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Trimming old dogs nails for the first time.

July 31st, 2005, 03:23 AM
Somehow Maggie has reached ripe old age of 13 without ever needing her nails trimmed. Plenty of walks/runs on sidewalks and our partially patio-ed yard has kept them down all this time, but she doesn`t get around much anymore and they`ve grown to the point where they look uncomfortable.

I`ve read some old threads on nail clipping, bought some new safe-looking clippers, and I *think* I`m ready to try it. I`m just a bit nervous about how she will react, especially if I hurt her. She has a great personality, the most she`s ever reacted to being hurt- like accidentally if a child pushes her too far- is a warning growl & she walks away. She does snap at the puppy, with good reason, but she tolerates a lot more than many dogs would and goes out of her way to avoid conflict. She gives the warning growl even with the puppy, so I`m thinking if she gets to the growl stage of annoyance we can quit. Its not that I`m scared OF her, but she`s a big dog (chow/husky) and I`m a bit nervous of her possible reaction to this new, probably uncomfortable, and possibly painful proceedure. I think I will try when my husband is home so he (or I) can sit at her head and hold/comfort her.

Any words of wisdom or encouragment?

Lucky Rescue
July 31st, 2005, 09:14 AM
I probably shouldn't reply here, since clipping nails is something I hate to do!

But if your old dog has never had her nails clipped, the quick has probably extended all the way to the tip and she might react very badly to the cutting, especially if you cut the quicks. There may be bleeding, so have some Qwik-stop or cornstarch handy to stop it.

Are her nails white? If so it's easier since you can see the quick in each nail.

If this were my dog, I would take her to the vet to have this done the first time, then you can just do little trims when necessary.

July 31st, 2005, 10:01 AM
Personally, I would ask a groomer or your vet to trim Maggie's nails. We have an Eskimo and no amount of walking on pavement reduces the length of his extremely strong nails - common with Eskimos - and his nails grow very fast. It takes 2 people to trim my guy's nails and he only weighs 21 lbs. One to hold him and the other to use all of her strength with the nail trimmers. When we got him at 13 weeks the vet cut his nails with the cat clippers. At 16 weeks, nails of steel. I agree with what Lucky said. And as your dog is a big girl, no point upsetting her at this point - you can be there with hugs, kisses and cookies.

July 31st, 2005, 10:57 AM
There is no reason to harm your dog while clipping the nails. If you have never done them have someone with experience show you, groomer, vet. There are also three types of nail clippers, the guilatine(cheapest)-dull very quickly and can crush the nail, also only have one blade so you stick the nail in the hole and press a blade against the nail which pushes up against a dull surface. The second is the scissor which also has a hole that you place the nail into but has two blades- the problem with this style is that the blades separate like scissors and can tear nails. The third are the plyer type which I find are the best- the blades are apart so you don't have to work around a hole, the construction is better, usually stay sharper longer and last longer. If you choose to clip on your own have a septic powder on hand to stop bleeding and prevent infection if you cut the quick( a vein that runs through the center of the nail).
Don't go in for the cut, instead shave bit by bit off with clipper. Once you make the first cut look at the inside of the nail. It should look white in colour. As you continue to take bits off you will notice that it becomes smooth with a darker center. This is an indication that the quick is close. You should stop at this time. If your dog lets out a squeal don't make the cut, this way you should manage to clip the nails w/o cutting the quick.
If you do cut the quick, it is very important to stay calm because if you freak out so will they. Next take a pinch of septic powder and pack it into the end of nail, in most cases the bleeding should stop within 1 min. Now that the bleeding has stopped continue onto another nail. You don't want the last memory to be of pain. Once you have taken off the lengh you can shave around the edges to dull them up, or use a coarse file. If you are unsure or nervous to clip them yourself you can use only the file but it would take a lot longer to do and would have to be done more often. Nails regularly should be done every two weeks. The last option I have for you is to use a rotery tool.
Good luck

August 23rd, 2005, 02:00 PM
This is the one.

August 23rd, 2005, 02:04 PM
LOL It took me so long to figure out what the hey was going on! :)
This is the one where you explain how to cut nails?

HERE!! there are pictures! (I'm not yelling, I'm excited!)

August 23rd, 2005, 02:09 PM
I don't know how to grab out that post from another thread so this seemed like an easy way to do it.