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June 27th, 2005, 06:35 PM
As most of you know now Shannon, my GSD is 9 years old. She's always HATED getting her nails trimmed since she was a pup, but now it's gotten too bad for words. The time before last, the vet tech cut the quik on 2 nails YIKES, you would have thought she had amputated her legs. I know she felt the pain re nerve endings etc but now it's led to bigger problems.

So the next visit for her nail trim, after the quick was cut, Shannon had to be pulled into the vet, she was shaking like a leaf, panting heavily, and it was a struggle to get them done. Well, BINGO, the same thing happend, tech cut the quick AGAIN. Can't say I blame her because a) Shannons nails are pitch black (but she should know not to cut past where they curve), b) Shannon was stuggling so hard it took 3 of us to hold her, and she pulled her paw just at the bad time and got cut again. The vet suggested I give her a couple of gravol before the next nail trim to calm her down a bit... FORWARD TO TODAY

I took Shannon in for her regular nail trim and it was a nightmare. I gave her the gravol as the vet suggested, but as soon as she saw the driveway for the clinic, she started to shake and whine like you wouldn't believe. Since the previous visit, I had been working with her, holding her paws, and holding the nail cutters (yes I have a pair, but she's been too hard to do myself) and making the sound while rewarding her for not panicking. ANYWAY, I got out of the van to go inside before bringing her in, to ask if they had something I could give her to calm her more. When I came back out to the van, not only was she shaking, but she had puked all over the van, and get this...somehow she cramed herself on the floor between the front seat and the pedals on the drivers side. SHE WAS STUCK! SHE COULDN'T COME OUT! With her age etc, she's arthritic and stiff, and I'm sure she didn't want to come out anyway. Make an already long story a bit shorter, I went back in, 2 people came out, and we were finally able to unjam her from where she'd crammed her 115 lbs.

She was still thowing up as she got out of the van, and was just too upset already to try and struggle her into position to get her nail trim. I just sat outside with her for about 20 minutes to let her calm down and brought her and her long nails home.

Any suggestions as to how I can help get her over this, other than work with her paws without the nail cutters (which I've been doing) and making them click without touching her with them. Is she scarred for life now re nail trims? I hate to see her get sooooo upset, but she can't go forever without getting them done. How do I help her over this?

June 27th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Poor Baby! :sad:

Is there a mobile grooming van in your area?

I know where my mom lives there is a van that will come and groom your pet right in your own driveway! - they just hook the van up to your hose and away you go!

Or perhaps find a vet that will do a house call for this simple 'procedure'. . . .

That way she never has to leave the comfort of her own house. . .

Good luck!

June 27th, 2005, 06:52 PM
How about this? Click through to 'how to dremel dog nails' at the bottom of the sidebar.

June 27th, 2005, 07:05 PM
She needs a change in scenery. A different location. I have seen this happen with a simple nail trim and no dog should feel so traumatized. It's not right OR done right in my opinion.

June 27th, 2005, 08:53 PM
JDG no mobile here but you gave me a good idea. I'll ask my vet if I pay double if he'll come and do them at the house. If not, maybe I'll use a local groomer to try and see how she reacts there.

badger, dremel is really noisy, and I think would scare her. We've had Kenzie's done with a dremel for the shows, and it took her quit a while to get used to it. I'll try anything though to help her get them done in the least stressful way.

Karin, I know no dog should be traumatized which is why I asked for alternative suggestions. It's not like I enjoy seeing her like that, I was in tears afterwards and dread the thought of ever getting her nails done again. As I said above, I'm going to try a combination of change of location and tool.

Thanks you guys for the help {{{{Hugs from Shannon and fur Shannon}}}

June 27th, 2005, 10:49 PM
My sister has a Great Dane, a Boston, and he has all black nails.
Getting his nails done is pure hell. He HATES his feet touched. He will lose it completely.
As his nails are also very thick they have to use the horse hoof trimmers to trim his nails.
He has had his nails cut to the quick a few times too and now it is impossible for him to trust anyone near his feet.
This may sound nuts but they now have to sedate him to trim his nails. It is not the best solution I would admit but it is the only way to get them done.
He doesn`t trust anyone and will go as far as to bite anyone who comes near him with trimmers or nail clippers.
Give the change of location a try as my sister says she would do anything to be able to have his nails done without having to sedate him as it is very hard on his system.

They don`t have to put him right out but they definately do have him groggy so that he doesn`t fight.

