Nail Trimming

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IloveBlu
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Nail Trimming

Postby IloveBlu » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:11 pm

Our rescue dog came to us with oddly long nails, and the quick has evidently grown to match the nail length. He's scratching himself up(allergies--working on it with diet change) and scratching us and our furniture. I don't know what to do--the groomer at PetSmart wouldn't touch them and I surely don't want a bloody disaster doing it myself. Any advice?

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Enigma
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Enigma » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:35 pm

There's not much you can do... My dog has the same problem, i just trim the tips as much as i can. You can use this to prevent injuries:

Image

Oh and do it often, at least once a week. I was told by a vet that the quick will go back slowly if you trim the nails often.

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Pit Mama
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Pit Mama » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:39 pm

Your vet can trim then, under anesthesia, with a clipper or a laser. That's about it...sorry! :sad: We've done a few at my hospital for extreme cases. Pricey, but worth it in the long run...

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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby FBODGRL » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:06 am

Are the quicks all the way to the end or is there something there to trim?

Is he ok about having his paws and nails handled. Kind of doubting so if they are that long :huh?:

If thre is actual nail that can be trimmed I would call around and see if you can find a groomer. Khan's groomer had no issue doing his nails and NO ONE could get them trimmed. He was having to be put under anesthesia every few months to have his nails trimmed :oops: Orginally it took 2 groomers. 1 to hold and 1 to trim. But he can now have 1 groomer do it.

I have had Khan for 3 1/2 years about and this last year we made really good progress with his paw handling. The vet and the groomer are both impressed. It has been a VERY long road. I had the procedure done at the vet where they cut through the quick. I took some flack for it. But in the end it was the best thing for him both medically and behaviorally.

I also trained him to file his own nails on a giant "dog" file. he does his fromt paws pretty regularly. But we still go to the groomer for backs and dew claws. When I am at home I will try and find the link to the file instructions.

These are Khans nails...notice how stained the nails are and how red his feet were :oops: His allergies were out of control. from not being trimmed regularly his nails got very brittle and he was having issues with the nails themselves also


Image

These were his nails after the vet did the procedure. Also his allergies were long since cleared up
Image

These are his nails now. A little longer, but still quite short
Image

This is what the nail file looks like
Image

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FBODGRL
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby FBODGRL » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:07 am

wow those pics came out bigger than I thought....sorry :oops:

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IloveBlu
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby IloveBlu » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:54 am

Thanks everyone. I'm going to try to get a picture of of them later. I can live with some scratches on my floors (he's really quite nice about it, actually) but when he's left alone he scratches the HELL out of his ears/face/head. We're working on his allergies/itchiness but it's taking a while since he was quite bad when he came to us. I also fear the splintering as they get longer.

He doesn't mind having them cut, I think they are long because no one cared to ever maintain his grooming before. He is very mellow about paw handling. Maybe I should try to file them down? It's not the sharpness though, it's the length.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did the vet procedure run you? And was it difficult to get them to agree to do it? Was there a recovery period for the dog? Blu has to have a skin tag removed so he needs to be put under anyway.

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porchcricket13
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby porchcricket13 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:55 am

I can't comment on the cost, it depends on what they are sedated with, how long it takes, and the particular vet. Jd has to have his done periodically, and at that point we usually do nails, ears, and anal glands, while he is sedated with dormitor, that way we can wake him up as soon as we are done. We clip his nails as short as we can get them so we don't do it often. He seems to be fine right after, though I would imagine it is slightly painful...unfortunately this has been the best solution for us with his issues with restraint in general. He can be a major monster when being restrained for anything...he's a less is more kind of dog in general, but he does not like his feet touched at all either.

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Leslie H
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Leslie H » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:46 pm

Personally, because I'm not a fan of sedation if it can be avoided, I would file his nails down weekly, as short as you can. Usually the quick will gradually recede.

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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:06 pm

I do NOT recommend getting nails cut under anesthesia for anything other than the most extreme cases. I've only done it once, and that was for a dog who's nails grew in very small circles and there was no other option for him to be able to walk normally.

