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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17906
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My labrador has split her dew claw whilst playing how do I

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My labrador has split her dew claw whilst playing how do I treat this?
Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Coco's split nail. A broken/split nail is very painful.
If the nail isn't actively bleeding and the nail bed isn't swollen then he may be OK with you just keeping it clean. You should trim away any loose or jagged pieces of the broken nail so it doesn't catch on things, or further traumatize the nailbed, or become a wick for infection to travel into the nailbed.
You will need to protect his foot when he goes outdoors by covering it with something waterproof like a bootie or baggie so it doesn't get wet or dirty which would lead to an infection.
You also need to keep him from licking. If he licks it will likely become infected. So if he's trying to lick then place an elizabethan collar on him.
Today you can soak his paw in epsom salts or a dilute solution of warm water and antibacterial hand soap to remove any dirt, then gently rinse, pat dry well and put a very small dab of antibacterial ointment on the open, exposed nailbed.
If his toe or nailbed area becomes swollen or tender then he may need antibiotics and so will need to see his veterinarian.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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