The discovery that your dog’s nail has ripped off can throw you into a spiral. Your first instinct may be to rush to an animal hospital upon witnessing the blood and your darling in distress.
Nonetheless, try not to panic. Canines of all ages are vulnerable to this calamity. Because it’s so frequent, vets have devised a systematic approach to dealing with the condition.
In many circumstances, a dog broken nail can be treated at home. It is determined by the location, position, and extent of the nail’s amputation. Here’s what you should do if your dog rips a claw to assure their healing and recovery.
Do you have a specific question about the dogs ripping their nail off? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Types of canine nail damage
- Why do a dog’s toenails rip off?
- Why do ripped nails bleed and hurt?
- How can I keep my dog from ripping a nail off?
- Dog nail separated from quick. Causes and Treatment
- What to do if my dog ripped his nail off?
- What if a dog nail fell off with no blood?
- Treatment at home
- What if dog nail is bleeding at the base?
- Tips for infected broken dog nail
- Broken dog nail is still attached. What should I do?
- If your dog ripped out the toenail, will it grow back?
- Dog broken nail vet cost
Types of canine nail damage
A ripped nail can be classified into three types:
- utterly distant and bleeding
- shattered or divided but loosely connected
- shattered or fractured but well-attached
- A broken nail that is still firmly attached is the most serious injury.
Why do a dog’s toenails rip off?
Now that you know what to do if one of your dog’s nails breaks let’s look at the “hows” and “whys” of torn toenails. Dog toenails are quite similar to human fingernails, except that dog nails are longer and extend further past the toes than most human nails. As a result, it is not surprising that a dog can harm or damage its toenails in the same way that people can. For example, a dog’s toenail may be partially or entirely ripped off, or it may have cracked, brittle, or bruised nails.
How often have you broken, smashed, or bent back a nail while performing various tasks? The same can be said about dogs. When a dog is active, he is more likely to tear or break a nail. This means dogs who play hard, constantly jump on and off furniture, or dig in the yard are more likely to snag a nail on something.
If a dog suffers from separation anxiety and digs at the walls, doors, or crate in a panic, he or she is more likely to grab and rip a nail. A bruised nail can also occur in a dog if someone steps on it or shut it in a door accidentally.
Nail problems can also emerge due to a nutritional shortage, which prevents the nails from correctly forming, making them prone to harm. As a result, affected dogs’ nails may be flaky or brittle. The length and texture of the nails may also be irregular.
Why do ripped nails bleed and hurt?
Understanding dog toenail anatomy helps understand what happens when a dog tears a toenail. Dog toenails, like our fingernails, are divided into two halves. The outer, rigid sheath that protects the nail is the first. When you look at your dog’s foot, you can see this section of the nail. It might be black or pale in color.
The nail’s outer shell protects the sensitive interior part of the nail (i.e., the quick). This is the location of the blood vessels and nerves within the nail. It’s the portion that bleeds when your dog’s toenail is clipped too short or breaks off. The nerves in the quick are also responsible for the pain associated with a broken, ripped or dog split nail.
How can I keep my dog from ripping a nail off?
In general, I believe that prevention is the best medicine. In this situation, I still believe it. However, I also want you to be aware that accidents do occur. No matter how careful you are, a dog will occasionally catch and break a toenail. So don’t be too hard on yourself if your dog rips a nail.
Consider the following actions to help lessen the likelihood of your dog ripping a nail off:
Keep your dog’s nails at the proper length and be very careful with the trimming—this one is HUGE! Nail clipping does not have to be a painful experience for you or your dog. Please contact your veterinarian for assistance.
- Keep an eye out for cracks, peeling, or breaks in the toes.
- Maintain nutritious, well-balanced food for your dog.
- If your pet is prone to dog nail injury, consult with your veterinarian to determine why this is happening and devise a plan to reduce future risk.
- To reduce digging, use training strategies.
- If your dog is pulling nails due to anxiety-related activities, consult your veterinarian for suggestions on how to aid dogs with separation anxiety (or other types of anxiety).