1. Its extremely painful. Even under general anesthesia you will see heart rate and blood pressure increases equivalent to those seen during extremely painful procedures like orthopedic surgery.

2. The quick is a blood vessel that goes right through a bone. If the nails become infected, its only a short trip to the bone, and bone infections may require amputation.

3. In 98% of cases, its completely un-necessary. Its likely that if the skin infections of the OP's dog were treated more aggressively (food change alone is RARELY enough), or if the dog wore booties, he would not be harming himself.

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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby FBODGRL » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:26 pm

IloveBlu wrote:Thanks everyone. I'm going to try to get a picture of of them later. I can live with some scratches on my floors (he's really quite nice about it, actually) but when he's left alone he scratches the HELL out of his ears/face/head. We're working on his allergies/itchiness but it's taking a while since he was quite bad when he came to us. I also fear the splintering as they get longer.

He doesn't mind having them cut, I think they are long because no one cared to ever maintain his grooming before. He is very mellow about paw handling. Maybe I should try to file them down? It's not the sharpness though, it's the length.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did the vet procedure run you? And was it difficult to get them to agree to do it? Was there a recovery period for the dog? Blu has to have a skin tag removed so he needs to be put under anyway.


As I said I caught alot of flack for having it done and if I could I would find the thread so you could see peoples opinions. regardless I know what was best for my dog and the decision was made between myself and my vet. Prior to the procedure you can see how bad his nails were and they were worse than that at time. He was snapping them and bleeding everywhere and having to be rushed to the vet. I can totally relate tot he allergy issues also because we were batteling that at the same time also.

Anyway...my vet had no problem doing it when I asked. Prior to that there were times when he was put under anesthesia and they would clip just up to the quick and then cauterize(sp) Every vet is different so I am not sure. It cost somewhere around $200 I think. $70 or $80 of that was anesthesia. Some of the cost was pain meds(which he barely used) I'm not at home so I can't look at the paperwork for certain.

I would talk with the vet. Also you could try filing. If there is any nail longer then the quick you could trim small bits off.

My groomer said truly they won't recede that much when they are that long. Not sure how true that is, but she has been grooming for 30 years.

I have also hears that if you cut through the quick as I had done the quick will grow back as long as they were. That has not bee the case for us at least.

If I can be of any help let me know. I'll try and figure out how to get video of Khan using his nail file too, because it is just a great option...especially for dogs that don't want to be handled. You are one step up because he will let you handle him!

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IloveBlu
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby IloveBlu » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:31 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:I do NOT recommend getting nails cut under anesthesia for anything other than the most extreme cases. I've only done it once, and that was for a dog who's nails grew in very small circles and there was no other option for him to be able to walk normally.

1. Its extremely painful. Even under general anesthesia you will see heart rate and blood pressure increases equivalent to those seen during extremely painful procedures like orthopedic surgery.

2. The quick is a blood vessel that goes right through a bone. If the nails become infected, its only a short trip to the bone, and bone infections may require amputation.

3. In 98% of cases, its completely un-necessary. Its likely that if the skin infections of the OP's dog were treated more aggressively (food change alone is RARELY enough), or if the dog wore booties, he would not be harming himself.



Thank you for your experience. What do you suggest (besides steroids that will likely shorten his lifespan) to treat skin conditions more aggressively?

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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:10 pm

IloveBlu wrote:Thank you for your experience. What do you suggest (besides steroids that will likely shorten his lifespan) to treat skin conditions more aggressively?


We'll get this out immediately: When used properly, steroids do NOT shorten a dogs lifespan. In fact, I've seen them save many a dog on the verge of euthanasia because their allergies were so bad they were miserable and unable to live a normal life. If your dog is scratching himself enough to cause injury, he's on a fast road to become one of those dogs.

If you had 20 mosquito bites and were itching until you bled, would you refuse some cortisone cream?? If your answer is no, then this is what you are refusing your dog... you are refusing temporary releif from the itching.

OK, thats off my chest, and you have every right to make all the medical decisions for your dog. If you want other options, here's what I have to offer.

