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Our puppy's nails are getting longer - and they're completely black.

She's going into the vet tomorrow anyway where I'll ask to have them clipped, but I'm wondering if I could do this at home ever or, because my dog's nails are black and I can't see the blood vessels, am I doomed to always bring my dog in to the vet/groomer for a clipping?
 

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My minis nails are completely black and trimmed at home without any problem. Just clip little and often. You can ask the vet anyway. Good luck!
 

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You can also try a dremmel. It grinds their nails down. I just started using one on the dogs, and it makes keeping Gizmo (who has all black nails) shorter a little easier. It takes some getting used to (on your part and the dog's), but if you start early, she may just lay down and let you do it.
 

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Oh I hate cutting nails! Even clear ones. I throw the ball down our steep driveway to try and keep them short so I dont have to cut them :) I had a good link someone on here put up that showed very clearly how to do it, but I'm on a different computer. Try googling 'how to cut dogs nails'. It's all in the angle. Or maybe the vet can show you?
 

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I like the dremmel. I had a groomer do it. The quick will slowly shrink back if the nails are done this way on a regular basis, so I am told. My big dog has black nails. I have always been scared to do them too from one experience of accidentally making my dog bleed! I want to learn to use a dremmel.
I don't like the way big nails tend to split from regular clippers.
 

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Porter's nails are all black and I do his at home. I a very small amount off at a time and a do it every 1-2 weeks. Sadly I have made him bleed a few times, but after doing it for 2 years I know where to stop know and it is pretty easy. I also use a nail file after a clip them to round them out and get them a little shorter.
 

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I agree with all the suggestions given - I also prefer a grinder vs a clipper. However it is very possible to use a clipper on black nail. The trick is to do it a little at a time, looking at the end of the nail every time you trim a little. The nail should be chalky and try at the end until you get close to the quick, you'll notice the end of the nail looking a little moister when you're near the quick, that's how you know you're getting close and should stop. Ask a groomer or a vet to show you how to do it properly, and it should be easy to do at home after that!
 

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Sydney's got all black nails as well and we use a dremel. I find that whether you're using clippers or a dremel you can sort of see how deep the quick is by looking at the end of the nail (think looking through the end of a straw, the straw being the nail). When I've just dremeled Sydney's nails the quick is right at the edge and I can't see "inside" the nail. When they need to be primmed I can see that the nail is hallow for a milimeter or two. I just shave off that milimeter. I hope this makes sense and isn't even more confusing.

Also, this is a REALLY informative article. http://www.lakesidevets.com/site/view/173225_TrimNails.pml
 

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Sometimes (as with my dog with black nails), you can actually see where the quick ends if you look at the nail from the bottom.

That being said, the quick in dog's nails actually grows out and recedes, depending upon how long or short you keep the nails. If his nails have been super long for a while, that means he probably has long quicks. In order to force them to recede, I'd suggest dremeling his nails once every 3-4 days, just taking the ends off. Doing it so often will also get your dog used to you handling his feet and the dremel at the same time :)
 

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Agree with all above and LOVE my dremel! Got the cheap cordless one at walmart and although it needs charging for each dog to do really well... I will use nothing else! No rough edges like you get with clippers either!
 

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Thanks kafkabeetle, that is actually the way I dremel the nails! Basically I want them about the same thickness throughout and taking off the tip does that.
 

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I clip and then dremel once a week. The best way I've heard to describe where to stop on black nails is when it starts to look like the center of a black jellybean. Oh and I would recommend working on slowly introducing clippers to your dog if she's not used to them. It makes for a much nicer nail trimming when the dog has been trained to just lay there for clipping.
 
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