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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience:  8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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I am looking after a Maltese (aged 4) and he has torn his dewclaw

Resolved Question:

I am looking after a Maltese (aged 4) and he has torn his dewclaw in the park. It was bleeding but has not come off. It has been bathed in salt water and I wasn't sure if the vet should see it urgently. The owners are collecting him on Monday. He seems fine and now is wearing a band aid. Any ideas please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Susan :

Hi, I can help you with your question today.

Dr. Susan :

This nail is not an emergency. However, I do consider these painful when the nail hasn't come off yet.

Dr. Susan :

They act like a hang nail that is sore each time it is touched.

Customer:

Hi Dr Susan,

Customer:

Do you think it would be best if we ask the owners to book an appointment at their normal vets when they collect Toffee on Monday or would you advise me to seek treatment today?

Dr. Susan :

Honestly, if you feel comfortable doing it, this is something you could handle at home.

Customer:

Does the nail normally have to be removed or will it heal up?

Dr. Susan :

What I do for these guys is grab the hanging hail and pull it off. You need someone that is comfortable restraining him, and then a pair of needle nosed pliers or the like.

Dr. Susan :

The nail won't heal, it should be taken off and then a new normal one will grow in its place.

Dr. Susan :

After pulling the nail, I use styptic powder to stop any bleeding (you can get this at a pet store), and then have him wear an Elizabethan collar if he is trying to lick at it.

Dr. Susan :

These generally feel much better within a day or two, it just takes a while for the nail to grow in.

Customer:

I see. Thank you very much for your advice. I will see how it goes after a bath and if it is possible to pull it off, I will try. If I can't do it I think I will be safe to leave things until Monday, ensuring that it is kept clean and covered.

Dr. Susan :

Yes, agreed. The only issue I see complicating torn nails is infection. This is easily cleared up by soaking the paw +/- some oral antibiotics.

Customer:

Can I purchase oral antibiotics?

Dr. Susan :

Unfortunately, no, these are available by prescription only.

Dr. Susan :

As long as you continue to keep the paw clean, we should be in good shape.

Customer:

OK that's great. Will definitely keep it clean. Would it be ok to put Germolene antiseptic cream on it?

Dr. Susan :

Oh yes, that would be just fine.

Customer:

ok thanks again and I will go now.

Customer:

Kind Regards,

Customer:

XXXXX XXXXX.

Dr. Susan :

You're welcome! If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION.


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