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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience:  companion animal medicine and surgery for 15 years
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My dog's nail is falling off and bleeding. What can I do?

Resolved Question:

My 19 month blue pit bull is nursing and not walking on her front paw. Today I noticed her nail is hanging off bleeding. I can't afford to take her to vet right now. Is there anything I can do or should do for her? Will it fall off and heal on its own?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 8 years ago.

Damaged toenails are such a common problem with dogs and can be frustrating for the owner and painful for the dog! I understand that you may not be able to get to the vet at this point, but there are a few suggestions I can make for home.

1) If possible, remove or pull off any loose nail fragments, if she will allow. She may yelp, but the loose pieces need to come off to allow healing of the underlying tissue.

2) You can use foot soaks at home to clean and help prevent infection of this nail. Fill a bucket partially full of warm water with a dash of hydrogen peroxide added and have your dog stand in the bucket for 5 minutes or so once or twice daily, for the next 5-7 days.

3) You can certainly continue to use neosporin if she will allow. If she will tolerate it, try taping a loose sock over the foot, which will cover the area but allow air flow and won't constrict. this way she won't constantly lick at it. Of course some dogs will pull the sock off immediately but she may leave it.

If after all this she is continuing to limp after 4-5 days, or the nail is not growing back in normally, a vet visit would be needed to further address this toenail.

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