Torn Toenail in Dogs

Torn Toenail in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Pain / Swelling / Wound

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Rated as mild conditon

26 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Pain / Swelling / Wound

Torn Toenail in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Jump to section

What is Torn Toenail?

As with human beings, the toenail of a dog has to be clipped or trimmed regularly. If there is even a small movement of the paw while clipping the nail, it can chip, tear or break. If the toenail bed becomes inflamed, the condition will worsen. Therefore, it is important to cut long nails to avoid snagging and further breakage. As your dog walks on carpeting, the nail may become long and brittle. The areas that are usually affected tend to be the dewclaws and the front paws. If you find that your dog’s toenails are breaking apart, there is reason for concern, but not alarm. So, while you are cutting the nails, you should be extra careful not to cut them too short. If you notice bleeding after cutting the nails, you should consider taking your pet to the veterinarian.

When a dog’s nail splits, tears or breaks after becoming brittle or when clipped, this can cause tearing of the nail, which could subsequently result in extreme pain.

Torn Toenail Average Cost

From 444 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

Symptoms of Torn Toenail in Dogs

It is obvious that you will notice when your canine’s toenails are injured. Of course, the injury will be very painful. You may notice that your dog will walk lamely, yelp and constantly lick its wound. However, other symptoms will include:

  • Hanging nail, which the dog may chew off
  • Blood stains on carpeting or floors
  • Exposed flesh
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Visibly damaged toenails
  • Swelling
  • Excessive bleeding

Don’t be alarmed about the bleeding. The bleeding comes from blood vessels and not the artery; so it is not immediately life threatening. However, the bleeding can subsequently result in blood clots. The bleeding can be easily stopped by a veterinarian. Therefore, don’t try to handle this on your own because the pain is real. Your dog may bite if you try to administer first aid instead of seeking professional help.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Torn Toenail in Dogs

There are several causes of a torn toenail in dogs. Some of the common causes include:

  • Damage to the toenails, especially if your dog is very active
  • Nail snagging on carpeting, plants or other material during activity such as running
  • Inflamed toenails
  • Clipping of the toenails
  • Weakened toenails due to an underlying health condition
  • Cancer in the foot and nail area
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Torn Toenail in Dogs

The diagnosis of a torn toenail in dogs is based on a visual examination of the affected area by a veterinarian. If there is extreme pain, the veterinarian will know by the dog’s response to touching. If so, the veterinarian may administer a local anesthesia to suppress the pain. 

If there is evidence that your pet may have an underlying condition affecting his health that may could change the condition of his nails, blood tests and urinalysis could be done at the veterinarian’s discretion.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cannanine

Treatment of Torn Toenail in Dogs

Treatment for a torn toenail in dogs takes several distinctive steps. First, the veterinarian will inspect the area, after which damaged portions may be removed. Upon carefully inspecting the toenail, the veterinarian may muzzle the dog.

Of course, if there is bleeding, the veterinarian will try to stop the bleeding right away and disinfect the area. If your dog is prone to licking the area, the veterinarian will place the dog on its belly while administering massages to keep your dog relaxed. Any hanging portions of the nail will be removed with a nail clipper and the area will be disinfected for extra precaution against infection.

Antibiotics will also be administered to also prevent infection. If the condition is severe in the dewclaw area, the veterinarian might suggest removing the toe. However, this is only in extreme cases. If the veterinary caregiver has to remove a large portion of the nail, bandaging will be necessary to prevent infection of the nail bed. The area will be bandaged nicely and pain relief  may be prescribed, depending on how bad the wound is. The veterinarian will determine if follow up treatment is necessary, depending on the extent of the damaged toenail and how well the initial treatment went.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Torn Toenail in Dogs

After the initial treatment, a regular bandage change is recommended once an antibiotic ointment is applied to reduce the pain. The swelling and pain should go down within two days of the treatment. If the nails were removed, these will grow back within several weeks. However, the pet owner should monitor the foot as much as possible during the re-growth period. If your dog’s nails do not grow back or grow irregularly, you may have to continue frequent trimming and monitoring. If your dog displays continuous symptoms after being treated, then you should schedule a veterinarian visit for reassessment. Most dogs will completely recover, but it will take time because the nail will have to completely grow back to cover the exposed spot.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Torn Toenail Average Cost

