Limping Dog Checklist (part I): Did You Check the Toenails?

by  Krista Magnifico, DVM
See full article here.

Toenails can grow into the pad or break. All are painful.

Broken toenails should be trimmed or clipped back as far as possible, or even removed, if broken severely. At the clinic I use a topical numbing agent and a muzzle and a quick cut. It hurts for one second, like pulling off a band-aid. Then the pet is pain free again and using the leg as normal.

A very sharply pointed nail had grown into the foot pad. When trimmed the evidence of the puncture is evident. This pups toe required twice daily soaks and an oral antibiotic. This must be treated as a wound.
Photos Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian

This toenail is white because it was avulsed from the toe. Regie had pulled the nail off the tissue and every time he walked the nail rocked on the sensitive tissue underneath. We trimmed it back as far as possible and this stopped the pain. It will eventually grow out enough to be easily removed. For now foot soaks, and clotting powder are all that's needed. Oh, and no licking! Clipped short enough to not touch the floor and cause pain.Yellow styptic powder was used to stop the bleeding.
Photos Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian

The toenail was broken, removed and leaves the "quick" exposed.But, it will no longer be painful and the limp will cease. Keeping the nail bed clean is all that is needed, No Licking!
Photo Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian

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I can also be found at the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet, in Jarrettsville Maryland. We post our prices and fees every year and we have a wonderful Facebook page. I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.

Articles by Dr. Magnifico:
Don't Make This Mistake: Ruby's Death To Heat Stroke 
Parvo: Cora's Story 
Jake's Laryngeal Paralysis
The Tip Of The Iceberg: The Unexpected Dental Dilemma
The Ear Ache That Wasn't Going Away: Tottsie's Story
Cody's Eyelid Tumor
Ruger's Mysterious Illness
The Day The Heart Stood Still: Timber's Story 
Different Definition Of Comfort Food: Levi's Story 
Savannah's Pancreatitis  
Histiocytoma: Rio's Mysterious Bump
Von Willebrand's Disease: Greta's Story 
Alice's Heart Murmur  
Jekyll Loses His Tail Mo-Jo 
Pale Gums Are An Emergency: Bailey's Story 
To Amputate Or Not To Amputate: Heidi's Story
Lessons From A Real-Life Veterinarian 
Charlie's Life Saving Lipoma Surgery  
Understanding and Diagnosing The Limping Dog, Why To Probe The Paw 
Angus' Dog Fight And The Consequences
When To Induce Vomiting And When It's Not A Good Idea  
Abby's Survived Being Run Over By Car But Sucumbed To A Mammary Tumor 
Palmer's Hemoabdomen: Nearly An Unnecessary Death Sentence
A Puppy That Doesn't Want To Eat Or Play Is An Emergency: Aurora's Story
Does Your Dog Like Chewing Sticks? Hank's Story  
Lexi's Bump 
Pyometra: Happy Ending for Pheonix 
Never Give Up: Bella's New Legs 
How Losing His Spleen Saved Buddy's Life 
Pyometra Emergency: Saving Chloe 

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