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Claws - Diy Or Groomer?


MattB
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I just wondered what people do re: clipping claws? I've clipped my mum's 3 dog's claws for some time (including a gh) with no problem, I've done this while they've been sat or lay down and they've barely raised an eyebrow.

 

We got a hound who had very long nails and we've been trying to get them under control - clipping little and often. I'm not sure if it's different or if it's because our new hound is quite sensitive about his feet but me and my OH find it difficult to clip his feet - the first few times were ok but now he growls and barks and gets quite worked up. Although it feels like we're being defeatist, we decided we'd take him to a groomer from now on, he's much better behaved for her. However last time although I explained to the groomer that we'd been recently and only wanted a tiny bit taken off - she cut a huge piece off his first claw; it bled lots, he cried lots and was clearly extremely distressed and now I'm not keen on taking him back.

 

My other thought was to use a manual file very briefly a couple of times per week but I get growled at when I try this.

 

His nails aren't actually too bad now - I'm just keen that they don't get too long again. I just wondered what advice people have about DIY clipping - not just the clipping itself but keeping dogs calm and where/when/what position people do this in.

 

Matt

 

 

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Weekly home trimming here. I get them when we're all lounging on the couch. Treat after each paw. I find it makes a big difference how I hold their paw -- if they're pulling their paw away, usually switching my holding angle makes a difference. Lots of "good dogs" with the treats, but occasionally someone (Milo!) needs a stern Voice of God.

 

Dear Scout had SLO, a lupus syndrome that caused his nails to fall off, leaving a sore, exposed quick until a gnarly replacement nail grew in. Understandably, he was ultra-sensitive about his nails. But they absolutely had to be trimmed often. The one time we tried a groomer I vowed never to put him through that again. Standing in the bathtub caused him to freeze up, so instead of him causing a ruckus bucking and running and snapping, I muzzled him and trimmed his poor shivering self in the tub. I felt so badly for him, but it was the only way I could get em done.

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Ellen, with brindles Milo and Jeter, and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Guest AimeeBee

I dremel at home, usually while he's laying down and 99% of the time it's accomplished with no fuss whatsoever. I try to do it every other week or so. Once I hear his nails clicking on the floor I know it's time to trim them up.

 

A tip passed along back when I was fostering is to smear peanut butter on the inside of a muzzle and use that while clipping nails. The dog gets so focused on hoovering down their treat that it distracts from the "oh no someone's messing with my feet". I think laying down is easier on many dogs as well, since you aren't asking them to balance in a position that might be awkward for them.

Edited by AimeeBee
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Guest normaandburrell

Iceman will not let me come near him with the dremel, and when I use a clipper, he will mouth my hand to keep me from from clipping his nails. Rather than risk an eventual bite, I take him to the vet, who does it for the same price as the groomers. His staff can handle Iceman with no problem at all, and in fact he gets a very positive experience at the vet each time he goes, with lots of treats!

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Miss Shine does not like her nails dremeled. She is the first grey that I cannot do myself with the machine. I had her at the vet for her well visit and they offered to cut her nails as part of her office visit. She peed and pooped on the floor and was flailing round the office.

 

Now I give her a benedryl, take her for walk and bring a tired dog to the pet store where they cut her nails for $10 which goes to the SPCA. They have no problem with her and the guy who does it, is very fast.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
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Guest Doggone

I also take Autumn to the pet store for her peticure. They clip and Dremel (to smooth) and it's fast.

It's not because Autumn isn't cooperative; she's unbelievably easy. It's me who can't handle it (years ago, my husband clipped a nail on our first dog and the blood :(........I'm the one who freaked out, not the dog :D).

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I take my hounds to Petsmart to have their nails dremmeled. I do at one of our regular meet and greets so it is done every month. It costs $12 per hound. Carter it appears is a drama queen and loves to give the famous scream of death so I can only imagine what would happen if I tried to do his nails. He has been really good for them so far.

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Guest shanesmom

I take Ace to the pet store or he gets them done when we are at greyhound events that offer it. He's real good about it as long as he's standing on a rug or mat. One place tried to do it while he was on the shiny surface floor and he freaked thinking he would fall when they lifted one foot. I don't blame him. I stopped them and we moved him by the entrance door where there was a mat and he was fine. I don't go there any more. I wish I knew how. He's real good. I've tried dremeling but I know I don't take enough off. Too scared to get close to the quick.

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Guest chickenpotpie

I also take Autumn to the pet store for her peticure. They clip and Dremel (to smooth) and it's fast.

It's not because Autumn isn't cooperative; she's unbelievably easy. It's me who can't handle it (years ago, my husband clipped a nail on our first dog and the blood :(........I'm the one who freaked out, not the dog :D).

