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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My dogs nail is sideways and her toe is red and swollen. She

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My dog's nail is sideways and her toe is red and swollen. She keeps licking it so I wraped it up but she hasn't walked on it in over a week. What should I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

Welcome to Just Answer. I'm a veterinarian and will do my best to assist you and this girl out tonight. At this time, if she's not walked on that paw in over a week, this definitely indicates that it is very painful. That nail being sideways would indicate a toenail injury where it got torn at the base. With it being red and swollen at this time, I would be either suspicious of a secondary infection there or possible a fracture of a bone in that digit itself. She needs to be seen by your vet at this time to have it evaluated. That broken toenail needs to be removed. X-rays of that toe need to be taken to determine if it is broken. More than likely a course of oral antibiotics and pain meds also needs to be started up. You've given her plenty of time to see if this will heal on its own. It isn't. Veterinary care is definitely needed at this point.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Does this require her being put under anesthesia? She is not in good health and I am worried that if she is put under that she won't do well.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.
Sometimes these broken toenails can be quickly removed without needing sedation or general anesthesia. It all depends on how "broken" they are. Your vet will do a good exam on her prior to doing anything. They will pick a course of action that is best for her.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
In the meantime, is there anything I can do to help her? Ice/heat? Keep it wrapped? She doesn't yelp in pain and doesn't even act like it hurts other than not putting much weight on it but I want to make her more comfortable if possible.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.
I would take the wrap off it. It most likely isn't doing anything but causing pressure / discomfort / and might be actually compromising circulation to the foot. The best thing you can do is to continue to let her rest and get food and water. I wouldn't do any heat or ice at this time. That pressure / handling will most likely just cause more discomfort.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I took her to the vet and they cut the nail down, wrapped it, and put her on an antibiotic. That was on Monday. Since then, she has been really calm, laid back, and has slept all day. She wants to be under the covers for the first time since I got her and she's just not herself. Is this a possible result of the antibiotic- Cefelxin (allergy? etc.) or is this normal because she's hurting? I didn't get pain meds for her because it wasn't recommended by the vet. Any ideas or even what I should keep looking for would be appreciated!!

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.
Glad to hear that you got her to the vet and they started up this therapy. If she was having a reaction to the antibiotic, she'd be having lack of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting as they are the most common side effects. Her being this way hopefully is because she's finally feeling comfortable as that toe is finally not so painful. She may have not been resting well prior and is now catching up. I would be watching for it to have further swelling, the pain returning, her not eating, and vomiting. If those are seen, then she should be rechecked. Hopefully she's walking on that leg now!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you! Just one other thing- she is perkier tonight so I'm definately not as worried as I was last night. However, she is not using that foot at all. She is using 3 legs to walk around. Could this be because it's annoying or should I get her back in sooner than planned?

Sorry for all of the questions but I really appreciate your help.

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 years ago.
Honestly, I would get her back in to have her checked over and I would ask for pain medication for her. She's obviously not using the leg and something has to be causing her discomfort. I would make sure that a thorough exam is done on that leg to make sure that the broken toe nail wasn't one of a couple problems. Could there be another joint injury that is at hand? For her to to be on 3 legs has me concerned.
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