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Hey,

I have a 3 year old black lab/border collie mix that we adopted about 5 months ago. I've been trying to clip her nails, but I haven't done a very good job (I didn't quite know what to do in the beginning). So, my problem now is that I just realized that the quick grows along with the nails. Her nails are WAY too long now and when I tried clipping them last week I got her quick and she wasn't happy about that--and the blood was quite substantial.

In any case, she has only one white nail, the rest are black. I can see in the white nail the the quick is very close to the end despite the fact that her nails are very, very long. I've been clipping the tips off every couple days.

My question is, how do I get her nails back down to a normal length? She's slipping all over our hardwood floors now--much more than normal. Should I just keep nipping off a tiny bit? Should I take her on lots of asphalt walks? Should I take her to a groomer once a week (I haven't seen any groomers in my neighborhood with good reviews plus I hate spending the money if it's not needed)? I have one of those pet rotary tools as well as professional grade clippers and don't mind doing the work (she'll put up with it so long as I reward her when she does good) but I don't want to get her quick again.

Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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There's a vet here who I used to work for, who was willing to put a dog under for a nail trim in an extreme case, such as the nails being long enough to hurt the dog. That way we could clip the nails back as far as they needed to be and use styptic powder. This would cause the quicks to recede and wouldn't cause pain to the dog since it was anesthetized for the procedure.

If that is not an option, what I do with mine if I slack off too much and their nails get too long is, I clip the tips and then just use a large file or pet dremel for the rest, every day or so until the quicks have receded enough. If you clip every day, the quicks will slowly go back.
 

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I have one of those foot files from the pharmacy department at Wal Mart (like this) and I use it between clippings. It would be a good thing to have and use every day to get the quick to recede.
 

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I don't recommend the vet option until you have exhaused all other possibles. For a vet "show trim" as I have heard them called, your dog is put under anesthesia, and the nails are cut right back to the foot, then cauterized or packed with syptic powder. You should be sent home with antibiotics because the risk of infection is high, and your dog will most likely be very sore on ALL feet for a week or so. Last resort IMO. and the nails are just going to grow right back.

I would recommend you invest in a Dremel tool. NOT the ones made for pets..they are junk, especially on a large dog. Get a nice dremel, put a medium sand band on it, and dremel your dogs nails every 3 days. You can dremel farther than you can go with trimmers. You have to get right up to, but not into, the vein in the nails, and a dremel can do that. When you see dark grey in the center of the nail, stop. That means you are very close to the vein. You can also round the edges and smooth the nails. Within 6 weeks, your dogs nails should be nice and short. Then you just have to maintain them every 2 weeks or so.
 

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I don't recommend the vet option until you have exhaused all other possibles. For a vet "show trim" as I have heard them called, your dog is put under anesthesia, and the nails are cut right back to the foot, then cauterized or packed with syptic powder. You should be sent home with antibiotics because the risk of infection is high, and your dog will most likely be very sore on ALL feet for a week or so. Last resort IMO. and the nails are just going to grow right back.

I would recommend you invest in a Dremel tool. NOT the ones made for pets..they are junk, especially on a large dog. Get a nice dremel, put a medium sand band on it, and dremel your dogs nails every 3 days. You can dremel farther than you can go with trimmers. You have to get right up to, but not into, the vein in the nails, and a dremel can do that. When you see dark grey in the center of the nail, stop. That means you are very close to the vein. You can also round the edges and smooth the nails. Within 6 weeks, your dogs nails should be nice and short. Then you just have to maintain them every 2 weeks or so.
I completely agree... I had a Dane, that I took in to get his ears cropped. Well there were 4 other puppies at that vet from the same breeder. I opted to have my dog done last. We all got to be back in the room to keep an eye on our pups. I noticed that they clipped the entire nail off the dog. Then it was my dogs turn, I freaked out and wouldn't let them clip the nails. They ended up doing it anyway and guess what.. The bleeding wouldn't stop on one of the nails. He was also having excessive bleeding from his ears too. He was just a bleeder. But they had to pack his foot and his head to get the bleeding to stop.. I'm a groomer. When his nails grew back, I dremmelled them all the time and it didn't do any good. He still ended up with really long nails.

I had a Shepherd, where the breeder (my friend) started dremmeling the pups nails from the time they were a couple weeks old. She did it every other day. My girls nails were never more than a half inch long.. It was awesome. :D
 
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