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vet tech just told me I needed to sedate for toe nail trim...

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

  
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Layla - CGC, Therapy- Dog

I will get that- squirrel one- day...
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 9, '10 9:13am PST 
Ok so I realize Layla is not the easiest dog to handle when it comes to toe nail trims, that being said I would be able to do them myself if I had someone more experienced in holding her down other that the bf.

Layla is not aggressive and I think most of her problems stem from being restrained not so much the actual toe nail trims. Anyway...I took her to the vet to have them trim her toenails (which the have successfully done before) and they came back with her two minutes later telling me she was too stressed out and they will not do it unless she is sedated. and Sedation is $40!!! That is crazy every time I want to have her toenails trimmed!!

I guess my question is do any of you have a hard to handle case and what do you do with them when they need a toenail trim? It is mainly her dew claws that are so long I am afraid she might rip one off. Any help would be great. Thanks!
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ACE

550004
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 9, '10 10:00am PST 
i would honestly not start sedating your dog for nail trims based on one vet techs experience with your dog. not only is it expensive as you say, but, to me, is not something you risk putting your dog under for. the few people i do know who have dogs that need to be sedated (these dogs are usually rescues taken in at an older age, who may have never experienced regular nail trimming before), only do so when they need to have other procedures done (for example, teeth cleaning).

i, and im sure other groomers, have a lot of different methods for hard to handle dogs. it all depends on the dog, and their methods of fighting. not every dog will respond to the same thing. i do many dogs that will not be any better if im holding them down, yet some seem to do better in a position where they cant move. your dog very well could respond to different kind of handling. have you ever tried him on a table, like groomers do? there are probably a lot of things you can still try with him.

a few things i do in general:
-i dont like to let the dog see what im doing. picking the foot up in front of the dogs face and attepting to trim a few inches away from them is not going to work a lot of the time. i either turn my back to them and use my body as a sheild, or i tuck the head under my arm.
-im never unsure,m and i never respond to negative behavior, but very praising of good behavior. even if all the dog is doing is letting you hold the fot without fighting, that is a step in the right direction
-if the dog is truly awful (like the border collie my boss got a year ago as an owner surrender, who bites even if you reach for a foot), i try to find somethnig they really love or want. in tha dog's case, it was food (and since she was chunky when we got her, she def. wasnt getting what she thought was enough). i basically trained her to shake, ince she realized that everytime i would hold her foot and she sat still she got food, she was an automatic shaker. next came putting the clippers close to her while holding a foot, next came a little clipping off a nail. everyti e she stodd still and accepted what i did, she got treated and praised. if she growled or fought, i waited until she stopped, then let go and started again.
-every single time your dog has fought you and won over nail trims, he has learned what do to get you to stop. if you let go of a wiggling leg, all you taught the dog is that if he wiggles enough, you let go (which is what HE wanted). i never leg go of a foot when a dog is fighting. i dont hold on for dear life or anything (you dont want the dog to hurt itself if it is strugglinh), but i do try and keep the foot in my hand, so the dog doesnt learn that that will work. if i do need to stop for whatever reason, i only do so on a good note when the dog is behaving. ending in other way is going to make the next time even worse.

I would call your local grooming salons and explain the situation. ask them if they may be able to help. im kind of shocked that the staff at the vet only tried for 2 minutes, and declared her too stressed and must ve sedated. even if i had to quit doing nails on a dog that ws too stressd, i wouldnt automatically assume he needed to be sedated. i would do a lot of work with any dog before regularly sedating them for what should be a very simple procedure. if she has gone there before and been fine, then i would assume a new person was doing them, who may have been too inexperienced to handle the dog. i know that i have way more techniques for difficult dogs than most vet techs i know. groomers need to learn to handle many different types of dogs, and do it in a loving, positive way (well, at least the god ones do). be sure to ask a lot of questions, thats a good way to know how knowledgable someone is, and if they truly can do yoru dogs nails. at this point, you dont want him to have many more negative experiences with nail trimming, the next one really needs to be nice and positive, and most of all, somewhat successful. and success doesnt have to be huge. i would consider him letting you do one nail without fighting, while not being completely restrained, a big success.
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Layla - CGC, Therapy- Dog

I will get that- squirrel one- day...
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 9, '10 1:22pm PST 
Thanks for the post. I agree, I refuse to have her sedated every time they want to do a toe nail trim, I think that is silly and she is not THAT bad. After I posted I put her on the ground and held her down she thrashed but when she stopped I praised her, then gave her a treat and let her up. Then I did it again and she got the point that being restrained is not so bad. I think I will keep working with her and find someone else to try and cut her nails.
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Silk, CGC,- FM, TFP-II

