If you fail to trim your dog's nails on a regular basis, one or more of the nails can actually grow into the paw pad on your dog's foot. This can cause minor discomfort or can cause so much pain your dog is limping, depending on the type of dog you own, their activity level, their pain tolerance, and how embedded the nail is. If you notice your dog in pain or happen to see the nail embedded in the paw pad when your dog is lying down, you may wonder what you need to do. Here is some information that will help you if your dog has a nail that has grown into the paw pad.
Removing it Yourself
If you notice the nail has grown into the paw pad, you may be able to solve the problem yourself. You can use dog nail clippers to cut the nail. After the nail is trimmed back, the nail may fall out of the paw pad. If it does not, use a pair of tweezers to gently pull it out. If it does not budge, do not yank. You will want to take your pet to an animal care center like Evergreen Veterinary Clinic. It is important to note that a nail grinder and guillotine clippers will not work. You will need standard dog nail clippers. After you remove the nail, there may be some bleeding in the pad. This is normal. However, if it does not stop within a few minutes or you notice puss around the area, you will want to take your dog to an animal care center.
Having an Animal Care Center Remove the Nail
If you do not feel comfortable removing the embedded nail yourself, you have tried and failed, or the area is bleeding or has puss, you will want to take your dog to an animal care center or vet. For liability reasons, many groomers are unable to remove embedded nails from a paw pad, so you will need to visit the vet. They can help remove the nail and deal with any bleeding or infections that may be present. Depending on how deep the wound is, it may take a few days for the area to heal and your dog to feel up to walking or running again.
Until your dog's pad has fully healed, you will want to clean it two to three times per day to prevent infection. Wash the area with warm water and then use a dog antiseptic. There are sprays sold at pet supply stores. These are fast and easy to use. If you can't get to a pet store, you can dilute hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Once the area is clean, apply a small amount of Neosporin to the area.
It is important to remember to regularly trim your dog's nails. However, life happens and occasionally, you may get busy or forget. If your dog's nail is growing into the paw pad, you will want to work quickly to remove it to prevent pain in your pet. Learning what to do can help ensure it is properly removed.