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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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How can I help my dog with a torn dew claw?

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My dog tore his dew claw about an hour ago. I have called the vet and the said as long as he doesn't seem to be in too much pain and the bleeding isn't too bad then to leave visiting them until the morning. It is still bleeding slightly but the little fella seems not to be noticing the problem. Is it okay to leave him tonight and is there anything I can do in the mean time to help him?

Welcome to JustAnswer! I would like to help you and your dog with this question, but need just a bit more information in order to better assist you both.

Is the dew claw completely removed, or is it hanging at an odd angle?

Is Dexter licking at it?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

He hasn't really noticed it at all, just licked it a little to start with, though he seems to let me look at it as if he knows it’s not right. It has completely broken off and is still bleeding an hour or so after.

Have you tried anything to stop the bleeding?

How often does a drop of blood fall from it? Once a second, once a minute, other?

How old is the little guy?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

He is 14 months old. I have been applying pressure to the wound to try to stem the bleeding. I have also tried to bandage it but he thinks it’s a game for him to tear off! There is blood dropping at least once a minute though this has slowed a bit since he tore the claw. There is still quite a bit for saying he did it a while ago.

Do you have cornstarch or flour in the house?

I would like you to get a teaspoon or so of either one of these, and then pat it onto the torn dewclaw. You will then need to distract your boy so he does not just lick it off. You could hide a little peanut butter inside a Kong toy, or smear a bit of Cheese Whiz on a bone, or something like that to keep his attention. The flour or cornstarch will help the blood to clot.

I'm glad that the whole nail has come off. The broken nail HAS to come off in order for healing to occur and a new nail to grow. Usually, the exposed "quick" is covered in a new nail in about two weeks. So, I ask people to keep their dogs on sidewalks and out of sand, snow and mud for a couple of weeks. I rarely give antibiotics.

For more information:

So, apply the cornstarch or flour, and that should stop the bleeding. I do occasionally bandage these if they won't stop bleeding, but they heal much faster if they are open to the air, so I prefer not to.

Best wishes to you and your boy!

Dr.Fiona and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Thank you for your advice! Dexy is my baby which I am sure you will understand.

You are so welcome! I hope that he recovers uneventfully!