What happens if a dog breaks his dew claw?

Answered by Edward Huber

When a dog breaks their dew claw, it is essential to provide them with immediate medical attention. The dew claw is the fifth claw on a dog’s paw, located higher up on the leg than the other claws. It is not in contact with the ground when the dog walks and is more prone to injury.

A broken dew claw can be quite painful for a dog because the exposed quick, which is the bundle of nerves and blood vessels within the nail, is now exposed to the environment. This can cause significant discomfort and even lead to infection if not properly treated.

The first step in treating a broken dew claw is to clean the area thoroughly. This is important to prevent any dirt or debris from entering the wound and causing infection. It is best to use a mild antiseptic solution recommended by your veterinarian for this purpose.

Once the area is clean, the broken nail needs to be trimmed down above the break. This is done to prevent any further damage and to allow the nail to heal properly. However, trimming the nail can be a delicate procedure, as it is important to avoid cutting into the quick, which can cause bleeding and more pain for the dog.

In order to perform the nail trim, sedation and pain medication are often necessary. This ensures that the dog is relaxed and comfortable during the procedure, minimizing any stress or discomfort. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the appropriate medications and dosages based on your dog’s size, breed, and overall health.

After the nail has been trimmed, your veterinarian may apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the area to further prevent infection. They may also recommend the use of a protective bandage or boot to keep the area clean and prevent further injury.

It is important to monitor the healing process and keep an eye out for any signs of infection. If you notice any redness, swelling, discharge, or increased pain, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. They may need to prescribe additional medications, such as antibiotics, to treat the infection.

It is worth noting that some dogs may require the removal of the dew claw altogether if it is repeatedly injured or causing chronic discomfort. This is a decision that should be made in consultation with your veterinarian, taking into consideration the individual dog’s health and lifestyle.

A broken dew claw in a dog requires prompt medical attention to prevent pain and potential infection. The nail should be cleaned and trimmed above the break, preferably under sedation and with pain medication. Monitoring for signs of infection and following your veterinarian’s instructions for care and treatment will help ensure a successful recovery for your furry friend.