If you’ve found yourself cutting your dog’s nail and it started bleeding, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways you can treat this without having to leave your home. Below you can find everything you need to know about what to do if you cut dog nails too short. This includes a variety of products and home remedies you can use to stop the bleeding as well as advice on when to see your vet.
What Causes Dog’s Nails To Bleed
Regardless of how it occurs, whether that’s playing too hard, catching their toes on furniture, or from a nail cut too short a bleeding nail tends to be the result of damaged quick.
What is the Quick?
Within your dog’s nails is soft tissue which is located through the center. This is known as the quick. Essentially, a dog’s quick is composed of nerves and blood vessels which, when severed, can cause immense pain and bleeding. This is why taking care when trimming your dog’s nails is vital.
Sometimes owners can completely avoid damaging the quick if their dog has clear or white nails as they may be able to see the tissue whereas others may struggle if their dog has black nails. For those dogs with dark nails, taking them to a groomer may be a more suitable option as they may also offer guidance on home grooming.
Stopping Your Dog’s Nail Bleeding
Seeing your canine companion with blood seeping out of their feet can be extremely distressing so it’s important that you remain calm and stop the nail from bleeding. Fortunately, nail trims gone wrong can easily be treated with some simple solutions.
Apply Pressure To The Damaged Nail
When a dog’s nail bleed, you will need to apply firm pressure. Quickly grab a paper towel, tissue, or cloth to apply as soon as you can to slow the initial bleeding.
Note: When bleeding occurs as the result of trimming, your fur friend may be skeptical to approach you again so you may need to help your dog calm down in order for you to treat them. When tense and anxious, your dog’s heart rate will increase meaning that their blood flow will also quicken causing the situation to become much worse. If you have a big dog, it might be worth enlisting the help of someone else to help you treat the bleeding toenail.
The most efficient way to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding is to use styptic powder. The antihemorrhagic agents will go straight to work by contracting blood vessels. This will cause clots and scabs to form which will certainly put a stop to the bleeding.
The styptic powder can be bought from your local pet store and can even be used to treat other minor injuries including cuts and scrapes. If you don’t have any powder handy, it’s always worth getting some should you need it in the future. There are plenty of brands on the market that manufacture styptic powder but many sources claim that Kwik Stop is one of the best and most popular choices to go with.
When using powder, the amount you need will depend on how much the nail is bleeding. The more bleeding there is the more power you will need to use.
Simply take some powder onto your finger and apply it to the dog’s nail to stop bleeding. Alternatively, place some into a bowl and dip the dog’s toe into it. When applying the powder make sure you’re adding pressure and continue to do so until the bleeding stops. Once the blood stops seeping out, you can let go.
Styptic Pencils And Silver Nitrate Sticks
Similar to styptic powder, a styptic pencil, or even silver nitrate sticks, can be used to stop your dog’s nail from bleeding. It may be difficult to find a specific styptic pencil for dogs but you can often find standard pencils in pharmacies and stores as they are used to treat minor cuts when shaving.
Home Remedies For Dog Nail Bleeding
If you don’t have any styptic powder or a pencil at hand there are a few things around the home you can take advantage of when your dog’s nail starts bleeding.
Corn Starch, Baking Soda Or Potato Starch
These options are all a great way to stop dog nail bleeding. The consistency of each product will act similarly to that of the styptic powder as it will stimulate the blood to clot. Place a generous amount into a lid or in the palm of your hand. Then firmly dip the dog’s toenail into it and apply pressure until the bleeding ceases.
Alternatively, use a cloth, towel, or paper towel to apply the starch or baking soda. If you find that the powders don’t cover the area well, you can always thicken it with a little water. This may mean making a small mess but it’s worth it to stop the bleeding.
In addition to corn starch, baking soda, and potato starch you can also use flour or baking powder as a coagulant to treat nail trim injuries.
Using scent-free soap can also help dog nails to stop bleeding. Making sure that the soap is soft, place your dog’s nail into the bar gently until it has stopped bleeding. You can also cut off a piece of the soap and attach it to the affected nail so that it prevents the blood from seeping out.
Wrapping ice in a thin cloth or towel and applying it to your dog’s paw will not only help to slow bleeding but will also numb the toes too. As the ice works its magic the towel or cloth will help to soak up the blood.
