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Damaged Nail. What To Do?


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Seamus has a nail problem that is getting worse, infected, I think. The nail is cracked with a big split (and painful), and he has been licking his foot nonstop. I took him to the vet, and he said to wrap the nail in duct tape (to protect it from more damage) which I did. He said he didn't see infection at that point. At home, Seamus continued to lick it nonstop and managed to work the duct tape off. Now it is bleeding where it goes into his toe.
I did some Googling and read that nail tears and cracks are extremely painful for a dog and if the nail is damaged but firmly attached, the vet may need to remove it. Is that correct? Our vet has said nothing about that.

I sent him pictures and expressed my concern about infection, and he wrote back that he will put him on antibiotics and see him in 2 weeks. Should I be doing more? It is clearly very painful and Seamus continues to lick it. Here are pictures. You can see where the entire bottom of the nail is missing and the quick is exposed. This dooesn't look like something that is going to go away on his own but am I wrong?

 

 

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Kasey had a very bad nail, but not like that. To protect it, I actually ground down all the sharp edges as much as possible so nothing would catch and damage it further. I don't think you can take a grinder to that but can you clean it up with a human nail file manually? After that, I applied a clear coat of nail polish to seal it up to further protect it. I think it will grow out eventually, but this looks like it'll take quite a bit of time. Keep that nail bed clean of debris, perhaps soak it in a warm epsom salt soak twice a day (a tall yogurt container or tupperware should do the trick if he's willing to stand for 5 mins at a time).

 

I understand the purpose of duct tape, but I think that actually might do more harm than good in this case - irritating it more. Can you wrap it up instead? Or maybe just a sock to prevent licking?

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Thanks! That is helpful advice. Keeping it clean has really been a challenge. Seamus is an expert at removing footwear of all kinds. He can get a sock off easily but I will try a bootie.

Can you secure the sock to the leg with wrap though? A bootie may put too much pressure on it. You can also try those disposable boots called PAWZ (Kasey used the purple size) Perhaps to put that on when turned out outside only? It can be really tight on the leg so shouldn't leave that rubber bootie on long term.

http://www.amazon.com/Pawz-Purple-Water-Proof-Large-4-Inch/dp/B001J1W76O

 

Also, I only worry that the nail polish might sting......but it would seal it up nice and prevent further damage. Let's see what others will suggest as this is a fab forum for that stuff!

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Not sure why the vet doesn't remove the nail--one quick tug should do it-then a light bandage for a few days. (Personally, I would muzzle and pull it off myself but, I understand that's not everyone's cup of tea).

Another thought-let him remove it himself-let him lick and chew it off . He's not going to be comfortable till it comes off-it's going to catch on everything.

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My whippet was always tearing his one, (accidentally left on) dew claw and the nail would get torn off or injured about once a year. i suspect the quick will dry up and shrink back and the nail will come out. The main thing is to keep it clean and antibiotics should help with any risk of infection. I have used the Pawz on him for another injury but found that a plastic bag tied round the foot & leg sufficed for trips out into the garden. The Pawz are OK if there is a dressing on a wound but would be difficult and uncomfortable to put on an already sore foot.

Miss "England" Carol with Chancey - (Goosetree Chance) and whippet lurcher Nutmeg

R.I.P. Bluegrass Banjoman. 25.1.2004 - 25.5.2015 and Ch. Sleepyhollow Aida. 30.9.2000 - 10.1.2014.

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