My Dog’s Nail Has Separated From The Quick!

My Dog’s Nail Has Separated From The Quick!

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
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The nail of your dog may become injured in a number of different ways. Besides being damaged by over-trimming by an owner or groomer, nails that are too long and constantly hitting the floor may cause breakage, especially if your dog jumps and lands on them from a height.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “My Dog’s Nail Has Separated From The Quick!“.

It is important not to cut your dogs nails too short as this can cause your pooch pain and injury. 

My Dog’s Nail Has Separated From The Quick!

When your dogs nail separates from the quick or you accidentally cut it to the quick read our article below to learn what you need to do to prevent as much pain as possible for your canine companion!

What Is The ‘Quick’?

There are two major parts to your dogs nail.

There is the quick which contains the blood supply and nerves which sustain the nail.

A dogs nails are usually pink on white nails but they can be dark if they have black nails.

The second is the nail itself which is typically white.

When the nail splits from the quick it can cause your dog severe pain because the quick contains nerves and blood vessels.

Heavy bleeding is also caused by damaged blood vessels.

When your dog has black nails you will have a harder time finding the quick. Finding the ‘pulp’ can give you a general idea of where the quick is.

The dark circular area just before the quick is a dark part of the nail.

How Can A Dog’s Nail Become Separated From The Quick?

The nail of your dog may become injured in a number of different ways. Besides being damaged by over-trimming by an owner or groomer nails that are too long and constantly hitting the floor may cause breakage especially if your dog jumps and lands on them from a height.

It is also very easy for dogs to snag their nails on carpets or fibers or even outside when they stub their toes on trees or rocks.

The nails of older dogs can become very dry and brittle causing them to break very easily.

As you can see keeping your dogs nails from becoming too long is essential for a number of reasons!

What Should I Do If My Dog’s Nail Has Separated From the Quick?

Now that we know how much pain damage to the quick can cause knowing what to do when it happens to your dog is essential. 

In the first instance you need to apply pressure to the nail wound (not the paw or toe itself) with a clean towel for about two minutes if the nail is bleeding.

Stopping the bleeding and preventing major blood loss will help.

You may want to muzzle your dog while you do this or you may want someone to calm them and hold their head while you do this.

Because they are in great pain they may lash out or attempt to bite at their wound.

In addition to a cone a dogs nail would also be protected from further damage while it heals. 

Dogs tend to lick their wounds repeatedly. In some instances this isnot necessarily a bad thing but preventing this would result in faster wound healing.

Next you should inspect the area.

You should take your dog to the vet if a lot of the quick has been exposed.

The vet will probably remove the whole nail and bandage the wound at that point. It is possible that a trip to the vet is not necessary if only the nail has split a small amount but giving the vet a call to be sure wouldnot hurt.

You may be able to remove the nail yourself if a small piece is dangling off loosely.

However do not attempt to remove a nail that is firmly attached to the quick.

It is better to be safe than sorry since this could be really painful for your dog.

Symptoms Of Infection To Look Out For

In the event that your dogs nail has separated from the quick there are a few things to watch for that may indicate trouble even if there is no bleeding or obvious pain.

Inflammation of the toe pus oozing and bloody pus all indicate there is something seriously wrong.

You should always contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.

What Equipment Do I Need To Properly Look After My Dog’s Nails?

When trimming your dogs nails you may be concerned about the quick being damaged. You can purchase a number of things to help you prevent this from happening.

With a good pair of trimmers the process is made easier and the nails are less likely to snap or break.

There are some excellent clippers available on Amazon for as little as $12.

Millers Forge Nail Clippers and Safari Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmers are two examples. 

Keeping styptic powders gels and pencils in your dogs first-aid kit is also a good idea.

Most dog groomers and veterinarians use these products to stop bleeding quickly.

When trimming simply dip a wet finger or tip of a pencil into some water then into the powder to make sure it sticks.

Then gently apply it to the wound.

It is important to be careful as your dog may struggle or bite as a reaction to this treatment. To cause your dog as little stress as possible make sure you have someone with you while doing this.

How Else Can You Help To Prevent Your Dog’s Nail Separating From The Quick?

In order to prevent any injury to your pups nails you should always keep them trimmed at all times.

Simply clipping and filing once a month should do the trick. 

The health of your nails also depends on nutrition.

It is possible that your dogs diet lacks the correct nutrients and minerals if their nails break easily.

If your dog has this problem you should include fatty acids and oils in their food and buy the best dog food you can afford.

You should also keep in mind that dogs’ nails naturally wear down when they walk on hard surfaces.

Therefore its a good idea to walk your dog on concrete to keep their nails short. 

Can A Dog With A Nail Injury Still Go On Walks?

Therefore if your dogs nail is currently broken you should be cautious about where you take them for walks and the length of time you spend walking.

Do not walk through woods or on muddy terrain which may cause the wound to become dirty and infected.

In addition try to avoid areas where your dog might snag their nails easily such as long grass.

Only take short toilet breaks if necessary until the nail has fully healed.

When your dog is limping do not try to make him walk far as this will only unsettle the wound and make it worse.

As a result you will prevent further damage to the quick and start your dog on the road to recovery. 

Be sure to dry and clean your pups feet when you get home if you walk him.

Perhaps you could get them a special medical boot to wear to reduce the chances of infection.

You can find these in most pet stores or on Amazon and they come in a variety of colors and sizes.

In order to keep the wound safe we recommend that you wear a waterproof boot!

Can A Dog Die From A Broken Nail? 

Despite the fact that there is a good blood supply to your dogs nails they are unlikely to die if the nails become separated from the quick.

Despite the continuous bleeding appearing to be life-threatening as long as you apply pressure to the wound and get your dog to the vet as soon as possible he would not die. 

Although most pet owners freak out when they see that their pooch is injured you should try to remain calm.

Do not worry about your dogs health and seek the advice of a veterinarian. This will allow you to relax and minimize stress for both you and your dog.

Whenever your dogs nail has separated from the quick you should always consult your veterinarian especially if the area is showing signs of infection or continuous bleeding.

Split nails are a pretty preventable issue but vet bills can be quite expensive. 

You can avoid unnecessary vet visits by keeping your dogs nails trimmed and maintained.

You will save money in the long run by doing this and your dog will be in good health.

Even though your first instinct may be to panic if your dogs nail becomes detached from the quick they will be fine if you follow these simple suggestions.

If you have any tips for our readers about how to take care of your dogs nails let us know in the comments!

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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