Our pups love to play and, at times, can play hard. A very common injury for our pups is a split or broken toenail. These can cause pain and great discomfort to our fur-legged friends, and knowing what to do when this happens is very important. Although a very simple injury, it is one that should be treated quickly and properly.
What Causes Dogs’ Nails to Break?
Dogs have a total of nine toes. Five toes on their front paws and four on their back paws. Their nails grow throughout their entire life and often require trimming to keep them at a comfortable length. Overgrown toenails on dogs can cause discomfort since they are in constant contact with the ground they walk on. We need to remember that they are not just walking on a soft carpet. Outdoor terrain can be hard and rough, which can cause their nails to break and or split. Imagine how you would feel running around outside without shoes on.
Why are a Dog’s Broken Nails Problematic?
Our pup’s toenails should always be taken seriously, as damaged toenails can lead to greater health issues. The injury is not only painful but can limit their mobility and quality of life. Inside their nails are clusters of nerves and blood vessels. An untreated broken toenail can lead to an infection that is capable of spreading into the dog’s leg, which will require much greater medical care. This is one of the main reasons why tending to his toenails is so important.
How To Treat A Broken a Nail
When in doubt, contacting your veterinarian is always recommended. If you treat the injured toenail at home, you should initially restrain your dog in a way that allows you to safely examine the injured toenail. This will help prevent you from being bit and or scratched and will make the process safer and easier. Your pup will be in pain and most likely not want you near the injured paw. If your dog’s nail is bleeding and he will allow you to touch the area, begin to address the bleeding by applying light pressure to the area. Keep the light pressure applied for several minutes and until the bleeding stops. After the bleeding is under control, apply an anti-bacterial ointment or cleansing solution to the injured area. Bleeding that does not stop after fifteen minutes should be looked at by a veterinarian. After the area is properly cleaned, allow it to air dry. Applying a bandage over the area may not allow it to dry out as desired and is a potential safety hazard should your dog try and chew the bandage. If you happen to observe a small section of the nail hanging from the area, you can attempt to remove it yourself by carefully trimming it. This should only be done if your dog is tolerating the pain and relaxed enough to allow you to. After doing so, let your dog time to relax before allowing him to run free, especially outside.
How Long Does It Take a Dog to Fully Recover from A Broken Toenail? Although all dogs are different and all injuries vary, generally speaking, your dog will need about two weeks before his nail is completely back to normal. You should start seeing improvement within the first 48 to 72 hours. This will greatly depend on how quickly you treated the injury, the overall extent of the injury, and if your dog did not reinjure it before it began to heal. Remembering to use anti-bacterial ointments or cleansing solutions as soon as possible also helps to prevent the area from becoming infected, which can certainly set back your pup’s recovery time.