:hehe Peticure....love it. I never do Lucky's nails. she gets them done at daycare without issue. Prior to that it was going to the groomer. I likely will never do her nails (hell I hate doing my own!)

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I do weekly dremelling.... would cost a fortune if i got someone else to do it! seems like I need that frequency otherwise their nails get too long - I'm paranoid about Mouse's in particular as she does lure coursing and I do not want to see any gnarly toe injuries :P

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I have to trim nails almost weekly they seem to grow so quickly. I personally wouldn't want to pay for weekly trips. However, if your pup is having issues that are hard to handle, there is nothing wrong with taking them to a professional. Maybe a vet would be a better option than a groomer.

 

In the meantime, since your boy has such a strong aversion, it will take quite a bit of time and patience to make it manageable. When your dog is relaxed and lying on his side, you can give him a massage and slowly go down his legs and touch his feet at the end. Once he is good with that, you can even try cutting one nail a day instead of the whole job at once. Rather than jumping straight to nail clipping, you may have to take a step back and just get him used to being comfortable with his paws being handled.

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Guest DogNewbie

I take Wiley to the groomers once a month for his nails, it is only $10 then I don't have to worry about me messing it up! We had problems with our first groomers but our new one is awesome!

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Even if you don't trim them yourself, I think that RedHead has a great suggestion on helping desensitize him to you touching his feet. Dr. Sophis Yin (sadly now deceased) has a good video on helping train dogs to accept nail trims, and you can follow the steps even to help you just be able to handle his paws - very helpful if he ever gets an injury on a paw or you need to check his feet!

 

http://drsophiayin.com/videos/entry/training_a_dog_to_enjoy_toenail_trims

 

(Forgot the link)

Edited by Fruitycake
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I've trimmed all my dogs' nails, until we got our borzoi. He was very scared to have us even touch his feet, let alone clip his nails. And of course, they were long when we brought him home. We took him to the vet monthly for trimmings. After a year, I tried doing it myself again and he let me. So using the vet for trimmings was a temporary measure until he was comfortable enough with us.

Rebecca
with Atlas the borzoi, Luna the pyr, and Madison the cat, always missing Sahara(Flyin Tara Lyn) and Coltrane(Blue on By) the greyhounds

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My thoughts as a vet... most of the dogs we see for nail trims are here because they are difficult to handle for nail trims. The problem is, at a groomer or a vet there isn't the time (and honestly the dogs are often too stressed anyway) for counter conditioning. Some dogs just statue and are really good for us, whereas they would be freaking out at home. However, most dogs react about the same as they would at home. This means we have to hold them down (as gently as possible of course, but it's not any less psychologically stressful) sometimes with multiple people, sometimes with a muzzle, in order to clip the nails. Dogs like that typically only get brought in once every 3-4 months because owners figure it is stressful and also they have to pay each time so it could get expensive quickly. Problem is, the quicks on the nails get really long when they're left that long without trimming, so we can't get the nails very short and we're more likely to quick the dog resulting in an even worse experience for the dog.

 

Personally, my advice is to counter condition, counter condition, and counter condition. It can be a slow process, but it's totally worth it to be able to trim nails without stress. Start just by touching the feet and offering a treat if he doesn't pull away. Get him super comfortable with that and then move on to handling the toes. Then move on to getting the trimmers or dremmel out and just having it beside you as you continue to handle the feet. Then pick up the trimmers/dremmel and touch it to the nail without cutting. Then finally just take a little shave off. Then cut a nail. Then start cutting multiple nails. And always you are giving a treat for tolerant behaviour, and never pushing the dog beyond where he is comfortable. It can take MONTHS.

 

We got Kili at 8 weeks old. She had her feet handled daily and her nails trimmed several times a week all through her puppyhood. She hit adolescence and suddenly I was trying to kill her. Full out dramatics, running away, pulling feet away, crying. Seriously, you would have thought she'd never had her feet handled in her life. I ended up going back and counter conditioning her. A few months later I was back to being able to trim her nails without dramatics.

 

There are so many dogs that come in to the clinic for nail trims and I honestly want to have a chat with the owners about counter conditioning (sometimes I do). Sometimes I try to counter condition them while they're in... but half of them are too stressed to accept treats. What I really want to do is run a class for owners on handling, restraint, and counter conditioning. It makes my heart cringe seeing some of the dogs coming in for nail trims. They are just SO terrified... of absolutely nothing, and I know they could be taught/shown that nothing bad is happening.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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For black nails a groomer or vet is worth every penny.

:nod

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
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