6547 Cooley Lake Rd

Waterford, MI 48327

(248) 363-6262

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My Dog Broke a Nail? What Do I Do Now?

Nail Problems

Almost any rambunctious Rover can have an accident or injury when out running, playing, or roughhousing. Our canine companions, much like kids, have a way with causing injuries to themselves during a burst of rolicking. This level of energy and enthusiasm is great to see, because that indicates a healthy fur friend, but it can sometimes lead to a broken nail (or two, or three).

If your dog broke a nail, or has injured his or her nails, it may seem serious (especially if there is bleeding). What do you do? The team at Union Lake Pet Services is here to answer that question.

Nail Breaks

Nail breaks are a common problem. If bleeding is excessive, or the nail is ripped below the surface or quick, we recommend that you contact our hospital right away. This is a painful injury and requires, in many cases, sedation and possible treatment.

If the nail is broken and is bleeding minimally, you can choose to treat the break at home with a few steps:

  1. If the broken part of the nail is still attached, carefully remove the broken piece using a sterile pet nail clipper. (This should only be done if it is not below the quick. If you’re not sure about finding the quick, watch our video about nail trims for black or white nails.)
  2. If there is bleeding, styptic powder should be applied to the area. Since many of us don’t have styptic powder lying around, cornstarch or flour can also work to control bleeding.
  3. Clean the area with a pet safe antiseptic spray or wash.
  4. Bandage the area and use medical tape to secure the wrap (make sure it is not too tight as this can restrict blood flow).

If you notice swelling, discharge, additional bleeding, or increased pain or discomfort for your pet, contact the ULVH team.

Split Nails

Nails that split are another common occurrence among dogs, particularly during winter. The use of harsh roadside deicers, the dry winter air, and cold, inclement weather can encourage this problem with dogs who have brittle nails. To keep this from developing, we recommend regular grooming, with toenail trims and nail care at home. Or allow the professionals at ULPS help you assess the health of your dog's nails. We can make recommendations to help strengthen, moisturize, and maintain them.

Dog boots or booties are also a great option for keeping your pet’s tootsies in great shape during the cold months!

The Importance of Grooming and Nail Trims

Long, untrimmed, and brittle nails can all cause havoc in your fur friend’s health, and can also lead to a painful injury or trauma including broken nails. To keep your pet’s paws at their best, regular grooming, even throughout the winter months, can stave off any problems related to skin, coat, and nail wellness.

Healthy feet are happy feet!

Dog Broke a Nail? Call Us!

Even when you are keeping your pet’s paws in pristine condition, accidents do happen. If you would like to make an appointment, or have any questions or concerns about the health of your pet, do not hesitate to call.