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Aggressive dog torn nail

Species: Dog
Breed: Pitbull
Age: 1-2 years
Lincoln split his nail 2 weeks ago. I put Neosporin on it and wrapped it with a sick. It seemed to help because it closed up and he was walking on it fine. 2 days ago my uncle came and he tried to claw the door down. Now the same nail is inflamed again and the nail on the other foot is not split and inflamed as well. I've been putting Neosporin on both feet and wrapped both of them up. Normally I would take him to a get instead of doing it myself but he is aggressive. Very aggressive with dogs and people he doesn't know. To the point where my normal vets office won't take him anymore. What should I do?

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with this wound on your dog's nail. Nail injuries can often be difficult to heal.

I won't be able to tell you with certainty what to do here as this is something that really does need an exam, but I can give you my thoughts.

It may possibly be that this just needs more time. If you are able to wrap the areas again and keep them wrapped for 3-4 weeks this might possibly do the trick. Keeping a foot wrapped, but not too tightly wrapped is difficult though. But, if you managed to do it before, you can probably do it again. :)

However, be on the lookout for a bad smell or a discharge. If you notice either of these then the nails may be infected. Infected nail beds are a serious matter and neosporin won't be enough to heal them. He will definitely need antibiotics prescribed by the vet if there is an infection.

I also get concerned when I see a dog who is getting multiple nail injuries. Sometimes this can be a sign of an immune mediated problem with the nail bed or another serious type of issue. Unfortunately these can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

At this point, of course, the ideal solution would be to have a vet examine the area and advise you. I understand cases where this is not easy as aggressive dogs are difficult to start with and even more difficult when it comes to examining their feet. If things are not improving within a few days, if you notice a smell or discharge or if you think things are getting worse then you may need to see a vet who will administer a sedative to be able to examine the area properly.

I hope things improve soon!



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Customer reply:

I
am actually studying to be a get tech so I learned how to properly wrap dogs feet. So you think if I call the vet and explain to them his situation they will let me just come in and pick up a prescription? He was taken away from his mother at 2 weeks old, being sold on the side of the street. My husband stopped the car and grabbed him and 2 siblings. We even have other animals in the house that he is fine with but when he sees someone he doesn't know he goes from sweet and loving to the hulk. Which is what happened with his feet. I had him in my bedroom and he tried to claw my door down. I took the 2 splinters he had out with tweezers. My teacher said I could give him an aspirin when He goes to bed and when he get a up for the day but both with food. Do you agree with that?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Unfortunately it would be quite unlikely that your vet would allow you to pick up a prescription without an exam. I definitely understand your predicament as some dogs are extremely difficult to examine. But, in most areas, it is illegal for a vet to prescribe for a patient unless they have examined them.

I'm not legally allowed to tell you if you can give aspirin or not. In some cases it can help, but I certainly wouldn't want to give it on a long term basis as aspirin can cause stomach problems and even bleeding problems with dogs.

I really wish I could offer you more here. This is a tough situation.

Dr. Marie


Have you tried the Purr Pillow? This is one of Dr. Marie's top recommended pet products for 2016.

Customer reply:

Ok thank you anyway. My last question is do you have any advice on getting an extremely aggressive dog to the vets office?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

In some cases, if the vet has seen your dog in the past, they may possibly be willing to prescribe a mild sedative to administer before your next visit. Sometimes that helps.

Sometimes, seeing a different vet may help. Some vets and some vet staff are better at handling aggressive dogs than others.

Another possibility could be to have a house call vet come and visit you. This will be more expensive but sometimes aggressive dogs can behave better in their own home. This is not always the case though as sometimes it is the opposite if the dog is very territorial.

I have seen a lot of aggressive dogs and in the vast majority of cases, well trained staff are able to handle things well. We have some patients for whom we use special techniques to restrain them well enough so that we can administer an IM injection of some type of sedative. For example, one technique that works well for us, but looks a little barbaric is to pass the dog's leash through the crack in an exam room door and have someone hold the leash so that the dog is unable to move his or her head. Then, we have someone approach the back of the dog and give the injection.

I have had a couple of dogs in my career that I have refused to examine because of severe aggression, but this is quite rare.




Have you tried the Purr Pillow? This is one of Dr. Marie's top recommended pet products for 2016.

Customer reply:

My regular vet is refusing to see him due to his aggression. My husband has to lift him up and out of the office.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sounds like it may be time to see another vet. What I would do is call around and explain that you have an aggressive dog and ask how comfortable the vet is in seeing him.

Still, it is possible that this current injury will heal with more bandaging, so let's hope that's the case!


Have you tried the Purr Pillow? This is one of Dr. Marie's top recommended pet products for 2016.

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Dr. MarieDr. 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.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.