Izzy is a greyhound, a breed that seems predisposed to a lot of dew claw injuries. Her last one occurred in February, when running after another dog’s tennis ball at the dog park.
I am now better prepared for nail injuries – with the easy addition of some cornflour (corn starch for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere) in my first aid kit.
You don’t need a fancy styptic pencil in your first aid kit to stop the bleeding of a nail injury; this good old fashioned powder will do the job. I’ve placed mine in a recycled prescription pill bottle.
If a nail injury occurs, you want to stop the bleeding which can be profuse. Apply pressure and this powder to stem the bleeding. Once stopped, then you can clean the wound properly with water and antiseptic and wrap the paw to keep it clean. Changing the bandage every day, re-applying antiseptic, is important.
Some nail injuries are worse than others; some will heal without veterinary help. In our last case, the quick was fully exposed (ouch!) and despite my efforts to keep it clean and dry, it became red/irritated and infected. (This is why you have to change the bandage every day and check for signs of infection).
A short course of antibiotics prescribed by our vet took care of the job.
I’m much more confident now that I have my container of cornflour in our first aid kit.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
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