We all try not to do it. But inevitably it happens to the best of us (and usually on a white dog to boot!).
You quick a nail.
If the dog has jerked, or you have not been careful enough you can actually get one very deep into the quick and those can be very very difficult to stop.
I have detailed, step by step instructions on how to stop the bleeding if that happens.
First of all you know you did it generally speaking because the dog jumps or fusses, or in some cases screams. There are some cases where you don’t see it until later, but that is unusual.
The minute that it happens, CLAMP DOWN on the nail pad by applying pressure from the top and the bottom. This stops blood flow to the quick itself and numbs the pain.
THEN using a lightly wet fingertip or cotton tipped applicator, apply a SMALL AMOUNT of quick stop. I always try to keep a small container of QS on my table while trimming nails just in case I need it. After the QS is applied, hold for a few more seconds and release slowly. If the blood has not stopped, then continue to hold, and reapply if needed.
If there is a lot of blood, or you didn’t notice that you had quicked it until later on in the process, pinch the pad, WIPE the nail with a damp paper towel or spray with peroxide to remove the blood, and then repeat the steps above. Applying the QS over the nail and without the blood being present will ensure the blood can clot better and will result in a lot less mess created by the QS.
If the nail is torn, or really deeply cut this technique works well to stop it from bleeding further. Pinching it off will numb the pain as well for you to be able to recut in the event of a torn nail, and will make it possible to apply QS in a way that results in less yellow or brown mess that many people have when applying QS straight to a bloody nail.
This technique can ALSO be used to do what is referred to as a “show quick” where the nails are deliberately cut short into the quick to make the nails short FAST.
I know, you are horrified by this! BUT! In some cases it CAN be done and MUST be done.
Take the cases of elderly clients on blood thinners. Their pets do severe damage to them if the nails are left long, and they do not always have the time it takes to make the nails shorter by dremeling twice weekly (and there is some discussion that the technique does not work anyway to shorten the nails).
If done correctly, this DOES NOT cause extreme pain. DOES NOT make dogs hate their nails being done. DOES NOT result in infection.
I am NOT SUGGESTING that it needs to be done routinely, but the fact is it has been done for as long as we have trimmed dog nails and there are ways to do it successfully and painlessly.
This technique can keep a pet in the home it has always been in with an owner that loves it. And that is worth a few seconds of discomfort, every month or so if you ask me.