Uses for Styptic Powder


Styptic powder stops bleeding. Veterinarians, breeders and pet owners alike use a form of this antiseptic powder to manage minor bleeding in dogs, cats, birds and other pets caused by minor cuts, broken nails, clipped wings and broken blood wings.

Bleeding Nails

If you're trimming your dog's nail and accidentally cut to the quick -- the area of the nail with the blood vessels and nerves -- don't be surprised if he cries out in pain or if he barely reacts, as both scenarios are possible. Cutting the quick does cause bleeding, though. Stop his bleeding by applying a little styptic powder onto the affected nail. Apply a pinch of the powder with a damp cotton applicator. Place a moderate amount of pressure onto the location of the bleeding for five to 10 seconds.

Although bleeding nails generally aren't urgent medical situations, they're often unpleasant and messy when they're not quickly managed. Styptic powder is effective at stopping bleeding because it consists of an antihemorrhagic constituent that rapidly shrinks tissues and securely closes injured blood vessels. Owners frequently use styptic powder to stop bleeding when they clip cats' claws, too. If your pet's bleeding is severe or lasts longer than 15 to 20 minutes, notify a veterinarian.

Minor Cuts

Although the powder is useful for minor superficial cuts, don't use it to to take care of severe cuts or deep wounds. But if your dog or cat experiences a minor cut, you can apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding in the same manner you would apply it to a bleeding nail.

Some styptic powder products can be effective at minimizing pain. This is due to the fact that many styptic powder formulas include benzocaine. Styptic powder itself doesn't reduce pain.

Pet Birds, Broken Feathers and Bleeding Toenails

Styptic powder also commonly stops bleeding in pet birds. If you ever accidentally clip your bird's blood feather, for example, styptic powder can help. Since blood feathers are equipped with veins and arteries, they often bleed. Blood feathers are typically located on the tails, wings and crests of many pet birds. Cockatoos' blood feathers, for example, are generally located in those areas.

If your clip a blood feather while grooming your bird, put styptic powder directly onto the affected shaft. Then prepare to take your bird to the veterinarian for care. Place slight pressure onto the shaft using a gauze while someone drives you to the clinic. Once you get to the veterinarian's office, she'll likely extract the shaft.

Styptic powder also frequently stops bleeding in birds who experience bleeding toenails. If this powder doesn't stop your bird's bleeding, visit an avian veterinarian without delay.


  • You can purchase styptic powder at most pet supplies stores and at drug stores.

    In a pinch, some pet owners substitute cornstarch for styptic powder.

    Styptic pencils frequently stop bleeding in human beings, but they're not effective on pets.

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