Have you ever accidentally nicked your dog’s quick?
I have and I felt like the absolute worst dog mom in the entire world.
I was trimming Mauja’s nails, which she never had a problem with. Just as I went to cut, she heard something and jerked her leg. Even though the nail clippers had a “safety stopper”, it was just enough for me to cut the quick.
She yipped, I squealed, and my carpet turned red.
I freaked out.
I had never done that before. Even with Kaeto’s combination of white and black nails (which are the WORST to cut), I had managed to avoid it. Poor Mauja.
Since it was the first time I had ever done that, I really wasn’t sure what to do. I grabbed some paper towels to add pressure to the exposed nail and grabbed my phone for a quick Google search. What did we ever do without the internet?
After some quick research (see what I did there?), I found 5 ways to stop the bleeding. Thankfully, I had a few of the required materials at home.
- Baking soda, flour, or cornstarch. The first time I cut Mauja’s quick, this is the method we resorted to. I didn’t have anything fancy to stop the bleeding, but I did have cornstarch in my pantry! Grab a small amount and press it onto your dog’s nail, holding it there as the wound clots. The nail will most likely be sensitive, so ensure you’re gentle as you wait for it to clot.
- Styptic powder. After Mauja’s incident, this was the first thing I purchased. Since it contains ferric subsulfate (which contracts blood vessels and stops bleeding), I figured it would be more beneficial than cornstarch. It also contains Benzocaine to alleviate pain from minor cuts. One of the most popular brands of styptic powder and the one that we purchased is called Kwik Stop. Thankfully, I haven’t had to use it yet!
- Styptic pencil. This is a popular method for stopping the bleeding, but many contain silver nitrate which can really sting. Since Mauja is now hesitant about her paws being touched, I don’t plan on trying this one and causing any extra fear. However, it seems like it would be a great option for a travel/first aid kit due to the convenience.
- Soap. Well, a bar of soap. I came across this method before finding cornstarch, but much to my surprise, we don’t have any bars of soap! I’d imagine that most people do so this could be a good option if you don’t have any of the above materials. Simply drag the damp bar of soap across the nail and wait for the blood to clot.
- Gauze, bandage, and a sock. If you don’t have anything on this list, these tools can definitely work in a pinch. Mauja would not stop trying to lick her nail – every time I got it to clot, she’d lick and it’d start bleeding again. We finally resorted to putting some gauze and a bandage over her bleeding nail (which was one of her rear dewclaws), putting a sock over that foot, and then lightly taping the sock in place. She hated me, but it worked 😉
If none of the aforementioned methods work for your dog and bleeding persists for over 30-60 minutes, call your vet. They will be able to help alleviate the bleeding and make your dog more comfortable.
Most importantly, if you nick the quick make sure you suck up to your dog with some extra snuggles and a special treat. Both necessary for forgiveness 😉
Have you ever cut your dog’s nail too short? How did you stop the bleeding?