One of the most preferred treatment and successful method vets uses in saving dogs who suffer severe cases of Nail bed infection or Toe Nail diseases such as Fungal nail disorder, Tumor or cancer is Dog nail removal surgery.
If your dog suffers from extreme damaged or broken nails, claw cancer or fungal nail infection, etc, of course, your vet would recommend nail removal as the best option. However, don’t panic, claw surgeries have been successful over time and you will find out all you need need to know about it soon in this article.
But before we proceed, let’s have an understanding of the structure of Dog Nails.
What Are Dog Nails?
As dog owners or handlers, having an understanding of the structure of canine nail can increase your nail maintenance efforts which are required to keep a healthy nail.
Even if many believed that dog paw claws have a complicated structure, it seems easier to comprehend if it’s well explained. The paws are made up of lots of smaller bones and ligaments, aside from the nails that stem out from the body.
All of these structures are sensitive and dogs are naturally frightened when they are been touched.
A Glance At Dog Nail Anatomy
What Are Dog Nails Made Up Of?
Your Dog’s nail is made of keratin (a very hard protein that consists of dead cells). Wonder why your pet could dig holes, defend himself, climb trees, grab things strongly? it is because the nails have been structured to perform various hard tasks.
Dog’s nails have a hard outer layer (shell) and a central soft cuticle comprising of blood vessels and nerves. The cuticle is mostly referred to as the “quick” of the nail.
So the quick is rich in blood and can be termed the blood supply that runs through the nail. Cutting the cuticle or quick by any chance will cause the nail to bleed with severe pains and this could cause fear and anxiety to your dog. Learning How To Trim Your Dog’s Nail is the best way to avoid the dangers associated with injuries to the quick.
Dog nails are curvy and seen at the end of a dog’s toe. Nails make clicking sound especially when they are overgrown, they have various colors and are useful for balance, traction, gripping, digging, etc.
Your dog’s nails need regular checks, care, and maintenance and if a disorder is discovered you should get urgent help from your vet.
The nails are very prone to disorders and there are certain problems your dog may face on his or her nails that your vet would choose to remove the whole or part of the nail to save the life of your dog.
Now, let’s find out some of the types of canine nail disease that can lead to the removal of your dog’s claws. But before I do so, I want you to have full knowledge of what nail removal is all about.
Are you with me?
What Is Canine Nail Removal Surgery?
Canine Nail Removal Surgery is the removal of part of the toenail or all of the nail. It involves the use of a local anesthetic to eliminate pain during the surgical procedure.
Nail removal is usually performed mostly when a large part of the nail is damaged and diseased or if a disorder is causing severe tenderness and pain.
Vets recommend that owners or handlers pay much attention and show care to their dog’s nails. Maintaining proper nail hygiene, regular cleaning, and trimming would prevent common nail pathologies.
See this video to learn more about dog nail care.
What Can Lead To Removal Of Dog’s Nail?
Nail removal is usually the last option adopted to tackle serious or acute cases of claw disorders.
It is performed to stop pains, end cancer and to provide a permanent solution to a problem involving whole or part of the nail, Nail removal therapy is the method of choice.
Below are conditions that can lead to toenail removal surgery at their critical stage.
- Cancer or Tumor (such as melanoma, osteosarcoma, squamous cell carcinoma, eccrine carcinoma, subungual keratoacanthoma, inverted squamous papilloma,
- Severe Bacterial Infection
- Extreme (Stubborn) Fungal Infection
- Toe Nail Pain
- Broken or Damaged Toe Nail
- Bleeding Toenail
- Nail Deformities
Dog Nail Amputation or Surgical Removal is quite a difficult decision for pet owners to make for their dogs as a treatment option. Claw removal for your pet may be a safe alternative to treat some severe conditions as listed above. It is necessary to save a suffering dog and provide a permanent solution when other remedies fail.
How is Dog Nail Removal Surgery Performed?
Performing Canine toenail removal surgery depends on the severity and stage of the disease affecting the claws, however’ the procedure involves injecting a local anesthetic to the affected toe.
And the function of the anesthetic injection is to make the surgical procedure painless (meaning your dog will not feel any pain during the time of for instance a broken toenail removal).
Who Performs Nail Removal Surgery On Dogs?
Surgical removal or repair of an infected or damaged dog nail is performed by a veterinary surgeon. He can be assisted by his colleague, who would administer the anesthetic injection to numb the affected area for a painless procedure.
When the local anesthetic injection is being administered, some rare but likely to occur side effects includes:
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred Vision
- Difficulty in breathing
Types Of Canine Nail Surgery?
There are basically two types of nail removal surgeries that are performed on dogs. The severity of the dog nail disorder would determine which of the two would be carried out. Then, the vets would have thoroughly examined your pet, carry out all investigations and even treat with other non-surgical methods but when other remedies fail, he would recommend the following claw surgeries for your pet.
