thank you both for the replies. this is very helpful information.
i'm going to keep an eye on the toe. we're giving him till the end of the week before we start running him again, to give that cut a good chance to heal completely. if the toe doesn't show any signs of improvement over the next couple of weeks, i'll take him in. i am hopeful that it will heal. i have personally experienced nerve damage from a cut (in the face), and after a few weeks it healed completely.
there seems to be a vast range of opinions on when to seek vetrinary care!
i have had several dogs, and have been to the vet too many times to count. i have also been to the emergency room for my own self a few too many times. i am of the opninion (and my vet has confirmed) that if you are confident that you can treat an injury yourself, and it is not an emergency, go for it.
i know when a wound needs stitches. i know what kind, and what dosage of antibiotics to give my dog (again, confirmed by my vet). i have no more problem giving my dog first aid than i do giving myself, or my wife, first aid.
thanks again for the advice, the shared experiences, and the opinions!