To treat allergies, you have to treat the underlying cause AND the secondary infections together to relieve the itch thats making your dog miserable. The underlying cause is the allergic reaction to one or more of 100's of possible allergens, which then causes inflammation. The side effects of inflammation are pruritus (itchiness), and increased bloodflow, resulting in increased moisture and temperature at that site. The increased temperature creates a better environment for bacteria and yeast to grow, resulting in secondary infections, which cause more inflammation and itchiness... resulting in a vicious cycle. To break this cycle, you can treat the secondary infections to reduce the itching, but you cannot treat the inflammation without either using an anti-inflammatory cover-up like prednisone, or treating the underlying cause.

The fact of the matter is that approximately 10% of allergy dogs have food allergies, which means diet alone has a 90% chance of failure. It has an even higher failure rate when secondary bacterial and yeast infections go unaddressed. However, if your dog was under a year of age when the problems first started, there is a higher than normal chance he does have food allergies, and a food trial is an excellent option to start with. It has to be done right however, and there are many pitfalls to this process. My dog, for instance, is allergic to heartguard, resulting in a failed diet trial, because I didn't think about what was in the medicine when I gave it to him. I then spent 300 dollars on allergy testing that came back negative, and had to go back and figure out where I went wrong.

To determine if your dog has environmental allergies, you have to do testing. VARL serum testing is good, but intradermal allergy testing is better. Then you can use desensitization vaccines to help your dog not react to those allergens anymore. If your dog responds to therapy, the cycle is broken and your dog doesn't itch as much anymore.

During all of this, you HAVE to control secondary infections. There are numerous topical and oral medications for this, but the infections will come back if you don't control the underlying allergy too.

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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby CSilverman89 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:08 am

Just going to throw this out there, when Dover spilt and cracked his second quick, just that ONE NAIL cost me $140 dollars to cut down under sedation, plus pain pills and antibiotics( and the antibiotics were free). I opted for this simply because it wasn't an extreme case versus the other one we had completely taken off.

Like MissKiwi said, if the nail gets infected it is only a short leap to the bone, and the poor dog is VERY painful for days. Plus, just because the wound is cauterized doesn't mean it can't open back up, you have to be very careful and watch that paw.

I always hate watching my Vet do these types of procedures, and with a little time and dedication you can get the nails nice and short with clippers and or a dremel. Once or twice a week, grind right down to the quick, and after a month or so you should start noticing a vast difference.

Good luck, I wish you the best!

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Pit Mama
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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Pit Mama » Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:45 pm

My boss uses a laser and a nerve blocker, under general anesthesia, and this method greatly reduces pain and stops bleeding immediately. We did it on a Rhodesian last month and he was up and walking within an hour. The nerve blocker is injected prior to surgery. He uses the laser for cat declaws also along with a nerve blocker...great results! This costs a pretty penny, but its a hell of alot better than broken nails and the pain which comes along with them. Very long nails also cause permanent changes to the toes and feet, over time, which are not fair to the dog.

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Re: Nail Trimming

Postby Pit Mama » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:00 am

IloveBlu wrote:Thank you for your experience. What do you suggest (besides steroids that will likely shorten his lifespan) to treat skin conditions more aggressively?


I agree with MissKiwi although in some cases steroids can cause more harm than good. For example, Gabby had generalized demodex for about a year and since she has a history of parvo, resulting in a weak immune system, the steroids actually cause her demodex to worsen which made her skin infections worsen. Steroids wreck havoc on the immune system...

Rule out allergens FIRST! We actually discovered that Gabby's demodex and skin infections (from allergies) cleared up beautifully by switching to a BARF diet and supplementing with colostrum, salmom oil, probiotics and a good multi - Ivomec was endured for the necessary amount of time. She had so many problems at one time that, although my boss meant well, the steroids made it worse since her already weakened immune system became severely disabled due to the steroids.

Recognizing what triggers allergies is the first step and is worth it. We use VARL at my hospital too and many a dog/cat has been able to live allergy and steroid free when allergens were avoided. Also, an occasional Benadryl or two is good for minor flare-ups.


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