While it won’t necessarily keep your dog from tearing a nail off, it’s still a good idea to practice handling your dog all over. This can make him or her feel more at ease and confident when you touch his or her paws and toes in case of a nail injury. It will also alleviate the stress of nail trimming, vet appointments, medicine delivery, paw bandaging, and other procedures.
Dog nail separated from quick. Causes and Treatment
A dog nail split from the quick is a typical dog injury. It can be incredibly upsetting and tough to accept when you learn your dog is in agony due to nail damage.
Because your dog’s nail bed is such a sensitive area, if they experience a nail split or break, they will tell you verbally.
Further symptoms are a swollen paw, excessive licking, some bleeding, some limping, bloody puss, and leaking puss.
Even if your dog’s nail is not bleeding while being injured, this does not indicate they do not require medical attention. An exposed quick and broken nail is more likely to become infected and must be treated right once.
As a dog owner, you must ensure that the damage heals properly while also consoling them.
If your dog’s nail is injured, you must treat it immediately and bandage the wound, even if this causes discomfort for your dog.
Because your dog’s paws are continually exposed to bacteria during walks, an exposed dog nail is an open wound susceptible to infection.
When treating an injured nail, the following actions should be taken:
- Keep your dog under control.
- Examine the Situation
- Stop the Blood Flow
- Remove a portion of the nail, disinfect the area to prevent infection, and bandage the paw. Change the bandage daily and keep the area clean.
Owners of dogs can treat their dogs’ nail injuries at home. The condition can be painful for the dog for a short time, but if you follow the home care routine, the dog should recover in a few days.
However, suppose the damage displays any signs of infection, such as pus leaking from the nail, continuous bleeding, or swelling. In that case, you should see your doctor right away.
What to do if my dog ripped his nail off?
First and foremost. I’m sure some folks are nervously reading this page because their dog is bleeding or limping due to a toenail that has pulled. So, before we go into how and why nails tear, let’s get you and your pup some assistance.
If you fear your dog has ripped a nail, you should take a few steps to assist your dog. The first four steps can be completed at home, but the final step requires scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian.
- Step 1: Locate the broken nail.
- Step 2: Stop the bleeding.
- Step 3: Clean the area around the ripped-off nail.
- Step 4: Wrap your dog’s foot in a bandage.
- Step 5: Schedule a visit with your veterinarian.
What if a dog nail fell off with no blood?
Fortunately, when your dog’s nail becomes broken and falls off, it is usually nothing to be concerned about. But, in reality, he will lose a nail or two due to stress to the nail during his lifespan.
Nail loss can also be caused by infections, cutting the nails too close to the nail bed, and having a weakened immune system.
Your dog may exhibit multiple symptoms at the same time. However, if you notice more than one nail falling out, this can be concerning.
Even if there is no blood, it is necessary to examine your dog’s entire nail.
A lost or damaged nail is usually not a huge concern. However, it happens, and there are numerous things you can do to clean it up and assist it in healing. Fido’s toes may appear sturdy, but they are prone to snagging, ripping, fracturing, and breaking.
Length is probably the most common reason dogs lose or break a nail, and some breeds are more prone to this than others. Some dogs are also more prone than others to acquiring brittle nails. If your dog’s nails seem to be falling out regularly, you should talk to your vet about it.
There are also various nail and nail bed problems that are frequent in dogs, including:
- Fungus or bacteria?
- Cancer or tumor?
- Immune-related illnesses
- Excessive growth hormone levels
- Birth defects
If you suspect your dog is suffering from one of the conditions listed above, or if you have any questions about why your dog is losing his or her nails, please visit your local veterinarian.
Treatment at home
There are a couple of things you can do to aid your dog. First, someone will need to hold your pet while you examine his paws. You should use a muzzle on your pet if you have one.
Even the most loving dog can give you a nip when you’re in pain or confused.
You might even discover that a portion of the nail is still present. Sharp nail clippers can be used to trim this. If you’re concerned that you’ll injure your dog further, leave it to the vet.
