Last night, we trimmed one of our dog's nails a little too close to the quick and hit a tiny artery in his nail. It wouldn't stop bleeding, the blood was actually spraying out in a tiny stream. We applied pressure, wrapped his foot. The bleeding seemed to slow down with pressure.
When a dog's nail is bleeding, what do you do?
This morning, as he stood up and put weight on his foot, it began bleeding again similarly to last night. It is still bleeding, soaking the bandages and leaving puddles of blood on the floor.
We tried wrapping an ACE bandage tightly around the foot and up his leg, but that hasn't slowed the bleeding. It's a mess! I can't believe I cut my dog's nail too short!
His gums are still pink and he doesn't seem to be in any acute distress.
How do I get my dog's nail to stop bleeding?
Dr. Marie replied:
Aw, sorry that you and Buddy are going through this. If it's any consolation, know that this type of thing happens all of the time! The good news is that the bleeding will stop. I've never seen a dog have serious problems because of a nail that was cut too short.
What we use in the office for nails that are cut too short is a commercial product called Kwik Stop. If you are able to get to a pet store to purchase something like this, this is probably the best bet. It is a powder and you pack it into the part of the nail that was cut too short. You may need to do it a few times, but it works quite well to stop bleeding.
Some things that you can try at home, if you are not able to get to the pet store are corn starch or a bar of soap. With the corn starch put a good amount on your finger and then push it firmly against the part of the nail that is bleeding. It doesn't work as well as kwik stop but will slow things down a little. You may need to repeat this a few times. If you use the soap, wet it so that it is a little mushy and then push the nail into the bar.
The bandages are a good idea as well. Also, keeping him absolutely as quiet as possible will help too, but this is hard to do with any dog, yet alone a lab.
If none of these things are working, then you may need to see an emergency vet. They can apply kwik stop and place a professional bandage on the foot.
Keep an eye on his gums, but I think the chances of a dog bleeding out from a nail that was cut too short are really small. However, in a case like this I always tell people to "follow your gut instinct". If you try the things above and the bleeding doesn't stop then he may need professional help.
Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.
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Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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