From 444 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

arrow-up-icon

Top

Torn Toenail Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Lilac

dog-breed-icon

Yorkshire Terrier

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding
Licking
Nervous

I adopted a female Yorkie and she is very nervous but has gotten better with us over the past year. She won't let us cut her nails and tries to nibble our fingers when we do. Anyway, its been a few months since her last trim and they are a bit long and one is torn and bleeding. She keeps licking it. My question is can this wait until tomorrow or should I bring her to the Emergency clinic? I am afraid that she will rip it out.

July 22, 2018

Lilac's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If the nail is torn, it will be causing severe pain which shouldn’t wait until morning; plus if the quick is bleeding and exposed it can be difficult to control and we should be concerned about infection. You should visit a Veterinarian as soon as possible to get the torn nail seen and to get the others trimmed down. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 23, 2018

dog-name-icon

Tyler

dog-breed-icon

Yorkie

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

I tried to clip my dogs to nails because they were growing too long, I got to the toe nail of his back paw and when I clipped just a little off it began to bleed,after a minute it stopped and he tried to get down and run around,I wrapped it up so that it wouldn't get infected but I dont know what to do next. He isnt limping and didnt Yelp when it happened, quite frankly I think I was more terrified then him but hes back to running around and acting like nothing ever happened. Please help me, I dont know what to do.

July 20, 2018

Tyler's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Whenever you are clipping a dog’s nails, you need to ensure that you don’t damage the quick which is the part which is bleeding; you should cut thin slices off the nail and you’ll notice when you’re getting close to the quick. Always keep styptic powder to hand (around $10-15 from PetSmart, Walmart etc…), which effectively stops bleeding nails; if you try to wrap the paw you may cause blood to pool in the paw which may cause further bleeding due to increased blood pressure. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petsmart.com/dog/dental-care-and-wellness/treatments/21st-centuryandtrade-essential-petandtrade-styptic-dog-powder-5147513.html

July 21, 2018

dog-name-icon

Ryder

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

4 Days

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My dog had his duclaw nail removed 3 weeks ago after getting it caught on something outside. He was on antibiotics and had a bandaid on for the recommended five days. Now, his nail is growing back but it still seems red,like the black hard nail part hasn’t fully grown in yet. He isn’t licking it and he isn’t in any pain, he’s playing and running normally. But the fact that the nail is red and the hair around it is a little darker brown, is this cause for concern? Should I bring him back to the vet or wait till the nail heals properly?

May 30, 2018

Ryder's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If there are not other symptoms, I would keep it covered and monitor it for the time being; however if there are no changes you should visit your Veterinarian to check on it to be on the safe side. Without checking it myself I cannot say whether or not is a cause for concern. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 31, 2018

dog-name-icon

Cooper

dog-breed-icon

Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Licking

My dog has a broken nail. We went to the vet and he is currently on anitbiotic and pain medication. The vet advised I can take thre bandage off in 4 days so I did today, but my dog is licking obsessively. Is that normal and can I take him back to daycare in 2 days?

May 20, 2018

Cooper's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

A dog will want to lick their injuries, it is a normal behaviour as they are trying to keep it clean and ‘treat it’ the only way they know how; however you should discourage this behaviour as the saliva may cause irritation to the surrounding skin which may lead to more licking etc… If you need to, get a cone to place on him for the meantime if he cannot leave it alone. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 20, 2018

dog-name-icon

Jessie

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

18 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My dog had her toenail removed by the vet 3 weeks ago, we went back 1 week ago and got new antibiotics, i just looked and the wound is still red and the nail hasn’t grown back. My question is can she go to daycare and play with other dogs or can i better keep her home and quiet? She is a very active dog and is going a bit crazy being home.

