|Barked: Sun Jan 11, '09 11:28pm PST |
|Cutting the quick in the toenail of a dog, by all biological reasoning, most certainly DOES hurt - there is a nerve ending that follows the small capillary (the blood vessel within the quick), and it's there for a reason - even if the dog isn't out in "the wild" anymore, they still have some of the biology necessary.
But it is more like the pinch described above, and it's also true that different dogs have different reactions. If a dog has the terrible experiences described above, that can lead to a bad reaction for toenail trimming even if the trimmer is nowhere near the quick. I am sorry that that happened to your little guy.
Occasionally even the professionals will accidentally cut a nail beyond the quick - it usually happens in smaller, more active dogs who are less accustomed to having their little feet being held. Groomers DO care when this happens, as it does nothing for the imperative trust relationship we have with our furry clients. We feel bad when it happens, but we also know that it isn't a major injury that will require medical response or antibiotics. The styptic powder that we have for when it does happen contains caustic materials - that is to say, it cauterizes the little spot, stops the bleeding and contains antiseptic properties to prevent infection. It is a minor thing, but the sight of blood is always a scary thing to confront, especially when it's coming from your precious little Precious's foot!
Should you get a really close trim that doesn't bleed at the grooming shop but starts to on the way home (walking on the concrete can open the quick up if the nail has been trimmed very close to the quick or just taken the tip of it off - which doesn't hurt, it only hurts if you cut the quick), there are a few things you can do:
Use flour to staunch the bleeding, or better yet corn starch! corn starch clumps up even better than flour and will stop the bleeding and form a protective little clump of barrier while your doggie's natural body defenses heal the opening and stop the bleeding naturally - if you leave it alone and check on it only every few minutes (just to make sure), the bleeding will stop. Do NOT use hydrogen peroxide to clean it, as hydrogen peroxide actually damages cells, preventing it from healing naturally. If it's messy, don't worry - doggie will clean it up themselves! Keep an eye on it for a day or two (no need to keep puppy home from daycare or you from work - just let any doggie caretakers know about it) - and if your little one leaves it alone, and it looks like a normal toe and nail, then you can let go of worry about it and just let the groomer know next time to go a little more conservative
If it starts to swell, or your little guy or gal seems to worry it a lot, or it is pink or has an odd small or look to it, then it's time to visit a vet - it may be that the irritation of having flour on their quick may just be annoying and they've licked it too much, or it may be a full-blown infection. Only a vet will know for sure.
Don't let this scare you! Nail trimming is the most basic part of grooming, the only thing that most dogs cannot go without, for the health of their feet and joints. Regular trimming or filing with a dremel (or even a nail file) will keep their toes straight and walking tall! Remember these are all risks you take with your own hands when you trim your own nails, or get a manicure - and dog's paw-dicures don't ever involve nasty chemicals!
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