Dog Nail Diseases

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Dog nail diseases can be caused by trimming the nails to closely to the nail bed, getting the nail caught on something that fractures the nail and infections that develop in the nail bed. Understand the many different diseases that can occur on a dog's sensitive nails with helpful information from an experienced veterinarian in this free video on pet care.

Part of the Video Series: Canine Diseases & Treatment
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about diseases that can be seen with nails. Nails are very sensitive to dogs, obviously, and it can be a source of injury very easily because it's obviously at the end of the feet, and we see that quite often, especially on dogs who are very active and outdoor. So, several things that can happen in trauma. One, by just trimming nails at home. If dogs jump or you get too close to that quick, which is the blood supply to that nail, then that nail can start bleeding. And so, the quick inside a nail generally runs about half to three quarters the length of the nail, and so you have to be really careful when you're trimming not to get into that quick. If you do, have some styptic powder on hand, which you can get at your veterinary clinic, or sometimes pet stores, to block the end of that nail to stop it from bleeding. Other nail diseases that we commonly see are fractures, which obviously is caused by trauma. That nail can be caught on carpet, or outside, and basically bent back or fractured down the center. And so that can be very painful, and so if it's not really bleeding, you really want to typically leave them alone and get your veterinary clinic to look at that foot because dogs can sometimes bite with nail injuries. Other types of things we may see are nail bed infections, which would be at the base of the nail where it goes into the skin, and so the area where the nail and skin meet is a common place sometimes for fungal or bacterial infections that can get deep down in there and cause swelling and things like that. And so, sometimes with antibacterial infections, antibiotics need to be used for a while to get deep in there and reduce that infection, so there are lots of nail problems that can occur, but just always remember that nails are extremely sensitive, and can be very painful and your dog can bite you if you mess with a nail that's traumatized and fractured, and so always err on the safe side. Take your dog to the veterinary clinic first.

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