Trimming your dog’s nails is a vital step in the grooming process, and has many health and comfort benefits. However, it is not always clear how much nail to trim off, and sometimes owners accidentally cut into what is known as the ‘quick’ of the nail, causing some severe bleeding. So how do you stop a dog’s nail from bleeding? Here are some tips to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible.
What Is The Quick?
The quick inside a dog’s nail is a vascular structure, which means that it provides blood flow to the nail and contains nerves. Dog’s nails are made up of the hard, visible outer shell and the soft center known as the quick. Spotting the quick in dogs with white nails is quite easy, while it is substantially more challenging to find the quick in dogs with black nails.
It is essential not to cut the nails too short in order to avoid accidentally cutting into the quick and causing damage. You should also keep in mind that the quick grows along with the nail. If you do not cut your dog’s nails for an extended period, the quick will grow and can making trimming the nails quite tricky.
It is not uncommon for the quick to grow extremely close to the end of the nail. When this happens, trimming becomes nearly impossible, as you will not be able to clip much of the nail without risking also cutting the quick. When this happens, you will want to take your dog to the vet so that they can trim their nails as close to the quick as they can. In times, the quick will gradually recede, and you can cut your dog’s nails as usual again.
Avoiding The Quick When Trimming
Avoiding the quick when clipping your dog’s nails will make the process a bit more pleasant for both of you. Of course, this is easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you avoid the quick:
Trim small bits at a time. The quick is far easier to see in lightly colored nails than it is in darker nails. If your dog has dark nails, this step is crucial. While your dog’s paw is comfortably in your hand, cut a small portion of the nail. You will need to do this a few times if the quick is not long. Cut the nail at an angle to maintain its natural curve.
Keep an eye out for the quick after every cut. The quick will appear as a small pink or gray oval at the top area of the nail. Once you see the quick, stop trimming. You have cut the nail as short as possible, and there is no need to continue.
If the quick in your dog’s nails is long, file them down. The quick can sometimes grow longer as the nail grows and can reach the tip over time. If the quick reaches the end of your dog’s nails, file them down instead.
Then trim the tips of the nails. After you have filed your dog’s nails for a couple of weeks, the quicks will have receded enough for you to trim the nail tips.
What To Do When You Cut The Quick
The first thing to do is to avoid panicking. Try to remain calm. Your dog is not going to die, no matter how much they’re bleeding from the nail. There are a few things you can do to quickly stop the bleeding, though you should always take your dog to a vet if you cut the quick.
Styptic powder is your best bet in the case of a nail injury. Styptic powder blocks pain while effectively controlling bleeding caused by nail clipping accidents. This will help you inspect the paw for any additional damage.
Place a tiny amount of powder onto the tip of the nail to make sure it sticks. You should have styptic powder handy if you regularly clip your dog’s nails. If you don’t, you can place the end of the nail onto a soap bar or into some flour.
Tips For Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
If your dog’s nails are clear or white, you will be able to spot the quick very easily. It will look pink or gray. Avoid this area when trimming to avoid injury. If your dog’s nails are black, you probably will not be able to see the quick at all.
Cut about 1mm of the nail at a time to avoid cutting the quick. Your dog will usually display sensitivity just before you are about to trim into the quick, so look out for that.
If your dog’s nails are a combination of clear and black, use the average clear nail as a guide for the nails where the quick is not as visible. Also, be sure only to use trimmers that were designed for use on pets. Anything else will harm your dog.
The most important thing to remember is not to panic in the event that you do cut the quick of your dog’s nails. Panicking will only cause them to stress further, and can make treating the injury very difficult.