nail tears, we trim back the nail, bandage it for a day to control the bleeding and the nail will eventually grow back.

The prevention for torn nails is very simple. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed.

You can do this with a standard type nail trimmer or a nail grinder. Both can work fine. The key is making the experience positive for your dog. I’ve tested some different nail trimmers and grinders. I recently found one nail grinder called Gentle Paws that is very good at a reasonable price. This grinder works up to 5 times faster than other grinders, so it makes short work of nail grooming. It has a professional grade motor and 2 operating speeds for better control. And the safety guard holds your pet’s nail in place to prevent accidental hair winding while it catches the debris you file away (so there’s no mess to clean up).

If you haven’t trimmed your dog’s nails before, go slowly. Start by showing your dog the nail trimmer, petting him with it and touching his feet (without trimming his nails). Give tons of positive reinforcement (praise or a treat) for good behavior.