Hope things get better for you and your poor dog, no wonder she doesn`t like going to the vet, if that happened to me TWICE I would not associate that place with anything good.

Cactus Flower
June 28th, 2005, 03:08 AM
Can you just file them at home? Get the big coarse nail files for acrylic nails, and file them down yourself. No chance of hitting the quick- as soon as you see a black "dot" in the middle of the end of his nail, stop filing (just beyond the dot is the quick). You may still have to get him used to the idea of having his nails filed, but once he realizes that it isn't going to hurt (and isn't noisy, like a Dremol), he should be fine.
I do a friend's dog with a nail file. He is completely terrified of clippers, but he lets me sit there and file his nails for as long as I need to. He was nearly snoring last time I did them, two days ago.
It's worth a shot!

June 28th, 2005, 08:46 AM
awww poor shannon! Have you tried taking her to the groomer's for treats only? Stop by the groomer's alot, for just treats, pats, and love. Try to convince Shannon this place is a good place, and it's ok to go there. Before attempting to bring her in, I'd probably just drive there, stay IN car, give treat, drive home.

June 28th, 2005, 08:54 AM
Cactus Flower, thanks, I'll give that a try!

I called the vet this morning. She said she's going to come to the house this afternoon at no extra charge since it's her assistants fault this fear has been installed in Shannon! They're not going to charge me for nail trims til Shannon is comfortable again, even for coming to the house. She also said she may not try to use the nail cutters for the first few times when I asked her about filing them. Said it was a good idea. She also suggested that I take Shannon over to the clinic several times over the next couple of weeks, where they'll just take a few minutes to lavish attention and treats on her so she gets reaquainted with it and a "good experience". We'll start by sitting outside on the bench and slowly work our way back into an examination room. No charge of course. She'd like Shannon to get back to her old self when she didn't mind going to the vet, especially at this age, when medical problems could soon start to emerge.

I think it's a good idea to try and reintroduce the clinic with a good experience. We'll try the file this afternoon!

Thanks all who answered for your help :grouphug:

Jesse, we were posting at the same time, lol Thanks!

June 28th, 2005, 10:27 AM
She needs a change in scenery. A different location. I have seen this happen with a simple nail trim and no dog should feel so traumatized. It's not right OR done right in my opinion. I agree. You should also change sex. My doggies behave completely differently at male and female vets.

See how the house call goes, and if it's as bad, I'd change vets just for the nail clipping.

Good luck.

(By the way, black nails are not an excuse for cutting the quick. I have 36 black nails here and in nearly 4 years, I've never made one bleed.)

June 28th, 2005, 10:35 AM
Shannon it's really good of your vet to take responsibility here and try to make things right... I do hope it will work!

And by the way - CF's suggestion is what I would have suggested too if all else fails... When I had my biggest GSD (he was around 125 lbs) I lived in an area with ONE VET. Unfortunately this one vet was terrified of my dog because of his size. (Certainly not his personality - this dog was a giant lap dog...) Not only did he charge a $100 surcharge per visit for "over-size" pets even for regular check ups... But he absolutely refused to trim his nails unless I agreed to put him under general anesthesia!!! I wasn't about to put Fred through that kind of risk for this idiot vet... And his nails were black so the clippers made me nervous... So I filed his nails myself. Some extra time spent exercising on concrete every morning also helped keep them from growing out too quickly.

Good luck to you and Shannon.

:thumbs up

Cactus Flower
June 28th, 2005, 01:47 PM
I wouldn't change vets- it sounds like you have a wonderful one that really cares!

Good luck.

June 28th, 2005, 03:01 PM
In another thread there are instructions on how to build a giant emery board so that your dog can file their own nails. I also agree that maybe taking the poor furbaby to the groomer for nails might be better than going to the vet for it. And the vet's suggestion to get Shannon over her fear of the vet's office sounds good. Good Luck to her!

June 28th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Thanks everyone for the input :grouphug: Well, the vet was just here, and we only got as far as holding her paws. We're going to try the file thing slowly and hubby is off to the hardware store to buy the supplies to make a large one as suggested on the other thread. Poor baby, she doesn't even want her paws held now. But we'll work on it slowly and surely. Try to turn it into a fun game.



Cactus Flower
June 28th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Could someone please post a link about the big emery board/dogs doing it themselves?

June 29th, 2005, 07:34 AM It's post number 13 by db7

Cactus Flower
June 29th, 2005, 12:52 PM
Thank you!