How to stop a dog’s nail from bleeding

How to Stop a Dog’s Nail From Bleeding

If the bleeding is severe or you are uncertain as to how to deal with it, make sure your consult a veterinarian.

Depending on the cause, there are different ways to stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding. If the problem has been caused by “quicking” with nail trimmers or in other words, trimming too short, applying a little bit of Kwik-Stop Powder to the cut surface of the nail should be enough to cauterize it by chemical reaction and make the bleeding stop.

Kwik-Stop can sometimes burn a little bit, but it is one of the better ways to stop a bleeding nail and keep it stopped, and most likely the method your veterinarian would use to stop the bleeding, too. If there is no Kwik-Stop handy, cornstarch can work as well, if the bleeding is not too bad, by encouraging clotting.

Cracked or Injured Nail

If the bleeding is heavy, or is caused by a broken or cracked toenail, or even a toenail that is hanging off or one that has been completely pulled off, this is usually a job for the veterinarian since the exposed nail pulp will continue bleeding for a long time. Additionally, these types of nail injuries are very, very painful, sometimes even more painful than if the dog had actually broken his toe, so this all needs to be remedied.

Preventing Dog Nail Bleeding

The best way to prevent the most common causes of dog toenail bleeding is to keep a dog’s nails properly trimmed all the time, and to make sure that nail trimming is done with a sharp, pliers-style nail clipper.

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By keeping nails short, this will help to prevent accidents where toenails become caught or get twisted, and are either pulled off or get broken. This is not only very painful, but can invite infection. Equally, the person who is doing the nail trimming should know how to trim correctly so that it can be done without causing any bleeding from cutting the nail too close to the blood supply.

What causes a dog’s nail to bleed

A dog’s nail may bleed if the ‘quick’, the pink portion around the base containing some nerves and blood vessels, gets cut. It may happen if:

  • You cut your dogs nails too short
  • If your pet’s nail is torn or broken because of an injury during a walk or playtime

The most important thing in case of bleeding nails is for you to stay calm, as you need to pacify your scared dog as well as stop the bleeding at the earliest [3, 4, 12].

How to Stop a Dog’s Nail from Bleeding

5 ways to get your dog’s nails to stop bleeding after cutting it too short

Though the bleeding in most cases stops on its own after a while, it is still recommended to take measures to stop the bleeding as soon as possible [6], as it might be painful for your pet to wait it out. Immediate action can also help avoid any potential infection. Here are a few simple remedies to try at home:

1. Pour a pinch of styptic powder on the wound. As it contains cauterizing and anti-hemorrhagic agents, it is considered one of the best over-the-counter solutions for controlling bleeding and preventing bacterial infections [5, 9]. Styptic pencils can also be used as an alternative [4].

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One challenge with these styptic products is the stinging sensation they produce, so, make sure to hold your pet firmly while applying [1, 4].

2. Firmly press a clean unscented soap bar on the injured nail for 3-5 minutes. This would help in plugging the blood vessels and control bleeding [7, 8].

Get a Dog’s Nail to Stop Bleeding with Soap

3. Compress gently with ice cubes wrapped in a towel or tissue paper [2]. You may cover your dog’s feet with a sock if you do not want to apply the ice directly.

4. Press the wound with a dry unused tea bag for a few minutes [10]. The presence of tannic acid in tea makes it useful in clotting blood.

5. Apply a paste of cornstarch and water with a Q-tip or your finger. Being a coagulant and anti-bacterial, cornstarch works well to stop bleeding and combating infections. You may need to apply the mixture multiple times to create a thick coating over the bleeding nail. Flour or baking powder can also be used in place of cornstarch [6, 8].

6. Put on some potassium permanganate powder sprinkled on a moist cotton swab and press gently for about 30 seconds so the crystals stick on to the broken nail [9]. You might need to repeat this a few times to stop the bleeding altogether. Its disinfectant properties help in lessening chances of infections.

Super Glue, containing the chemical cyanoacrylate, is also considered to be effective and is used by some people. However, it may not be completely safe as the glue may lead to irritation if it comes in direct contact with the skin  [13].

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