May 13, 2018

Jessie's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

Once a nail is torn or removed, it can take a while for the nail to grow back. If she is currently on antibiotics, you shoudl be fine at this point to have her go to daycare. If she seems to be overdoing it, you can rest her at home, but 4 weeks should be enough time to let her go back to daycare.

May 13, 2018

dog-name-icon

Pixy

dog-breed-icon

Rottweiler

dog-age-icon

8 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Inflamation

My 8 yrs old Rottie broke her nail while running down the stairs I did not notice it was bad until a couple of days later that it was really swollen and took her to the vet. He pulled out the nail and put her on antibiotics for 1 week. He did not bandage it telling me that it needs to air out to heal better. It’s been almost 2 months now and 3 visits to the vet and her paw has just gone bad to worse. On her 3rd visit the vet said it’s infected cos of her licking and gave her a expensive injection saying it will dry out in 48hrs and to make sure she doesn’t lick it and I made sure she dint but getting her a Ecollar and making sure she was always around me . Couple of days had passed and I saw no signs of it drying so I thought why not give it a day or 2 more and yet nothing so I took her back again and now the vet suggests we take a biopsy cos he’s ruled out a fungal infection. I’m so stressed and not sure if he knows what he doing can I please mail you’ll a picture of her paw to get some feed back so that I can be at peace of mind. India doesn’t have the best of vets and it’s very nerve wrecking to be in doubt or not able to get a second opinion .

dog-name-icon

Maui

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

My dog had one of his nail lift and it eventually totally came off. Weirdly, there was little to no blood at all and he isn’t limping, whining or showing any form of pain. Since the nail came off, he has not licked his paw. I am not sure if I should bring him in or not or if the nail will regrow. He does not seem to be in pain as he is playing like normal and not limping or favoring his other paw.

dog-name-icon

Dave

dog-breed-icon

Boston Terrier

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

My son was playing with my Boston terrier Dave in the snow. Dave must have slipped on the ice all of sudden he was standing there with his paw lifted and toenail bleeding. Brought him in got it to stop bleeding washed it...it’s been a few days He’s running around going up and down stairs jumping up in bed with me...some times he limps but other times he uses all 4 just fine. To me it seems like you know when you bang your nail and it feels like a really good bruise but I’m no doctor. Also when I took him out today to go to the bathroom I noticed blood in his stool...could this be related to the hurt nail? Just gave him some antibiotics he had from a previous injury We planned to go to the vets Friday for his normal grooming but now that I see blood I’m concerned it’s something else! Just wondering if this is normal He’s eating fine drinking peeing please help!

dog-name-icon

BlueMoon

dog-breed-icon

Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

Three Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None Other Than Sometimes Licking

My dog tore her nail. The vet trimmed it back and left some to act as a "Bandaid" but that piece came off the next day. We just finished Pain Meds and Antibiotics. Our follow up was today with another in 2 weeks to check for regrowth. The area is clean and free of infection. My dog acts normal. The vet said in most cases the nail will grow back, maybe deformed, and that if the nail does NOT grow back, we can not ignore that. She said the hole that is there will not simply close up like I thought. She went on about how it can get infected from exposure, sometimes you have to remove the digit......What do you think?

dog-name-icon

Parker

dog-breed-icon

Labradoodle

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Broken Nail

My labradoodle is having a tough 2019. He lost his buddy of 10 years and has had really bad anxiety. He chewed a hole in his paw, which we have seen a vet and it is bandaged and he is on antibiotics. He also was in pain with his prostrate so he had to be fixed at the same time. So balls, paw and the loss of his buddy. He was starting to feel a bit better the other day and ran onto the deck but slide and caught his toenail in the boards and it ripped off. It is gone, I can see the quick, it bled profusely but I applied pressure. As he was already antibiotics and we had been shown how to wrap a wound I did not take him to the vet. He hurt his toe on Friday night and his antibiotics is over on Wednesday. Should I be taking him back to the vet for more antibiotics or should I just watch for certain symptoms?

Torn Toenail Average Cost

From 444 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

Cannanine