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Quick-Stop Do's and Don'ts

We all hate to do it, but it happens. We quick a nail. No one can avoid it, no matter how hard we try. Dremels HELP to reduce quicking but even a dremel can get into the quick and cause bleeding, and once it happens you have to stop it. There are several options out there for products that make the bleeding stop, but I think that overwhelmingly the most popular product is Quick-Stop.


That is what I want to discuss today. 

I hear all the time that Quick-Stop (QS) makes a mess and gets all over tables, dogs and the floor. I never really understood why there are so many people with problems. There are some simple things you can do to make the process of applying Quick-Stop easy and mess free.

Things to DO include:

  • Using small containers of QS not really big ones is a good idea. If the small ones spill you will have less mess to clean up. I use small plastic containers that are designed for travel and transfer the QS into it for use at the tables. This makes the large container last longer as well.

Small containers

  • Use in dry areas. QS when wet, leaves stains and clumps up. It is hard to clean up when it gets wet. I prefer to use it in the grooming room not the bathing room because of its tendency to stain and clump when water is present. If you happen to get QS stains or a clump, the dogs foot may have to be washed off. 


  • Stop excessive bleeding before applying QS to the nail. I always apply pressure immediately after quicking a nail to minimize the bleeding. To do this, you place two fingers, one on top and one on the bottom, of the pad right behind the nail and press firmly. That will slow blood flow. Then, I use a paper towel to remove any excess and apply my QS. It is easier to do this if you have two people, but if you have to stop and open the QS bottle, then you resume pressure after you get the applicator ready and wipe any blood off before applying. I am pretty good at taking the top off my container with the hand that is holding the nail by holding the top and twisting the bottom. I always have the applicators where I can grab one easily, and a paper towel or washcloth on my table ready in case I need it.


  • Apply with a Cotton Tipped, First Aid Applicator or Q-Tip moistened and dipped in the QS, not fingers. Yes, it is easier to pinch some QS out of the bottle and apply it, but that is wasteful and messy. Too much QS is less likely to work as well as a small amount on a wet applicator. I usually stick them in my mouth to dampen them and then apply just to the bleeding tip of the nail, then hold for a minute and the bleeding is stopped with no excess present on the hair or gooped on the nail. Bottles of Kwik Stop brand say to apply with a wet Q-Tip and when I tried it one day I realized it works better. Reading directions is always a good thing! Q Tips do not work as well as these applicators do. The cotton in these is wrapped tighter onto the stick, making the process neater and faster.


  • If possible buy the QS with Benzocaine. It acts as a numbing agent and antiseptic. It will help the pet feel LESS burn from the styptic.

 Things you should NOT do include:

  • DO NOT use on wet hair! Water and QS result in a chemical reaction that makes the styptic powder turn brown or black. If the dog is wet, and you use QS on the nails, you are likely to get it all over the hair leaving a nasty brown stain. This is almost impossible to remove. Use only on dry dogs whenever possible. 


  • NEVER use it on wounds.  I know for a fact it burns on open scratches or cuts. It also will spread to the hair around the injury and make it really hard to remove the excess. if you HAVE to use it, on say an ear nick, the wet applicator will make the mess minimal and it works better.


  • If spilled, use a dry brush or vacuum, IMMEDIATELY to get up the bulk of the powder. If allowed to get wet with mops or scrub brushes, it will stain floors, walls, tabletops...essentially everything it touches.

There are QS holders that you can pack the powder into and then stick the nail in, but I have never found those to be very effective as the QS dries out or gets sticky when I tried it. The way I am doing it now, I am using less QS and have nothing to clean up afterwards. 

There is a concern from some that the moisture from the applicator will make the QS in the bottle hard or sticky. It doesn't. The tip of the applicator is slightly damp and it doesn't leave water in the bottle, since QS is attracted to the water, and coats the tip really well, leaving dry QS in the bottle. I have been doing this for a long time and never have had a problem with water getting into the bottle this way.


You can see how, even on this white dog, there is no QS On the hair, only the tip of the nail

Faster, easier and less messy! Sounds like a winner to me! Try it! You might like it!


Amanda Cantrell

And remember not to spill it on your shears or blades... Can can make them rust VERY quickly!!!

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