Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,834 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With the move to the farm, Ralphie is getting a lot more exercise and gets to run around quite a bit. He runs mostly on grass, sometimes gravel. And he runs hard. Stops and goes on a dime. This has led to one nail in particular breaking/splitting/ and wearing down to the quick (?). Just this one nail. None of the others. The others are perfect. I generally keep his nails as short as I can. The nail is on his front right paw, the last toe on the outer edge.

The first time this happened the nail actually did break, but did not bleed and caused Ralphie to limp. It appeared to break right before the quick, and he did let me clip his hangnail off, which seemed to provide a relief to the pain. I called the vet and asked if there was anything she could do, but since it wasn't bleeding and clipping the nail relieved the pain she just said to keep an eye on it, and if he kept exhibiting pain to bring him in and she'd give him some pain stuff. She said I could put clear nail polish on the ragged end of the nail or get one of those nail caps so it wouldn't get caught on the carpet or anything and actually get torn out.

Second time the nail didn't actually break, just kind of split. No blood, just the crack in the nail and limping. Vet took a look, but she couldn't really clip any nail off, so she gave him some pain meds and told me to keep him on soft surfaces. I put a bit of clear nail polish on so it didn't split more. He was on "crate rest" while we were at work, and when we returned he was perfectly fine. Didn't require the other meds.

Third time happened Friday, called the vet, but there was no bleeding. Just another split. She told me not to bother taking him in, just gave him the leftover pain meds, protect the nail with clear polish. She wouldn't be able to do much. He was in his crate all day and was fine when we got home from work.

It's so weird, because he usually just wakes up and is limping. I can't tell if this one nail in particular was weakened the first time he broke it, and now it just splits when he's running really hard. Is there anything I can do other than nail polish to strengthen the nail? Before this, this nail would sometimes be flakey, but it never seemed to bother him. The vet suggested perhaps its diet, but he's on Victor, and since his other nails aren't having the same issues I doubt that's the problem.

Also, this has all happened between June 20th and July 26th.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,913 Posts
Once they mess a nail up, they tend to keep getting messed up - particularly with vertical splits. It weakens the nail a lot, and then every time it takes any real force it splits further/again and hurts. Molly had this. It only resolved via the vet knocking her out and basically cutting the nail way above/into the quick but above the split. I think your only alternative to that is to not let him do any running wild/running on anything period until the area that split is grown out entirely.

If I'm misunderstanding and the splits have grown out each time and it keeps happening, I'd be looking for problems with his gait. Nail wear should be, overall, pretty even.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,834 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Once they mess a nail up, they tend to keep getting messed up - particularly with vertical splits. It weakens the nail a lot, and then every time it takes any real force it splits further/again and hurts. Molly had this. It only resolved via the vet knocking her out and basically cutting the nail way above/into the quick but above the split. I think your only alternative to that is to not let him do any running wild/running on anything period until the area that split is grown out entirely.

If I'm misunderstanding and the splits have grown out each time and it keeps happening, I'd be looking for problems with his gait. Nail wear should be, overall, pretty even.
You know, I'm not positive that the split actually grew out. I feel like he's wearing it down and the split "wears off" because he's walking around a lot more, because I can't find the split after a few days. That nail is white, and once I put nail polish on it, the split disappears, too. It has never bled. All nails appear to be wearing down pretty evenly. And the nail is pretty short, so it doesn't have far to grow out, but I can't say for sure there isn't a little crack.

A day before the last split happened we were playing "tennis". I hit the ball and it goes flying across the yard, and he runs hard after it, skids to a stop, flies back (usually without the ball because he is CLEARLY not a retriever lol). I suspect that game is what did it, although he was fine that evening and woke up limping.

Maybe I'll mark the split with colored nail polish, then I can monitor when it actually grows out and avoid playing high impact games until the split is all gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,713 Posts
Maybe you could put one of those nail caps on it to help protect it while it grows out?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
625 Posts
You might consider a set of dog booties to protect the nail. Many variants are available without a high cost. Many sizes available, just need to measure the paw.

These would give the nail a chance to heal while letting the run crazy continue.

Have you examined the paw closely? Perhaps there is another injury hiding in the hair between the pads.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top