What To Do When A Dog’s Quick Is Exposed?

Snip. Snip. Yelp!! You were trimming your dog’s claws, and you accidentally cut too far and now the quick is exposed. Your dog may have torn its dew claw accidentally.

Or perhaps your dog just has brittle nails and is prone to this kind of injury. Regardless of how it happened, you will want to know what you can do to ease your pet’s pain. 

What to do when a dog's quick is exposed

Don’t worry, we are here to help you out and guide you through what to do, and answer some of your questions about an exposed dog quick.

So, without further ado, let us get started. 

What Should You Do? 

Right, you have an injured dog and the quick is exposed. What should you do? Well, let’s take a look!

Step 1 – The first thing you will need to do is assess the damage. If the injury is bleeding you will need to get a clean towel and apply pressure to the wound for a few minutes. Usually after a few minutes of compression, the quick should stop bleeding. 

Step 2–We all trust our canine companions but when they are injured they can become unpredictable. because of this, it is recommended that you put a muzzle on your dog or at least have someone else hold their head down, so they can’t bite you while you handle their very sore foot.

When you start touching the injury your dog may react instinctively and lash out, so make sure to take precautions so that you both come out of the situation in one piece. 

Step 3 – Now that you have access to your dog’s foot you will need to examine the area to assess the damage. You will want to see if the nail has split down past the quick. if this is the case it is highly recommended that you take your dog to the vet as handling a more advanced injury like this yourself might cause more harm than good. 

Step 4 – If the nail is dangling but not cracked down to the quick you can take off the broken nail. Just be careful to take note of how far down the nail has cracked and how close it is to the quick so that you do not cut too far when trimming the loose claw and make the situation worse than it is.

If the broken nail does not go past the nail bed you might be alright sorting out your dogs’ injury from home. But if your dog has torn nails down to the quick it might be a good idea to call the vet. 

Step 5 – Once you have removed the offending nail you will need to get your styptic powder, cornstarch, or flour, so you can apply your styptic powder or flour to the injury. It should help stop the bleeding. If the foot continues to bleed you may need to compress a little more to help stop it. But this is not usually the case at this stage. 

Step 6 – If the bleeding does not stop after about five minutes you may want to consider taking your pet to the vet. There may be more damage than you originally thought and medical attention from a professional will be more useful to your pet. 

Step 7 – Now that the wound has stopped bleeding you will need to clean the wound. You can use an antiseptic or warm water to clean the area. The dog may flinch when you apply a medication that stings, so be aware of this before you proceed. 

Step 8 – Once the injury is clean you will need to apply a bandage to the area so that the dog cannot lick the wound and cause the injury to become infected. It might be tough, but you will need to find a way to apply your bandage so that the dog does not pull it off.

A good idea might actually be to use a cone on the dog and bandage the foot. This will just be for a few days until the quick heals and is no longer at risk of getting infected. 

Step 9 – Once the bandage is applied all you need to do is keep an eye on the injury and make sure that it does not become infected. If anything happens make sure to call your vet so that they can give you guidance on what to do. 

How Long Will it Take for the Quick to Heal? 

What to do when a dog's quick is exposed

It should not take long for your dog’s nail to feel better and the quick to be healed.  A dog’s claws grow much faster than a human’s nails.

In fact, after just two days your dog’s exposed quick should not be as tender and after that, after about a week the nail should start to grow out. 

How Bad is it That the Quick is Exposed?

As with almost any small or superficial injury, the thing you have to look out for is infection. Your dog will inevitably try to clean their exposed quick by licking it.

This is not good as licking can actually cause the injury to become infected. When this happens it is recommended that you soak the injured foot in Epsom salts for about five minutes and then allow it to dry well before letting your dog go free again. 

Is it an Emergency?

This is actually a common injury in canines. Because of this, vets often see the injured when owners take their beloved dogs in. A trip to the vet is recommended to make sure that everything is taken care of and to ensure that your dog gets the best care.

However, an exposed quick is very rarely life-threatening. At most, your dog may experience pain, some blood loss, or an infection if the wound gets dirty. 

Will it Stop Bleeding on its Own?

The bleeding from a quick injury should stop on its own after a little while. If you notice that the quick has started to bleed again, check to make sure that your dog does not have any wounds anywhere else on his body.

It could also mean that the quick has dried up and needs to be soaked in something to help it heal.

Unless your dog has a clotting disorder there should be no issue and the wound should stop bleeding all by itself. 

Can Flour be used to Stop the Quick from Bleeding?

If you are cutting your dog’s claws at home you should always make sure you have some styptic powder on hand in case this happens. But if you find yourself short you can use cornstarch or flour to help stop the bleeding.

If the bleeding does not stop soon after applying your flour or styptic powder you should get in contact with your veterinarian. 

Does Cutting the Quick Hurt?

Cutting to the quick is never fun. It hurts like hell! The cut itself is painful, but the worst part is usually the shock wave that goes through the whole body.

As soon as the quick is nicked the dog will wince, shake his head, and whimper. He might even cry out. This is because he feels the jolt of electricity passing through him and knows that something bad has happened.

What Should you Put on the Exposed Quick?

You need to put something over the exposed quick until it heals completely. There are many things that you could use. These include bandages, tape, gauze, and other types of medical pads.

If you want to cover a quick you should only apply them to the tip of the claw as cutting too deep could result in a permanent injury. 

On top of that, you should put some styptic powder on the exposed quick to help stop any bleeding from happening. Do this before you put a covering on the injured foot. 

How to Tell if the Quick is Infected

When a quick is exposed it is important to remember to keep the area clean so as not to spread any dirt into the wound. You should also make sure that your dog does not lick the infected area as this can lead to infection.

If you notice a discharge coming from the quick or if there is pus present this is a sign that the quick is infected. In these cases, you must get in touch with your veterinarian straight away.

Final Thoughts

That is all for this article, we hope that you have enjoyed learning about what to do if your dog’s quick is exposed. DO not worry if this happens to your dog, it is quite a common injury and one that is likely to happen at least once in your life. 

So be prepared in case the worst should happen. 

Megan Turner
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