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Nail trim for health —Tips and supplies

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Nail Trim For Health

Nail trim for health means safer traction for wheelchair dogs.  Walking dogs can avoid painful overgrown nails. A normal paw placement with trimmed nails allows for a more normal gait. 

That tell tale click-click says your dog’s nails are too long.  Nail trim for health gives safer traction for scooters and wheelchair dogs with short nails and fur trimmed back from front paw pads. Walking dogs can avoid painful overgrown nails, arthritis.  Balance can improve with proper body posture and a more normal gait can be encouraged with short nails.
Have your vet give you a nail trimming demonstration to start with.

CAUTION during conservative treatment:

During a current disc episode, forgo trimming nails. Wait til after graduation day. The priority is disc healing over trimmed nails.  After conservative treatment, remember alway keep the back horizontal to the ground when trimming nails. For example, the dog might be lying down on the floor for nail trims.

Tips for successful nail trims for your dog’s health

  • Tire your dog out a bit with a walk or a romping play session.
  • Trim when your dog is a bit hungry to have greater interest in getting a treat.
  • Be sure to make trimming time fun and not a struggle. Be calm. Your dog will pick up if you are nervous.
  • Trim nails outside or in a well lit room.
  • Don’t squeeze the toes – that hurts!
  • Start on the hind feet, because the nails tend to be a little shorter and less sensitive than the front.

Pro trainer, Dr. Yin, demonstrates desensitizing

Dr. Yin: “Instead of nail trimmers = fear/anxiety, we’re trying to teach him that nail trimmers = food/happy/relaxedOnce the association between food (and happy/relaxed state) and nail trims has been established, the treats can be tapered off.

Blue line goal

For black nails needing quite a trim you will not be able to see just how long the quick has grown. It is best to take several small trims to reach the approximate blue line goal. Too large a trim and you are likely to hurt your dog and cause bleeding. After each trim, look at the nail for appearance of any quick. STOP trimming if there is the first tiny black dot of the quick appearing (white nails have a pink quick).

Tiny tiny trims to top edge of nail

After getting to the blue-line goal, finish up with tiny trims around the non-sensitive top edge of the nail.

The final finishing step

The final step is to make a few strokes with nail file to smooth any sharp edges. Trim hair between front toe pads and away from the bottom paw pads for better pulling traction for a cart dog.

Bleeding Quick

Should you cut the quick, hold a small piece of paper towel tightly against the end of the nail for a few minutes. Or you can press the cut with a small container of packed cornstarch or “Quick Stop” powder up against the bleeding end of the nail. These options should work pretty fast. The nail should stop bleeding in under ten minutes. If it doesn’t, call your vet!

Why regular trim sessions?

The good news is that with regular trims, the quick will regress into the nail, allowing you to cut a little shorter next session. It is better to cut a small amount regularly every 2 weeks than a large amount at once.

A nail trim for health means the nails should not touch the floor when standing in a normal position. This dog’s nails are too long.

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