Dog nail health is a topic that often gets overlooked until a problem arises. From nail disorders to injuries and regrowth, understanding your dog’s nail health is crucial for their overall well-being.
Understanding Dog Nail Disorders
Dog nail disorders can take many forms, from broken or misshapen nails to increased brittleness or discoloration. These issues can be symptoms of a larger skin issue, as nails are an extension of the skin. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms such as licking or chewing at their paws more than usual, it may be a sign of a nail disorder.
Common Symptoms of Nail Disorders
- Broken or misshapen nails
- Increased brittleness of nails
- Pus or discharge around the nail
- Ingrown nails
- Crusting around nails
- Licking and chewing at the paws
- Difficulty walking or lameness
- Redness or swelling of paws or individual nail beds
- Color change in the nails
- Nails look wider or narrower than normal
- Nail splitting
- Bleeding nails
Causes of Nail Disorders
Nail disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Bacterial infection
- Fungal infection
- Auto-immune disease
- Food allergy
- Environmental allergy
- Nutritional problems
- Congenital disorders (present at birth)
Dealing with a Broken Nail
Injuries to a dog’s nails are more common than you might think. When the toenails grow too long, they might get stuck in a hole or break during a game of chase. Serious injuries can lead to a torn nail that has been ripped out by the root.
Symptoms of a Broken Nail
If your dog’s nail is seriously injured, the first sign will be a trail of blood spots when he walks or the act of incessantly licking his paw. The broken nerves will cause the dog severe pain leading to limping and lameness of the injured paw. The toe might swell and become warm in the process.
Treating a Broken Nail
If your dog has pulled his nail completely out, apply pressure to the paw to try to stop the bleeding. Consult your veterinarian and have him assess the injury. If any small nail pieces remain, the veterinarian may remove these and administer antibiotics to prevent infection while the nail grows back.
Nail Regrowth and Recovery
Fortunately, dog toenails usually regrow within 8 weeks but in severe instances, the toenail might need to be removed by a vet which costs up to $300. To make sure your dog quickly recovers, you should regularly change bandages and give meds as prescribed.
Nail Regrowth Time
The regrowth time depends on various factors like your dog’s breed, age, and well-being. It also depends on how you care for the wound and if you keep your dog from hurting himself. It may take up to 8 weeks for a young and healthy dog to regrow a broken toenail.
Recovery After Nail Removal
Your dog won’t feel any pain for hours after the surgery. Make sure that he is resting well and goes easy for the first two days. Restrict movement even if he’s feeling better until the healing is complete. Give your doghis medications as prescribed and take him to follow-up treatments. Monitor your dog’s paw for any redness or swelling that could indicate an infection. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, and well-being, the recovery may take a few days or a few weeks.
Preventing Nail Injuries
Prevention is always better than cure. Broken nails mostly occur in working dogs that are trained in agility or need to hike in a certain terrain on a daily basis. The number one thing you can do is to keep the nails short. To protect your dog’s nails from breaking, it’s possible to buy doggy boots.
Regular Nail Trimming
Dog nails should be cut regularly to prevent them from getting stuck while running. You can take your dog to the groomer if you do not want to cut his nails yourself. Regular nail trimming is not just about aesthetics, but it’s also about preventing injuries and ensuring your dog’s comfort.
Using Doggy Boots
Doggy boots can be a great way to protect your dog’s nails, especially if they’re regularly walking or running on hard or rough surfaces. They can also be useful in extreme weather conditions, protecting your dog’s paws from hot pavement in the summer or icy sidewalks in the winter.
1. Can a dog’s nail grow back after being pulled out?
Yes, in most cases, a dog’s nail will grow back after being pulled out. However, the regrowth time can vary depending on various factors like the dog’s breed, age, and overall health. It may take up to 8 weeks for a young and healthy dog to regrow a broken toenail.
2. What should I do if my dog’s nail is broken?
If your dog’s nail is broken, try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth. Then, take your dog to a veterinarian for further examination and treatment.
3. How can I prevent my dog’s nails from breaking?
The best way to prevent your dog’s nails from breaking is by keeping them short through regular trimming. You can also consider using doggy boots to protect your dog’s nails, especially if they’re regularly walking or running on hard or rough surfaces.
4. How much does it cost to treat a broken nail in dogs?
The cost of treating a broken nail in dogs can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment required. On average, it can cost about $300, including sedation and medication.
5. Can a dog’s nail regrow in an irregular manner?
Yes, if the nail root or surrounding tissue was severely damaged when the nail was pulled out, the regrowth may be compromised. The nail may regrow in an irregular manner, requiring more frequent and adjusted trimmings.
6. How long does it take for a dog’s nail to heal after removal?
The healing time after a dog’s nail removal can vary depending on various factors like the dog’s breed, age, and overall health. It can take a few days to a few weeks for the wound to heal completely.
Understanding and maintaining your dog’s nail health is crucial for their overall well-being. Regular nail trimming, using protective gear like doggy boots, and seeking immediate veterinary care in case of injuries can help ensure your dog’s nails stay healthy. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and your dog’s nails are no exception.