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Archive for the ‘Dog Injuries’

How to Stop a Dog’s Nail from Bleeding – Tips if You Clip a Dog’s Nails too Short

January 09, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Injuries, Dog Nail Clipping, Dog Nail Injuries and Broken Nails, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dogs, Pet Products, Stop a Dog's Nail Bleeding, Styptic Powder for Bleeding Nails

Click to Learn More – Kwik Stop Styptic Powder

When clipping a dog’s nails, it’s easy to accidentally cut the dog’s nail too short. Sometimes, the dog will move at an inopportune moment, leading to a bleeding nail. In other cases, dog owners accidentally cut the nail too short, cutting into the quick – the “live” part of the dog’s nail.

When a dog’s nail is clipped too short, it will bleed profusely and it’s difficult to control the bleeding with the normal methods (i.e. applying pressure.) So before clipping a dog’s nails at home, you’ll need to have something on-hand to help stop the nail from bleeding because accidents can and do occur.

How to Stop Bleeding if a Dog’s Nail is Clipped too Short

There are three substances that can be used to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding:

Styptic powder is something every dog or cat owner should have on-hand. This will quickly stop bleeding in a dog’s broken nail or an over-clipped nail. Some styptic powders also have anti-bacterial properties to prevent the dog’s nail from getting infected.

Styptic powder is the first choice – it’s, by far, the most effective method to stop bleeding in a pet’s nail. But there are a couple household items that can be used in a pinch.

Corn starch is the second choice; flour is the third choice.

Dog Nail Injuries – How to Stop the Bleeding

To stop the bleeding, pour a little bit of the styptic powder/corn starch/flour in the palm of your hand. Cup your hand slightly and dip the dog’s bleeding nail into the powder.

If using styptic powder, one or two dips is usually all that’s required; flour and corn starch are a bit less effective and multiple dips are usually required.

Styptic Powder Uses and the Best Brands of Styptic Powder

Notably, styptic powder can also be used on birds in the event of bleeding during beak trimming or in the event of a broken blood feather. Owners can also use styptic powder to stop bleeding that occurs due to minor cuts.

In my experience, the most effective styptic powder brand is Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder (pictured above), available at PetSmart for $26.99. It’s a bit more expensive than other brands, but it’s more effective than the other brands I’ve tried and unlike most other styptic powders, it contains benzocaine for pain relief.

A dog’s broken nail (or clipped-too-short nail) is very painful and limping often results due to the pain (and this makes dog owners like myself feel even more guilty if the pain is due to a nail that was clipped too short!) The benzocaine in Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder reduces the dog’s pain to the point where most don’t even limp.

Click to Learn More – 21st Century Styptic Powder

Remember, you can’t give ASPIRIN® to a dog who is bleeding – ASPIRIN® thins the blood, worsening bleeding! So the pain medication in Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder makes it a valuable tool in this regard.

If you’re looking for another good styptic powder, 21st Century Styptic Powder is a good product (available for $8.99 at PetSmart).

21st Century Styptic Powder is also really effective in stopping the bleeding from a broken or over-clipped nail, along with minor cuts. It’s less expensive than Kwik-Stop because it does not have a pain relieving component. But it’s definitely effective and like Kwik-Stop, it does not have a tendency to clump (many of the cheaper styptic powder brands clump due to moisture in the air, so one day, you’ll open the jar to find that the powder has transformed into a rock! That’s the last thing you need while you’re dog is bleeding!)

Related Articles on Nail Injuries in Dogs and Cats

To learn more about how to prevent infection in a dog’s broken nail, read this related article. The second portion of this article discusses how to clean and treat a dog’s nail injury at home.

Pet owners may also want to learn more about the different types of nail injuries in dogs and cats.

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Is My Dog’s Wound Infected? – Tips for Monitoring a Wound on a Pet

January 09, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Injuries, Dog Symptoms, Dog Wounds and Infections, Symptoms of Infection in Dogs

Learn tricks to monitor a dog's wound or incision for symptoms of infection. (Diego Jaimovich Photo)

Wondering, “Does my dog have an infected wound?” Or perhaps your dog has had a recent surgery and you’re wondering, “Is my dog’s incision infected?”

Whatever the case, The Sick Dog Blog has some great tips to help dog owners monitor a dog’s wound or incision for infection.

Is My Dog’s Incision Infected? – Photograph the Wound

Generally speaking, changes in a pet’s wound are gradual. Since a dog owner checks and cleans the dog’s wound several times a day, it can be difficult to tell if dog’s wound is healing since the process is gradual.

So here’s a tip: take digital photographs of the dog’s wound or incision once a day. Photograph the wound in the same light (i.e. the same spot in the same room) and ensure that the dog is standing or sitting in the same position for each photo.

Then, upload the photographs of the dog’s wound or incision into your computer and compare the photos. Sometimes, you won’t see a real difference when comparing photos from consecutive days. But if you compare a photo from day one and day four, you should see a noticeable difference (hopefully, for the better).

Over time, the dog’s wound should be looking better – less swelling, less redness, etc. If the dog’s wound is not healing or if the incision looks worse — not better — it’s time to return to the veterinary clinic for an exam and some antibiotics.

Symptoms of an Infected Wound or Incision in a Dog (or Other Pet)

Symptoms of an infected incision or wound in a dog include:

  • Wound odor – A dog’s wound should never have an odor. Sometimes it’s just a vague, unpleasant odor. In more severe infections, the odor is sickenly sweet, similar to rotting meat (after all, it is, technically, rotting flesh).
  • Green, yellow or white discharge – Clear or slightly bloody discharge is normal, especially during the first couple days following a dog’s surgery or injury
  • Redness around the wound or incision – Some wound redness is normal; but after the first 24 hours, it shouldn’t get worse – it should slowly improve after day one
  • Swelling around the dog’s incision or wound – Like redness, some swelling around a dog’s wound or incision is normal, but it should not get worse after the first 24 hours – it should gradually improve.
  • Dog’s stitches separating or pulling apart – An infected incision will pull apart, creating a gap between the edges of the wound. The stitches may appear very taught and tight.
  • Blackened skin around the wound or incision – Necrotic tissue (dead tissue) can be seen in severe wound infections. Don’t mistake dried blood/scabs for necrotic skin – apply a warm, wet washcloth to the wound or incision for about 10-15 minutes; if it’s dried blood/scab, it will wipe away after applying the warm, wet compress.

If you suspect that a dog’s wound or incision is infected, do not delay in getting the dog to the veterinary clinic. Infections do not go away on their own; they only get worse. If ignored, a dog’s infected incision or wound will require surgery to clean the wound and to remove the dead tissue.

In severe cases, if the dog’s infected wound is ignored, the infection will spread to the blood stream and the dog will eventually die from sepsis. A dog with sepsis will require lots of antibiotics and hospitalization (read: lots of money) if he is to survive. So when it comes to infections, don’t delay in getting a dog to the veterinary clinic.

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