Torn nail - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Torn nail

Hi guys... This morning jackson and i were playing fetch and we. He was coming back with the ball i noticed he was limping. I looked at his foot and all i see was blood gushing so i immediately took him inside and applied pressure with a clean rag to the injured area (rear right paw). He wouldn't let me examine it too much because it was hurting him so I wrapped it and did what I could. Took him to the vet within 30 min, not the vet i wanted to but took him to a hospital which i did not like at all (had never been theren got decent reviews). They wanted to perform a $500 removal of the whole nail and basically dope him up and all of these seemingly u necessary procedure for a nail. I'm aware that this is a pretty common minor injury so i informed the vet that i wanted to treat him conservatively and take him home with some antibiotics.

I called our dog trainer who is also head of the rescue we got him from and she said the vet was just taking advantage she thought and to bring him to her this evening to have the rescue vet check it out. When i brought him home this morning before giving him the antibiotic I did my best to clean his wound and keep him calm...first filled a syringe with warm water and just rinsed any dirt or hair etc might be in the wound...and then when he was really calm.... I put hydrogen peroxide on it which i might add he did not like one bit but... I'd rather be safe than sorry. I bandaged it up and put a tight sock around the bandage so he wouldn't bite it off. The antibiotic I was given for Jackson is 750 mg of cephalaxin, twice a day. Having given him his first dose I've noticed he is very dopey. I researched side effects none of which are drowsiness so I'm just wondering if anyone else has had their GSD experience this injury or take this medication. 750 mg seemed like a lot to me but I understand it goes by weight. Any input is appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 06:26 PM
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instead if peroxide, i use betadine solution, the bubbling of the peroxides can be unsettling for the dog.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by huntergreen View Post
instead if peroxide, i use betadine solution, the bubbling of the peroxides can be unsettling for the dog.
I used to have betadine but I couldnt seem to find it... so peroxide was my last option... then I soaked his footie in epsom salt and warm water which he didnt mind.... he got used to it and fell asleep with his foot in the water.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 12:01 PM
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Peroxide is bad to use on wounds, period. It damages live tissue along with dead tissue, is very irritating to surrounding healthy tissue, and just prolongs healing time.

The vet is not taking advantage of you, although the prices are a little high.

Unfortunately, broken toe nails are a large pain to deal with. It may seem minor, but when you think about it it's really not. I deal with them ALL the time at work.

When nails snap or break, it is usually close to the nail bed. This usually leaves the entire quick bloody and exposed. This is an EXTREMELY sensitive bundle of nerves and tissue. Think about how painful it is to break your nail. Now could you imagine having to walk on that?

These broken nails either need to literally be RIPPED off and out of the bed, which is hard on big dogs because that's a strong nail bed, OR if they're are snapped down close like the next picture, then the entire nail and quick literally need to be cut off down to the bed to promote proper healing.

So, could you imagine if you broke your nail, so I grabbed a pair a plyers and literally ripped off your entire fingernail? THAT is what we need to do when a toe nail is broken in a dog. So no, I disagree, it's not a minor thing.

To do this we need to sedate the dog. I've done it on awake dogs where owners refuse to pay for the sedation, and in my honest opinion that's outright cruel and cheap. I literally lay my entire body on your dog so the poor thing can't move so the vet can rip out his nail while he's awake. Do you want your fingernail ripped off while you're awake?

After sedation, we apply a bandage that allows for padding for 3-4 days while that quick hardens and becomes less sensitive. This is to prevent infection, but also largely to just provide comfort to the poor dog.

Cephalexin should not cause drowsiness. Could be his toe is extremely painful and he's sensitive to the pain. The average dose we use in emergency medicine is 22 mgs/kg

My Berlin would get 750mg and Zeke would get 1000 mg, because the capsules come in 500 mg and 250 mg and that is the closest way to break up the doses.

~Emergency Vet Tech

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Last edited by Anubis_Star; 05-15-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 01:42 PM
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This happened to K-Bar last year (no exposed quick as in the pictures posted above, but there was bleeding). He would not let me examine it. I work at a spay/neuter clinic and our vet at the time had her own full service practice with emergency hours. I called her and she told me to bring him in. I was freaked and K-bar was freaked. My vet looked at the nail, grabbed a pair of clippers and cut the hanging part right off. It was not bad at all. She told me not to feel bad that it happens all the time. I ran and got her a combo meal from McD's since she hadn't had time for dinner, and we were even Hope your pup is okay!

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K-Bar 5/25/2009
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 02:14 PM
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Oh god this happened to my dog a few months ago. What a giant pain to deal with!!!

First, he ripped his nail off and sideways from the live "meat" so it was like in the picture anubis posted but off to the side. We took him to the vet and they literally did what Anubis said - rip out the entire nail. If I could do it again I would absolutely pay for sedation or something because I've never heard my dog cry so much in pain when they were doing it.

Ok, now we were left with just the exposed meat. We let the new nail grow on top of it (although I think it doesn't grow OVER the meat, rather the new meat is pushing the old one out and killing off the cells which turn into the hard shell. But I'm no vet so I don't know) and then went back to playing fetch until he broke it AGAIN! We thought it was all healed up but no. That time it broke halfway through and did not require vet.

We ended up keeping him to very careful tugging so we can continue our training but absolutely no fetch where he drags his toe on the ground to turn quickly.

Long story short, it's all fine now, but what seems like a very minor thing for us is actually a giant pain for both us and the dog to deal with.

Either way, I'd follow the vet's advice however if you feel more comfortable you could wait for your usual vet.

Good luck!

Link to the thread where the pics of the nail are shown: Dew claw nail came out? Need advice!

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