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I've been hearing that clicking sound and, during a recent trip to the pet shop, happen to ask another customer who was there (since the salespeople are useless). She scoffed at the idea of clipping, saying the claws get worn out naturally while walking.

And yet, a week later I was back and got me clippers.

Then I attempted to clip 'em.. bad idea.

The little guy (11 months old) hated it, and I kept worrying I was cutting into the quick.
I eventually had to musel him. poor guy.

I was doing OK for a while and then finally cut into the quick. not a good sight that blood. Applied rubbing alcohol, made my penitence to the dog, and bandaged (I was surprised to see that the band-aid stayed on for 48 hours!).

anyway, dudes, that was the last time ever.

just curious about similar experiences?

Rogan
 

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Ahhhhh! Been there done that, made similar mistakes... and my dog is 60 lbs with black nails... my lessons:
1. It is good to keep nails clipped regularly - the dog gets used to it and you eventually get better.
2. More importantly, when you hear the clicks, it scratches the floor, plus it can add to arthritis problems when the dog is a senior (his, not yours :) )
3. There are a number of techniques that you can learn from the Vet and from the groomers.
4. Most dogs need clipping about once a month - I do mine about every week, since I'm bad at it.
5. When you clip the nail, shoot for the 1/8 inch tip, cutting at a slight angle away from the inner soft part.
6. Something I finally learned the hard way: Cut parallel to the foot, just like your nails, not at right angles to the toe (that crushes rather than clips).
7. Not alcohol - that can sting. Use a styptic pencil or a little corn starch to stop the bleeding.
8. Cutting the nail doesn't hurt as much as it sounds... but it's a sharp surprise, coupled with anxiety from a klutzy owner.
9. You can find pictures on Google. If you clip the nail perfectly (no one does), then you can see a little white circle in the middle. That's the tip of the nerve, and it seems to encourage the nail to grow more slowly, so that you can successively clip the nail shorter. If you clip even more, then the circle gets larger, it starts to hurt the dog, and you quickly get to the where it bleeds. In this case, pictures are much better.
10. Go back and try it again. You can clip one toe per day, until you develop confidence and trust.
 

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Play with his feet a lot when you aren't clipping his nails so he gets used to you handling his feet. A treat after every toe can help!! I'd pick up some styptic powder or a styptic stick to stop the bleeding if you nick a quick, but if you do, regardless of what the dog says, it is not the end of the world!!
 

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No rubbing alchohol!! OUCH!
Teach your dog to accept you playing with his feet, by getting him relaxed with a belly rub, and massaging his legs, and going all the way down to his paws. Gently separate the pads, and massage the feet. Move each nail around gently to get him used to you doing that. Treats work great if you need to use them. I desensitized one of my dogs, by saying "Touch", each time I touched the toe, and then treating. Then touched the clipper to it, and treated. Repeated often. Then clip one nail and treat. Now she sits there quietly while I do all of her nails.

Clip just a little rather than all at once. Don't clip beyond the curve in the nail. If you start with just the tiny tip, you can feel where it is less dry and brittle. Once you get to that point, be very careful, because the quick is close by. If the center of the nail is chaulky, you are getting close to the quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hambonez, Spotted Nikes and HankSimon, you guys are the best! One thing you guys seem to agree on, nail clipping really has to be done, unlike what that lady in the store suggested, that they wear out on their own? am I right?
Spotted, yea, I know about the rubbing alcohol, believe me, but that's all I had. In fact, you shoulda seen me, once I cut through the quick and that blood came out, I felt so bad for my guy, trying to hold him while searching for the alcohol, it got messy! Funny thing, Zed did not react when I dabbed his nail with it, I thought he would yelp like crazy from the sting... (I know I would). I did read about the styptic stick (or powder, for dipping in) but there was none to be had in my house at that moment. but i promise, no more rubbing alcohol I will be prepared next time. Thanks again guys, much appreciated! Zed and Rogan
 

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You can use flour, starch or even baby powder to stop bleeding if you don't have styptic powder.
 

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I quicked my dog once. She is so gentle that she even let me finish cutting the rest of the nails on that paw after it happened, but it really freaked me out. Now I just pay to have a groomer do it once a month. They do a better job anyway and it takes them about thirty seconds. For me, it's $12 well spent (yes, our groomer is ridiculously expensive).
 

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I quicked my dog once. She is so gentle that she even let me finish cutting the rest of the nails on that paw after it happened, but it really freaked me out. Now I just pay to have a groomer do it once a month. They do a better job anyway and it takes them about thirty seconds. For me, it's $12 well spent (yes, our groomer is ridiculously expensive).
I accidentally just barely quicked Cara (not quite enough to make it bleed, but enough that it hurt her) she too let me finish her nails on that paw.

As for the OP definitely start playing with your dogs feet when you're not clipping to get him accustomed to it and make it the best thing in the world. With my dogs I keep an empty jar of peanut butter and smear some around the inside and let them work on the jar while I go around and do their nails quick, it works amazingly at keeping them still.
 

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My Ginny is great about getting her nails done. I have never had a dog before that I could stand to do their nails. I clipped hers four or five times before I got my first bleed. It did not bother her, but freaked me out. So I left her about a month or two, and then asked the groomers to do her nails. Then I started just taking off a sliver every two weeks...so no more bleeding. Works for us. Some of my girls nails are black.
 

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I worked at a groomer and one of my biggest jobs was nail clipping. I always recommended getting it done or doing it yourself every 1-2 weeks. I know that with my own dogs, If I waited an entire month to clip their nails, they would be a mile long! And that lady in the pet store was SO WRONG. In most cases, if the dog runs for a couple miles a day on a hard, rough surface, then he might keep his own nails worn down. But for most of us who aren't able to do that, we need to clip our dogs' nails on a regular basis.

And +1 on the styptic powder. No more rubbing alcohol. I know it hurts like crazy when I use it on myself, and nail quicks can be very painful. D=
 
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