Broken Dog Toenail: Causes, Treatment, and Recovery

Broken Dog Toenail: Causes, Treatment, and Recovery

When your dog suddenly starts limping or licking at their paw, it might be a sign of a broken toenail—a common issue that can cause discomfort and, if untreated, lead to more serious problems. This blog looks into the various causes of broken dog toenails, what you can do to help your dog recover, and the importance of veterinary care. If you notice your dog has a toenail problem, or if you have concerns about their foot health, give Schertz Animal Hospital a call at (210) 659-0345 for professional advice and care.

What Causes Broken Dog Toenails?

Dogs can get broken nails just like we can, but because the condition can often go unnoticed (especially by our pets), it can have more health risks. Below are some of the ways that dogs can end up with broken toenails.

Genetics and Physical Activity

Some dogs are just more likely to suffer from broken toenails than others. Dogs that are very active or those whose nails are not regularly trimmed may be at higher risk. Genetics also play a role; some breeds have weaker nails or are more prone to nail issues.

Environmental Factors

Rough surfaces, like concrete or rocky trails, can wear down or crack nails over time. Accidents, such as a nail getting caught in the carpet or between deck slats, can also lead to breaks. Understanding your dog’s environment can help you take preventive measures to protect their nails.

How to Handle a Broken Toenail

So, your dog broke a nail. What can you do to fix it and prevent further problems?

Immediate Care

First of all, it’s important to keep your pet calm and prevent them from licking or biting the injured paw. Do not try to remove any part of the broken nail yourself. Instead, gently clean the area with warm water and cover it with a clean, damp cloth to help control any bleeding (if any bleeding occurs). 

Seeing Your Veterinarian

Always consult with your veterinarian if your dog breaks a toenail, especially if there is significant bleeding, signs of infection (like swelling or pus), or if your dog is in pain. Schertz Animal Hospital is equipped to handle such situations, and our team will work with you to ensure your dog’s comfort and quick recovery. Call us at (210) 659-0345 to schedule an appointment.

Treatment and Recovery

Treatment for your dog’s broken toenail will depend on the severity of the break. Your vet might trim the broken nail or prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. In some cases, sedation may be necessary to safely treat the injury.

Following your vet’s instructions is critical for helping your dog make a full recovery. Keep their activity level low to avoid putting pressure on the injured toe, and check the nail regularly to make sure the injury is healing properly.

Preventing Future Injuries

Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent your dog from breaking their nails. 

Regular Nail Trims

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is one of the best ways to prevent toenail injuries. Long nails are more likely to get caught on things or break, so routine trims are important. If you’re unsure how to trim your dog’s nails safely, ask your vet for a demonstration or schedule regular nail trims at Schertz Animal Hospital.

Environmental Adjustments

Consider your dog’s environment and make adjustments as needed. If they spend a lot of time on rough terrain, you might need to find softer areas for play or invest in protective booties for their paws.

Dealing with a broken dog toenail can be stressful for both you and your pet, but understanding the causes and proper steps for treatment can help ease the process. If your dog has a toenail injury, or if you have any concerns about their paw health, please call Schertz Animal Hospital at (210) 659-0345

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Schertz Animal Hospital

Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!