Problem with claws spread among dogs as much as in cats, even if they are not so sharp. It can be a panaritium, wolf’s claw, ingrowth or crack. None of these conditions is so dangerous to panic. It is possible that limping on paw is a sign that the dog’s claw is growing into the paw, not a bone fracture or injury. In certain cases, the solution to this issue can even be handled independently, if there are all the necessary tools in the house.
This problem often occurs in sedentary animals that do not walk sufficiently on hard surfaces. These are asphalt, gravel, dry land, but not home parquet and carpets. Owners of indoor breeds need to inspect the legs of their pets regularly, because they are prone to ingrown claws more than others.
Often a dog’s claw growing into the paw happens with the fifth finger. It often lacks attention at home grooming and because of this you can miss the moment when the claw on it is too grown and rounded. What is more, this claw is not worn down when walking because of the lack of contact with the ground. A dog of any breed should lead a full life, walk a lot and play actively.
Is It Dangerous?
In fact, if a claw is growing out of dog’s pad, and the owner has noticed this in time, there is nothing dangerous. It can be cut even at home. The problems begin when the wound is deep and gets infected. First, the ingrown claw is very painful. The animal stops stepping on its paw because the pad is inflamed. You can immediately determine that the dog has a sore paw when it’s not only lame, but also does not allow holding in arms for examination. Only one finger can be injured, but the swelling and pain will spread to the whole paw.
Secondly, there are risks of complications even after the claw removal. If the procedure was carried out incorrectly, inflammation can only increase. It is an open wound, albeit a small one. The wound could be infected, which is very dangerous. The dog may expand it by clinging to something or trying to gnaw the stuck claw before removal. You have to be very careful removing the broken part from the pad, because even if a small piece remains inside, it will almost certainly cause suppuration.
How to Help the Animal?
First you need to determine the degree of damage. A claw growth on dog, if it is not deeply penetrated in the paw, can be pulled out at home. Chlorhexidine is necessary to water the wound and wipe the hands. Then, cut the tip of the stuck claw with forceps, leaving enough outside to pull it out. Here lies one difficulty: to cut the claw and not to hurt the pulp. There is a living tissue with blood vessels inside the claw. If it is damaged, it is bleeding. Therefore, you should try to cut off with forceps only the empty part of the nail, but if there is still blood on the cut, then first you need to sprinkle a little chlorhexidine and treat with a diluted solution of iodine.
Deeply stuck ingrown claw should be removed by the vet, because you could hardly remove it not touching the pulp. Secondly, you cannot get the part that got into the paw yourself. After all, the dog’s claw is bent and as it grows, it touches more and more living tissues. Do not make your pet struggle even more. A professional in the clinic will cope quickly and with minimal inconvenience.
After the ingrown claw has been removed, the wound will have to be treated at home for some time so that it heals without consequences. After a successful procedure it is enough to disinfect the wound and use healing ointments. To prevent the dog from licking the damaged area you may need a free patch. The distance from the bandage to the skin should allow it to “breathe” and dry. It is not necessary to limit the activity of the animal, as it needs to walk and play. Simply monitor the cleanliness of the healing area, so that there is no dirt and the skin is not re-scratched.
You could easily solve the problem with the ingrown claw if you identify it in time and take quick actions. Paws of the dog should be inspected regularly, especially if it actively licks a certain place. Even at home, you can cut the ingrown claw, if it has not entered deeply into the pad yet. Then it will be enough to remove it from the wound and treat it with chlorhexidine and, for example, Levomekol ointment. If the paw is severely damaged by the ingrown claw, you should visit a veterinarian.