Partial Nail Removal.
Partial Dog Nail Removal Surgery involves the removal of the affected part of the nail. A stip of the nail will be removed from both or one side of the diseased nail.
Just as the nail implies, not the total nail is stripped off the nail bed, but only the site of damage. After the procedure is completed, the part is being treated and properly wrapped to prevent bleeding and re-occurrence of the infection.
Your vet may also issue some pain relievers and further medical appointments.
See how vets Performed Canine Dew Claw removal surgery.
Complete Nail Removal
The Complete Or Total Nail Removal Surgery involves removing the whole toenail. No nail is left in this procedure, except the nail bed which will heal as fast as possible.
Your vet may also book you for follow up appointments, administer treatments until healing is completed. Some owners prefer home aftercare, if you are to do this your self, kindly read below as I discuss dog nail removal surgery aftercare soon.
Benefits Of Dog Nail Removal Surgery?
Some of the benefits attached to canine toenail surgery are:
- It provides Permanent remedy or cure
- It Reduces Severe Pain
- It Involves local Anesthetic (Which makes the procedure painless)
- It eliminates the cause of infection
- It Prevents Recurrent Problem
- It prevents future complications
- Dog nail surgery cost is cheap and affordable
- It doesn’t take much time
After Surgical Removal Of Dog Nail
It is normal for a dog not to feel any pain on the toe for hours after the procedure. You have to ensure your pet relaxes and rests the affected part thoroughly especial within the first one or two days after the surgery.
Administer pain relievers and other drugs as may be prescribed by your vet to ease pain and do not hesitate to contact the physician in case there is any postoperative complication.
Dog Nail Removal Surgery After Care
Having a successful Toenail amputation or surgery is one thing and taking care of your pet after the procedure is another thing that must be given attention to ensure a perfect dog toenail removal recovery.
Keep in mind that you have to take your dog to your vet for follow up treatments such as dressing, cleaning of the site of the wound and making sure it is not infected.
Handlers or groomers who decide to take care of their pet at home after nail removal should remember to give accurately the prescriptions issued by the vet.
You must keep a close watch at your pet at all time, look out for any possible signs of post-operative infection.
• Pus collection
• Excessive Discharges
• Swelling and Pain
At this Point, calling the attention of your vet is a wise decision.
Canine Nail Removal Surgery Aftercare At Home
It is advisable not to touch the first dressing done by your vet, until the date of your appointment. Then allow the vet to redress the toe injury again, watch closely and also get some tips and advise from the vet to enable you to attend to your dog at home.
Nail Surgery After Care Home Tips.
- Wash and keep your hands clean before you start the procedure.
- Have some warmed water ready and pour it into a clean cup.
- Gently clean and bandage the open injury.
- Use warm, soapy water to bath the paw and ensure to clean out all traces of dirt and debris.
- Use a syringe filled with warmed water to gently spray out any material stuck to the toenail.
- Spray a disinfectant (a pet-safe antiseptic) to kill bacterias.
- Use a loose bandage to cover the paw and first aid tape.
- You might also use a plastic cone around her head until the wound heals, this will prevent him from messing with the bandage.
- Remember to change the bandage daily.
- Closely monitor the toe for signs of infection such as irritating odor or oozing, pus, bleeding or swelling of the toe.
- Contact your vet as soon as possible, if the toe is infected.
- Give your pet the prescribed pain killers or antibiotics.
- Restrict your dog from random movement until the healing is completed.
What Are Risks Associated With Dog Nail Removal Surgery?
It is important to note that no surgical procedure is without risk. Here are some possible risks:
- The Wound may be infected.
- The healing process may take longer than normal.
- The local anesthetic injection may take longer than usual to go off. This means toe numbness may continue some hours even after surgery.
- There might an allergic reaction to the local anesthesia.
- The nail may likely regrow.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis.
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves.
Where To Get Dog Nail Surgery Done?
Here is a list of Veterinary Hospitals where you can surgically remove your infected dog toenail or clip his nails.
Top 10 Veterinary Hospitals For Nail Surgery And After Care.
Food & Supplements For Healthy Dog Nails
You know dogs use their nails to do almost everything. Digging, Biting, Scratching, Chewing and Grabbing. So because of these canine nails are prone to break, split, pull off and being infected.
So to maintain healthy, strong and fine dog nails, here are some food and supplements that will help you.
- Get Advice from your veterinarian
- Fish oil: Contains Omega Fatty Acids good for healthy nails.
- Biotin: For Brittle nail correction.
- Tippy Toes: Nail Supplement for Dogs – Dietary Supplement for Shiny Coat Strong Nails and Healthy Itch-Free Skin – 60 Delicious Chewable Tablets With Essential Vitamins and Minerals.
- Excellent and balanced Dog Foods.
- Regular and careful trimming.
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