I'm the guard- dog! Mom! Save- me!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 9, '10 3:41pm PST 
I agree with what has been said, also I would not let the vet techs take her away from you as that can be causing the trims to be more stressful. For my bigger dogs, I stand over them or next to them and lift their feet (like a horse) and trim the nails. Works great.
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Layla - CGC, Therapy- Dog

I will get that- squirrel one- day...
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 9, '10 3:48pm PST 
Thanks again for the advice. I called a couple of groomers in town. One said that if the vet tech said she needed to be sedated it was probably pretty serious and they would give it a shot but said I should probably not expect anything. The second groomer I called said that they would want to meet her to see her personality and judge if they could take her on and what the best method would be. SO I brought her in there and they played with her for 5-10 minutes and she LOVED them, then they told both her and I to come in the back with her. It took two of them and myself but her nails were all cut and it only took 2 minutes and Layla was stressed but not nearly to the level that the vet tech had said. She squirmed for 45 seconds or so but then just let the lady go about cutting her nails.

When She did stop wiggiling another receptionist started to give her cookies, then all three ladies played with her for another 5-10 minutes. I think it was nice for Layla to see it doesn't have to be bad and she got LOTS of praise when she was good. We will be going back there. Thanks again for the advice.
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Lucky

990072
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 10, '10 12:19am PST 
My pup is a real stinker about nail trimming. I've been trying to counter-condition him to actually like the clippers for months, and he still goes ballistic when it's actual clip-time. Because it takes time to train a dog to tolerate nail clipping, I actually think that sometimes sedation is the best option to avoid causing the dog trauma. There's a huge difference between "putting a dog under" and sedation. This isn't anesthesia. Lucky's vet gave me a bottle of Acepromazine (about $15) and I give him one pill, which just makes him sort of loopy and sleepy for about an hour while I take him in and let an expert quickly clip his nails. He's a 60-lb hound mix and VERY strong; built like a tank. When he's scared and restrained he'll wriggle right out of it no problem. The way I see it is that sedatives should only be used as training wheels while a dog is being trained to like the clippers. Because nails have to be clipped, regardless. I learned this the hard way when I just put off the clipping too long. Well, Lucky cracked a claw on a rock while he was out running around and it was $80 in vet bills to stop the bleeding and put him on prophylactic antibiotics. People can talk all day about great techniques for clipping nails without sedatives, and they do work for most dogs. They don't quite work completely for my dog yet, so we're going to keep working and keep the training wheels on for a little longer. Just a different perspective; thought I'd put in my two cents.
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Layla - CGC, Therapy- Dog

I will get that- squirrel one- day...
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 10, '10 6:01pm PST 
Lucky, I appreciate the response and if the Dr. even offered ace I might consider it however they wanted to use a reversible sedative that is given as a shot. I used to work at a vet clinic and I have seen dogs behave porrly and she is naughty but not nearly that naughty.

Also I am slow to move to sedation because it is dangerous for any dog but greyhounds have a particular aversion to it and since she is part greyhound it is not worth taking the risk.

As I said above I found a great groomer willing to work with her and I. Hopefully she will get better and better.
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Silk, CGC,- FM, TFP-II

I'm the guard- dog! Mom! Save- me!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 10, '10 7:12pm PST 
Glad you found such a proactive groomer! Before you know it she'll be loving those nail trims there!
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Doji

1107506
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 11, '10 4:37am PST 
I just cut Doji's nails for the first time ever yesterday. He has never needed them cut before but I noticed they were starting to grow a little longer so I decided to cut them. I was so sure it was going to be a nightmare since he HATES having his feet touched. Amazingly it was not too bad. I held him down and my boyfriend cut his nails. He was unhappy but did not struggle as much as I thought he would. We only did one paw though. Today we will probably do another.

My old devil dog GSD hated having her nails cut. My mom would do it and I would hold her head because she would bite anyone else if they held her head. The whole time she would be rumbling away to let us know how displeased she was.

But to the original poster! There is a product out there that gently files the nails down instead of cutting them. Pedi Paws. You could give that a try, I've never used it but a lot of people who come into the pet stores I am in say it works well.
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Quentin- Flagg

King Q - king of clown- town
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 11, '10 7:54am PST 
We had a vet tech tell us the exact same thing about Quentin. His problem, however, was that he absolutely will not abide being handled by anyone else and he hates been taken from our presence, which the vet always wanted to take him to the back to cut his nails. He fought tooth and nail and they told us there was no way they could continue to cut his nails.

So I decided to start doing it myself. I just make him lay down and I give him lots of treats or a peanut butter kong. I am firm but gentle, and I don't restrain him except to hold his paw. This seems to be working really well. He knows he has no choice, but it's not a negative experience. It gets easier and easier every time.

Re: the PediPaws suggestion. We bought one of those, and it's just an underpowered dremel tool. I found it to be ineffective, slow and it causes the fingernail to heat up from the friction (I tried it on my own fingernail first). Just our experience.

Q
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