This handsome dude is our friend Hunter. He is just as accident-prone as he is handsome, so we get to see him on a frequent basis! Hunter came in a couple of weeks ago with a sore toe due to catching the nail on something (likely a piece of ice) and breaking it. Dr. Jana looked at it and opted to trim the nail and bandage it. Hunter had only cracked his nail and the damaged part was right where the nail comes out of the skin so cutting it off was not an option. Hunter’s family was instructed to keep the bandage clean and dry and to limit his running around for a few days. He was also sent home with pain medications and an antibiotic to ward off an infection. That worked well until their neighbor stopped to play with Hunter a couple of days later. Before anyone could say anything, the neighbor threw Hunter his ball and the chase was on! Hunter came back limping.
During the hot pursuit of the ball, Hunter had fully broken the nail where it had been damaged previously. This time, Dr. Jana was able to remove the broken part of the nail. This left the “quick” of the nail exposed. The “quick” is the blood/nerve supply to the nail. As you can imagine, having this exposed is quite painful and can set the nail up for an infection. Dr. Jana cleaned the area with a gentle antibacterial solution and put another bandage on Hunter. Hunter’s family was instructed to continue the pain medication and antibiotic. The exposed quick does heal over and develop a “callous” of sorts after a few days.
Hunter is doing well. His nail should grow back and be normal in a few months. He will not have to come back for a recheck as long as he is doing well. We can’t guarantee this accident-prone boy won’t do something else silly and be here for a whole new problem, though!
We have seen a dog every couple of days the last few weeks with torn nails due to catching them on the ice outside. The best way to help prevent this is to move to a tropical beach, however, keeping the dog’s nails trimmed helps, too. Remember, if your pet is enrolled in our Puppy/Kitten Package or our Free Vaccines For Life program that they get free nail trims! If you notice your pet’s foot bleeding, see them limping, or observe them licking at a foot, please schedule them an appointment. Torn toe nails are not only painful, but can get infected very quickly!