Using Super Glue
As bizarre as it seems, using super glue can effectively help to close small wounds so that the body can get to work healing. This is completely safe and has been a solution for minor cuts and wounds for many over the years.
You will need to ensure that you’ve wiped away as much blood as possible before applying the glue. To add, make sure you don’t let your dog sniff or lick it before it’s dried completely. After a few days, the wound will have healed up, and the glue residue will naturally peel away.
Note: It’s likely that no matter what option you use to treat the bleeding nail, it will cause the wound to sting so make your dog comfortable and stay calm
When to See a Vet
As mentioned previously, when your dog’s nail bleeds you can treat it easily at home with remedies and rest. However, if the nail is severely cracked or even loose then it may be worth getting it looked at by a vet. If the problem worsens or is left untreated, your dog could be at risk of infection especially if he licks it excessively.
It may also be worth seeking vet care if you find that the blood is coming from the nail bed itself. If the wound is deep it will likely be bleeding fast so it’s important to wrap it up as quickly as possible and make a visit to the vet. You should also take them to the vet if you find that the bleeding is profuse and shows no sign of stopping as this could be a sign of a clotting disorder.
Some dogs can harbor a clotting disorder where platelets do not respond quickly and efficiently enough causing them to bleed more. This disorder can either be inherited or be the result of a medical condition such as liver disease.
Symptoms of these disorders include:
- Prolonged bleeding after injuries or surgeries
- Large bruises
- Bloody urine
- Bleeding gums
- Red/purple spotting on the skin
- Black stools
After you’ve managed to stop the nail from bleeding take a deep breath! Now it’s important that you take the time to keep your pup relaxed. If you have access to bandages, keep the paw firmly wrapped so that it is less likely to be damaged further.
You should also encourage them to get comfortable and stay off their feet for at least 30 minutes whilst the wound clots and begins the healing process. Whilst your dog is relaxing, make sure you monitor them as well as their wound. If you’re unable to do so, have a family member, friend, or dog sitter watch over them. If it continues to be a bloody mess with no sign of stopping talk to your vet as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to shower your pup with love and affection. The positive reinforcement will mean that they will be less apprehensive when receiving future nail trims and that they won’t immediately run away at the sight of the clippers. You can also keep them occupied with a stuffed toy that won’t have them wanting to get up and play vigorously.
Nail Trimming at Home Tips
Trimming your dog’s nails is important for many reasons. For example, if their nails become too long it can have long terms effects on your dog’s posture and gait which can then lead to other health issues. Therefore, if you’re trimming the nails at home it’s important to know how to clip them safely.
First, make your dog as calm and content as you can. Doing so will make them more relaxed and less agitated when getting their nails clipped. You will then need to carefully identify the part of the nail that’s safe for trimming.
It’s recommended that you only cut up to 1-2mm at a time making sure the part of the nail is hard and not likely to hold the quick. If your dog has light nails you should be able to identify the safe parts more effectively.
When feeling the nail, if it feels soft and cushioned you mustn’t cut it as you could accidentally cut a blood vessel. When trimming nails, always make sure you check the nail after every cut.
Get The Gear
Getting the appropriate tools to trim nails at home is important. Never use clippers that are designed for humans or tools that are dull or rusted. Below, are two guides specifically catered to finding the best nail grinders and trimmers for dog owners.
To note, dog parents can opt for either clippers or grinders and not necessarily both. The difference is that clippers are for manual use whereas grinders are electrical. Each option has pros and cons but it ultimately comes down to the owner’s preference. Make sure to look at both evenly before coming to a decision as finding the best product will prevent you from spending more money on products that may not be as effective.
To Sum Up – How To Stop A Dog’s Nail From Bleeding
Nail injuries commonly occur when you cut a dog’s nail too short. If you cause a nail to start bleeding it’s important to stay calm and prevent the bleeding from becoming worse. Use the options and tips listed above to encourage the blood vessels to clot so that healing can begin.
You can always make sure your process of cutting nails is refined by seeking advice online or following our helpful guide on trimming dogs’ nails.
All the while, you should ensure that your pup is comfortable and calm while you combat the bleeding. Afterward, take reassuring steps by offering treats and praise so that getting their nails trimmed doesn’t spark hostility or anxiety in the future.