Many people believe that if their dog has broken or damaged one of their nails, they should get ready for an often-costly visit to their vet, and prolonged healing time for their beloved pet.
According to our founder, Dr Scot Plummer, this is a condition that can be treated without incurring exorbitant costs, and better yet, won’t leave your pet traumatised by a painful procedure.
Like many other veterinarians, when dealing with a nail issue for a dog, Dr Plummer used to struggle to get the animal under control without hurting it. Once he managed though, the procedure involved injecting a local anaesthetic and finally removing the nail, and afterwards bandaging the paw and prescribing medication.
Even worse, Dr Plummer has heard of instances where the owners aren’t allowed with the dog into the treatment rooms, only heightening the anxiety for the dog and its owner.
For Dr Plummer, that procedure was clearly one that could be improved upon, and as such, he’s set out to develop a broken nail treatment that is just as effective, but less invasive for both the dog and its owners. He now tries to see the condition from the dog’s point of view, and as such, doesn’t even touch the broken nail. Instead, he now ensures that the dog is happy and relaxed, prescribes a 10 or 14-day course of antibiotics, and a three to five-day course of non-steroidal pain relief.
That’s it. The dog is allowed to lick the nail, which will almost always fall off on its own accord. The owners only have to ensure that their dog continues to receive antibiotics as long as it is licking the nail, which it will stop doing as soon as there are no longer nerve signals from the affected toe.
The benefits of this treatment far outweigh a painful extraction. The dog is much happier, and not as stressed to come to the vet the next time it needs treatment. The owners also have less reason to be anxious, and the nail can be treated for as little as $100-$150, depending on the size of the nail and the medication required to treat it.
As an aside, Dr Plummer also finds it unacceptable that some vets don’t allow their owners to accompany their pets into the consultation room. If you find yourself at a vet that forbids this,you should find yourself another one. At South Eastern Animal Hospital, we regularly perform a variety of procedures with the owners in the room, watching and comforting their pet.
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