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As a dog owner, you need to know that a dog nail split vertically is a common occurrence, and it should not have you pulling your hair out of extreme worry.
It does not matter how short you keep their nails, and your dog can still get split nails. But why exactly does a dog’s nail split in the first place?
Most often, your dog’s nail splits or breaks because they catch it on common household items such as a deck, carpet, or even rough terrain when walking outside.
A dog can also break their nails from too much pressure, such as jumping and landing. In addition to accidents, dogs’ nails can be quite fragile and brittle due to illness, age, or poor diet. These are the illnesses that can impact the health of your dog’s nails negatively and make them weak;
- Autoimmune disorder vasculitis
- Bacteria infections
- Parasite infestations like ringworm
- Endocrine disorders
It is essential to know that not all dogs need to go to the vet whenever they nail splits vertically because split nails can be treated at home. Plus, it depends on how and where your dog splits its nail.
A split nail is where a nail is sliced in half vertically, causing excruciating pain. When a dog splits their nail, they expose the nerves quickly, thus making the area very tender.
What to Do with Your Dog’s Split Nails?
Most split nails can usually be treated at home. However, more extreme cases will require you to contact your vet. This will help you ensure that your dog gets the required medical attention to treat the split nail so that it heals properly.
Some of the best practices to follow if your dog has a split nail includes:
1. Restrain Your Dog
First, you will need to restrain your dog well. You may not be able to do this alone and may require the assistance of another person.
Also, because your dog may be agitated, using a muzzle may be a necessary move to avoid bites. If you cannot restrain your dog safely, you should bring them to your vet immediately.
A split nail is very painful, and it is why your dog may behave in all manner of ‘crazy’ and chaotic ways.
2. Stop the Bleeding
Getting the bleeding under control is a very important step to take. When they split, your dog’s nails will tend to bleed a lot, and it may take some time for it to stop. One of the recommended things to do here is to wrap the foot with gauze to apply gentle pressure.
Suppose you see that the nail is still bleeding after 5-10 minutes of pressure? In that case, you can apply a cauterizing substance like Kwik Stop Styptic Pads, Remedy Recovery Styptic Powder, or Styptic Pencil.
Cornstarch or flour will also be just as effective if you lack these products.
3. Assess the Damage
After successfully controlling the bleeding, you need to assess the damage done to your dog’s nail. If you happen to see that part of the dog nail split vertically is still attached, you must therefore take your dog to the vet to have it safely removed.
The removal process here is usually painful, so the vet will need to sedate your dog to perform the procedure.
4. Clean and Bandage the Split Nail
You should keep the nail area clean and bandage it to reduce the chances of further damage and infection. Some items that will come in handy here include a nonstick gauze and a self-adhesive bandage. Some people recommend using a baby sock as an additional layer of protection.
In addition to these, you can use a breathable dog boot like HiPaw Nonslip boots. These boots usually go over the gauze and self-adhesive bandage, and you simply have to ensure that the bandage does not slip off.
However, you should take a lot of precautions to avoid wrapping the bandage too tight because this can cut off the blood circulation to your dog’s food. A dog nail split vertically takes about a week to heal properly.
5. Manage Pain
Nail splits are extremely painful injuries. This means that medications for your dog are a must-have. The best thing you must do here is to contact your vet for pain medications.
Avoid using over-the-counter human pain meds. Many of these drugs that we use are usually toxic to dogs.
How To Prevent Your Dog’s Nails from Splitting Vertically?
1. Alter the composition of your dog’s meals by including high-quality foods like meats and fish. Dietary supplements such as omega 3, essential oils, and fatty acids will also come in handy.
Mix these into the dog’s food in the form of tablets. These are sure to improve the overall health, including the strength of your dog’s nails.
2. You can minimize infections that may affect your dog by thoroughly cleaning their dog’s paws and regularly inspecting them. The folds of the nail beds can usually harbor a lot of dirt and should be paid particular attention to.
In addition, the dog’s living space should be kept clean and not allowed to accumulate dirt. This minimizes the chances that there will be increased microorganisms in the house.
Cancer can also be a cause of major cause of weak and split nails. It can cause paw tumors that cut off the blood supply or destroy the cells in the nails. Regular inspections of the paws can spot a tumor in its early stages, allowing you to take proactive measures to help your dog.
3. A dog nail split vertically will be a thing of the past if you, as an owner, ensure that you clip your dog’s nails frequently to remove damaged ends and stop them from easily getting caught.
A dog nail split vertically is a very painful experience for a dog. However, there are best practices that can allow your dog to steer clear of this unpleasant ordeal.
Follow these strictly and allow your dog to live a safe, happy and fulfilling life!