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can a dog's nails be too SHORT?

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Mr. Kite "Sumo"

being for the- benefit of mr.- kite.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 11:22am PST 
i know the many complications of a dog's nails being too long...but can a dog's nails be TOO short?

i keep Shooter's so they don't touch the ground usually quite a bit above that and they seem alright to me- they don't scratch and they don't click on the ground. he did used to have pretty long nails, but i shortened them up by cutting/trimming them 2x a week. now i like their length and his paws look more "compact"- more cat paw-ish than they used to.

However, i work with a lot of dogs and know 2 that have their nails cut down to just nubs! i call them dino paws because they just have these nubs on the ends of their toes and their feet splay out because of it; makes them look like dinosaurs (to me, but then i am a little strange). it almost seems like they have a hard time balancing on their feet without any nails there- their toes are spread and if you watch them walk it seems like they are trying to balance towards the back of their foot as opposed to even distribution of weight.

it just looked odd to me- can that cause problems in the feet/legs/etc.?

i understand wanting to keep your dog's nails short but these dogs look uncomfortable. i have a friend who keeps her 'doodle' puppy's nails this short as well, and he has dino paws too. (you like how i use dino paws like a diagnoses? LOL)

i suppose this should be posted in grooming, but i didn't think i'd get many replies there. just curious if the nails being too short as opposed to too long could cause problems as well.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 12:02pm PST 
I don't think too short is an issue. None of my poodles nails ever touch the floor, even when too long, so too short certainly wouldn't affect their gait. Splayed feet are a common problem in a lot of breeds, poodles being one. They call it "paper foot", I suspect because the foot is so flat, but that usually makes the nails even less likely to touch the ground. I know when mine are being shown the handlers grind them at a minimum weekly, and they are little nubs when I get them back, BUT... they obviously wouldn't do them that short if it affected their walking since they are being judged on that. I always keep my Frenchie's nails really short, too... in my opinion, it makes a good foot look great and Frenchie's are another breed where splayed/flat feet are a problem within the breed. And, the standard calls for short nails as well for Frenchies. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of dogs barely able to walk due to too long nails that curl under and pinch their pads. When I had labs I never trimmed their nails because they DID touch the ground and were kept worn short naturally. Soo, I would suspect it's more of a breed thing... the spayed foot is not the result of the nails being too short but rather the cause of the ugly look, and yes, dino feet is a good description!! Poodles (and Frenchie's) should have cat like feet...short toes and compact, well arched feet, not flat and splayed at all.

Edited by author Sat Jul 3, '10 12:07pm PST

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Mr. Kite "Sumo"

being for the- benefit of mr.- kite.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 12:25pm PST 
thanks, Toto- perhaps it's just a coincidence that these dogs have nubby nails along with splayed feet. and like you said, since the foot is flat it probably makes the nails look shorter since they have no chance to touch the ground.

one of them is a lab and the other is a lab mix. my friend's is a golden/poodle mix.

thanks for the response...i have always preferred and maintained my dogs nails quite short- these dogs feet just looked funny- but i had never heard any warning about nails being too short.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 12:54pm PST 
Well, I will say that labs also have some pretty funky feet! One whole line I used to have had front feet that the toes were FAT and almost CURLED (or rolles?) out and the nails wore off the outsides. I hated those feet!!! By keeping their nails really short I thought it made them look better, but perhaps I was only fooling myself????
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Penny, I- Miss You- Sooo Much

306716
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 2:01pm PST 
My dog has always had dry brittle nails due to hypothyroidism, even when her blood levels were normal. They would often grow crooked and break off partially and it caused her a lot of discomfort.
When she was in surgery to have a lump removed they trimmed her nails while she was still under aneshtesia and I am quite happy to say that they NEVER have grown back. They are nubby looking, but they don't ever grow, don't break, don't cause pain. happy dance I hope they never grow back out.
So, in her case, no, they aren't too short. If a dog had regular nails and they were that short, I'd wonder how they had gotten that way.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 2:33pm PST 
I am big on keeping my guys nails super short - I don't let them grown past the hair length on their feet.

At the hospital the lack of nail trimming by the average owner is super evident. Older dogs often have arthritic toes and when their nails are kept long every step can be painful because the nail pushes up the toe as they walk.
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Mr. Kite "Sumo"

being for the- benefit of mr.- kite.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 2:54pm PST 
Leah, I work at a dog daycare and see super long nails all the time- i feel so bad!
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Abby

1087348
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 4:45pm PST 
How long is too long? I don't know what the length range is supposed to be.

I took Abby in to get her nails trimmed and buffed the other day, and they barely looked shorter.

Her's click on the floor.
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Mr. Kite "Sumo"

being for the- benefit of mr.- kite.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 4:59pm PST 
abby, when a dog's nails are left to grow, the blood vessel inside them (the quick) will also grow out- so sometimes not much can be taken off without the quick being cut and bleeding. the quick will recede if you cut/trim often enough, then you will see shorter nails.

i prefer my dogs nails not to touch the floor. some dogs naturally grind theirs when they walk, for some reason Shooter's don't- maybe it's the way he walks- he is very dainty and light on his feet. it's hard to say what the "correct" length should be- but since now i know they can't end up being TOO short, i will keep them as short as possible...

if they are not causing her discomfort then i would say they are not too long- but like i said, i personally prefer them not to click on the floor, for some reason that seems too long to me on my dogs.

Edited by author Sat Jul 3, '10 5:04pm PST

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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 3, '10 5:13pm PST 
Sumo - That is why I keep them so short - that clicking drives me CRAZY! But even the other techs say I am a little nail trim crazy - I trim both dogs every 2-3 weeks (although when we lived in Philly we played so much alley fetch that Cara NEVER needed them done)

I also have this theory that sick dogs in the hospital benefit from good grooming/brushing/trimming hair as well as a nice nail trim. I think it just makes them feel better (at least a little) - I equate it to taking a bath or shower when your sick - its kind of refreshing - Other techs do often tease me about my "life saving" nail trims and baths but I know I will do them for the forever so shrug I guess the teasing is all in fun anyway (as long as I cover the patients ears so they don't think the teasing is directed at them wink)

But back to the feet thing - I just wanted to note that I think Toto hit that on the head - another thing that can cause splaying (I refer to them as "starfish feet" is arthritis so again short nails will really help them too)

And if we are talking about foot health (this came up at work last night) for all those long haired older dog owners out there.....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember to trim the fur between the toes short on these guys. Their balance is already impaired by arthritis and loss of muscle mass so they really need their pads uncovered to help them grip and navigate across slippery floors - You will be surprised at what a difference it can make - I have to admit that any GRT or Collie who becomes my patient gets this as part of their medical care!! I just hate to see it!
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