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Clipping your Pet’s Nails

Clipping your Pet’s Nails

Cutting or clipping your dog cat or pet’s nails is a preventative measure.

Clipping your pet’s nails is a part of it’s regular care and should be done on a routine basis, as long nails can lead to many problems for cats and dogs.

As with humans, the nails of cats and dogs grow continuously and should be trimmed periodically-every few weeks or once a month.

For a cat , overly long nails can grow to a point where they will penetrate the pads, leading to pain and possibly an infection or abscess.

As well, long nails can easily get stuck in carpeting and then break, resulting in bleeding or severe pain.

For a dog, nails that are not trimmed periodically can result in the vein within the nail becoming longer, making it impossible to cut the claw to a normal length.

Most owners should be able to learn the technique involved in cutting a pet’s nails. To do so, a nail trimmer will be needed, and several models are available on the market.

Using a good quality nail trimmer is very important. As well a pet owner needs to purchase a cauterizing powder to stop possible bleeding as a result from cutting a nail too short.

As shown in the illustration the nail should be clipped no further than the vein’s limit. The blood vessel within the nail can easily be located if your pet has clear nails. However, veins can not be properly seen through black nails.

Should your pet have clear and black nails, the clear ones can be used as an indication of the proper length of the black nails, which would then be cut to the same length.

More caution is required if your pet has only black nails. The owner should clip the claw a small amount at a time. a small white dot can be seen at the tip of the nail as the clip approaches the vein, which indicates that the nail is at its shortest length.

Accidentally cutting into the vein will cause bleeding. This can be stopped using the cauterizing powder and placing a moderate amount of pressure on the nail tip for several seconds.

Nail clipping should start when a pet is very young, allowing it to become accustomed to having its paws manipulated. Note that the nails of puppies can be clipped every week.

Nail clipping should be a positive experience for your pet, and encouragement through positive words and treats helps.

Should a pet owner not be comfortable clipping a pet’s nails, it should be done by a veterinarian or at a grooming center.



Article courtesy of Dr. Bernier
Montreal West Veterinary Hospital

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