First Aid: Broken Dew Claw Update

Maybe I should stop writing about possible pet injuries. The other night after our usual “Aimee just got home” game of ball, Lally started favoring her right front leg. She spent a LOT of time licking. Sure, everybody likes to lick, but this was pretty excessive!

Once we had settled into bed for the night, I finally spotted the source of the problem: her dewclaw had broken down past the quick, almost to the skin! My poor baby girl.

The nail was split horizontally, and was hanging on pretty well. So I figured I would wait and see what happened. Lally wasn’t too keen on letting me touch it, so I was going to need some helpers to deal with the broken dewclaw anyway! (Vertical splits are a little more worrisome, because there’s a chance the split can reach down below the surface of the skin.)

By the next evening, the nail was twisted out at an angle, but still attached. And Lally was still licking. I enlisted the aid of my parents to keep her still and calm and grabbed my handy-dandy nail clipper.

Because the nail was broken so close to the skin, it was hard to get the clipper at a good angle. One squeeze, and the nail was partially cut, but still attached! Stubborn little thing. Lally was not very happy at this point, and promptly piddled on my father’s leg. I gave it a second try and managed to get the nail off. My poor little girl ran for the hills and settled in for some serious leg licking.

Because the nail was not broken below the skin, I’m going to let nature take its course. The poor little nub looks so red and painful, but Lally finally stopped licking after a day or so. I have to keep an eye out for infection, but otherwise it’s time that is going to heal this injury. If the nail had been torn below the skin, she might have needed stitches like my fur-sister Becca did after a scuffle with my Moose.

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