“Ripped Nail”

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Boxer Dog

I was out chasing a magpie off the verandah and caught my toe nail as I made a sharp turn. It is badly ripped and hurts like mad. When my owners got home they were stunned by all the blood everywhere. They got into such a spin! To make things worse, when my “Dad” took a closer look my foot hurt so much I accidentally bit him. How could this have been avoided? (Freddie, Boxer Cross, 3 years, Kianga)

Dr Alan

I’ll bet that toe hurts Freddie! Some people feel nails should be kept very short, others prefer longer nails. I like to see active dogs with natural length nails from normal wear and tear. Nail length is a clue to how much exercise you are getting, Freddie. Some dogs spending most of their waking hours on carpet need their nails to be trimmed as do older less active dogs. Your Dad needs to remember how much his toe hurt the last time he stubbed it to empathise with you about the pain. Serious torn nails may need your vet’s attention for a bandage to keep the carpets free of blood. Sometimes the fine tendons and ligaments in toes can also be damaged. If that happens you will really limp! Be careful, and watch your step!

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