Antibiotic ointment or powder can also be applied to the exposed nail bed. Fortunately, topical ointments for pets can solve a nail problems.
Bandage the foot if possible to prevent infection. Over the next few days, your dog’s paw will need to be checked. If it doesn’t heal and appears infected for whatever reason, you should see your veterinarian.
What if dog nail is bleeding at the base?
If the bleeding or break is minimal, like when toenails are clipped too short, apply mild and consistent pressure with a cotton ball or clean towel to halt the bleeding. You can also use a tiny bit of cornstarch to the nail to see if it stops the bleeding. If the bleeding stops but you are still concerned, make an appointment with your veterinarian within 12 to 24 hours; otherwise, take your pet to the doctor. Your veterinarian may prescribe medicines to help prevent nail bed infection in either case.
Tips for infected broken dog nail
Take a few minutes to examine your dog’s affected foot if you observe them giving additional attention to one of their feet. First, feel along the top of the foot, then look closely at the pad and between the toes. Also, keep an eye out for any anomalies in the claws or nails. If you suspect an infection, have your veterinarian thoroughly examine your dog.
Among the symptoms of an infected broken dog nail are:
- Nail bed swelling
- Foot discomfort
- Pus oozing from the nail bed
- claw discoloration
- The claw is soft.
- The brittle claw
Your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you if your dog has been diagnosed with a bacterial infection. The majority of treatments will include topical or oral antibiotic ointments and paw soaks. In addition, chlorhexidine or Epsom salts may be used in paw soaks to suck out pus and minimize inflammation while aiding recovery.
Suppose the bacterial illness has spread beyond the claw and claw bed. In that case, your veterinarian will most likely prescribe oral antibiotics for four to six weeks to ensure the bacterial infection is cleared.
Keep the affected foot of your dog clean and free of dirt or debris. When your dog goes outside, your veterinarian may advise him or her to wear a waterproof bootie on the injured foot. The bootie will keep the affected claw dry and clean.
Broken dog nail is still attached. What should I do?
If you come across a nail that is really loose and dangling, you might try to remove it at home. Be careful to have someone assist you in safely restraining your dog. You gently try to remove the virtually broken-off nail with a rapid pull motion. Only attempt removal if the nail is extremely loose! Consider a “loose wiggly tooth” from your childhood.
Also, be cautious when inspecting or removing a loose nail, since this can result in an abrupt and unpleasant pain sensation, prompting some dogs to pinch or bite in surprise.
If bleeding occurs after the removal, apply gauze, apply gentle pressure, and/or apply Kwik Stop.
If your dog ripped out the toenail, will it grow back?
Regrowth usually happens in a broken, cracked, or split nail. A claw that has been severed from its root should regrow in a few months. The rate of regeneration differs between dogs.
If the nail root is significantly injured, it may not be able to create a new claw. An emerging nail may also be atypical, such as bent or discolored. In that case, have it checked out by a veterinarian.
Dog broken nail vet cost
If you take your dog to the vet for a broken/infected/split/cracked nail, the charges will usually be $80 to $150. It includes the vet visit fee, medications needed to avoid infection, and the bandaging process. Suppose you took your dog to an after-hours emergency vet. In that case, the cost might be twice or even quadruple this, depending on the geographical location and vet you chose.
Suppose a big piece of the nail needs to be removed. The toe may need to be removed in extreme circumstances, though this is uncommon. If this is the case, the surgical treatment costs to remove a piece or all of the toe in question could range from $300 to $550 or more.
While trying to cure the problem at home may be tempting, it is strongly advised that you take your dog to the vet if there is heavy bleeding, swelling in the toe, signs of pain, and/or licking or biting the region regularly. Failure to do so can result in an infection, particularly if the tissue beneath the nail is exposed.
Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com
Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com
Doghint.com is a participant of several affiliate programs. The list includes (but not limited to) the following: VigLink, Refersion, ShareASale, and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Doghint.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. All published articles are meant for informational purposes only and not substitute the professional veterinary consultation.