All dogs are born with dew claws on their paws, but many private and commercial breeders remove the dew claws shortly after birth. If left intact, the dew claw grows over and downward, creating a nail hook on your dog's paw that needs frequent trimming. The quick is the blood vessel that runs through the upper few centimetres of your dog's nail and it will bleed profusely if you cut it accidentally. Accidents happen, but fortunately a dog's bleeding dew claw is easy to remedy.
Place a towel under the dew claw to absorb the blood and gently raise the paw upward in one hand while securing your dog on the floor or grooming table with the other.
Uncap your styptic pencil and calmly praise your dog while securing his body position. Since most dogs resist contact with fresh injuries, you may need someone hold him still so you can focus on properly using the styptic pencil. Styptic pencils are available at any major pet store or animal medical or grooming supplier.
Hold his paw firmly and rotate the black end of the styptic pencil against the bleeding nail. Continue rotating the stick until the bleeding stops; this will take approximately 30 seconds. Styptic pencils contain silver nitrate and expedite the coagulation process, which stops the bleeding.
Praise your dog and stroke his back or belly until the bleeding stops. Prevent him from licking his injured nail until his dew claw stops bleeding. It's all right if he licks the nail after the bleeding ends.
For especially squirmy dogs, have a friend feed small treats as a distraction while you hold his paw for treatment.
Tips and warnings
- For especially squirmy dogs, have a friend feed small treats as a distraction while you hold his paw for treatment.