I have an english setter and last night she somehow ripped off one of her back dew claws and it was bleeding everywhere,

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Customer: I have an english setter and last night she somehow ripped off one of her back dew claws and it was bleeding everywhere, so we wrapped it with some gauze and first aid tape. This morning her paw was swelled up pretty bad and still is. It doesn't seem to hurt her, I can touch it and squeeze it and she doesn't seem to be hurting. Question is how long should I wait to see if the swelling goes down before taking her to the vet clinic? Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Peter in 2 mins 10 years ago
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Dr. Peter
20+ years of experience
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77,112 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice. There is no additional charge for information request.

1- Does the swelling feel soft when you squeeze it?
2- Any discharge from the dew claw?
3- Is the bone exposed on the dew claw?
4- Is she licking the area?
Customer

1 - yes

2 - no. it's scabbed over

3. no. there is a scab on the wound

4. She did this morning before we went to work. When returning from work she seems herslef and is not licking anymore.

The swelling that you are describing is consistent with the bandage being a little too tight and cut off the circulation interfering with the lymphatic drainage. This is what you can do:
1- Pick up in your local pharmacy hibiclens antimicrobial soap. Dilute 1-2 tablespoon in warm water and soak her paw for 5 minutes 3-4 times a day.
2- Once soaked as above dry and apply a topical antibiotic like neosporin or bacitracin.
3- Make certain she is not licking, if she does lick pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to prevent her from licking.
4- If you do not see significant improvement within 2-3 days of doing the above or if you see a yellowish fluid draining from wound have her checked by your family veterinarian.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter
Customer
Okay - I understand what you are saying however the wound seems intact and not infected. We're just worried about the swelling at this point.
If it is infected it usually on the surface of the skin. Hence why the recommendation of hibiclens and topical antibiotics. Once the licking is stopped the inflammation will subside.
Customer

the wound is not infected because as we see it has a scab-secured owie - nodrainage. The swelling should go away if she does not lick it? She's not licking at this point and the swelling is our concern - swelling has gone down since this morning but is still a concern - swelling does not seem to bother her.

The swelling is the result of the bandage cutting off the circulation, it will get better. But, if she licks (often dogs do) it will cause another type of swelling called a lick granuloma. In addition, licking can promote an infection. For now, just follow the above recommendation and she will be fine.
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