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What You Need to Know About Dog Toenail Removal

Dog paw being wrapped in blue bandage

Dog nail removal is one of the most effective treatments for saving your dog from several toenail diseases. These diseases include fungal nail disorder, tumors, and even claw cancer. Likewise, this method is also quite beneficial for canines that are suffering from chronic infections or broken nails. Keep reading to find out how you can keep your pup healthy after a dog toenail removal.

Can a Dog’s Toenails Be Removed?

Yes, the toenail of a dog can be removed through nail removal surgery. However, it is generally the last choice and is only used to tackle severe cases of claw disorders. Dogs Forest explains that nail removal surgery is performed when a large part of the dog’s nail is damaged. Alternatively, it is used to relieve the pain of a serious disorder, like a bacterial infection or a tumor.

There are two different types of nail removal surgeries and each one of them has its own benefits. Your vet will have to examine your pup’s toenail to decide which of the following techniques is suitable for your dog.

Partial Dog Nail Removal

closeup of shaved white dog paws

In this process, only the affected part of the nail is removed. The vet will only remove the damaged strip of the nail in this removal surgery. After the completion of the procedure, the wound should be properly covered to avoid bleeding. In case of infections, this will also prevent them from re-occurring.

Complete Nail Removal

In this type of removal surgery, the entire toenail is removed and only the nail bed is left. This treatment is only used in life-threatening situations, like cancer, because it can be quite painful for the dog.

Do Dogs Claws Grow Back if Removed?

Close up pad and nail view of a tan dog paw

The re-growth of nails (after removal)  is dependent on several factors, like the age, breed, and well-being of the canine. It can also depend on the aftercare that the owner is providing to his/her dog. According to Wag Walking, removed toenails will usually take about 8 weeks to grow back. However, if the nail bed or its surrounding tissues were severely damaged, there is a possibility that the affected toenail might never grow at all.

Dog owners should closely monitor the affected foot during the re-growth time. It is crucial because the removed toenail of your dog can grow irregularly or at a weird angle. Although most canines recover quickly after a dog toenail removal, the re-growing of the nail takes some time. Usually, it takes around 8 weeks or so for the re-growing nail to cover the exposed nail bed.

How Much Does It Cost To Get a Dog’s Toenail Removed?

woman with phone in hand reviewing a bill

The cost of the procedure depends on the type of removal surgery (partial or complete), the veterinarian, and your location. Additionally, the equipment and a local anesthetic injection are also added to the expenses of a dog toenail removal. All in all, the overall cost of a removal surgery can range from $200-$500.

What to Expect During Dog Toenail Removal Recovery?

dachshund having paw wrapped by gloved hands

It is quite normal for dogs to feel no pain in the toe, at least for a few hours, after the surgery. However, things can become a little tricky once the effect of the anesthesia fades away. Therefore, the owner should provide the perfect aftercare to his/her canine for a faster recovery.

Dog Toenail Removal After Care

The very first thing that you should ensure is regular visits to the vets, especially for follow-up treatments. For the dressing of the toenail, you should follow all the instructions from your vet to keep your dog safe. Ask the vet for all the precautions that you need to follow while attending to your pup at home. Some of the common aftercare tips of toenail surgery are discussed below.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Any type of bacteria or any other pathogen can be detrimental to the health of your furry friend. Therefore, you should always wash your hands before changing the bandage of your dog’s foot.

Clean the Wound

Start the dressing procedure by pouring some warm water into a clean cup. Gently clean the open wound and use warm water and soap to bathe the paw. This will remove all traces of debris from your dog’s paw.

Clean the Toenail

paw being cleaned with a wipe

With the help of a filled syringe (with warmed water), spray out any material that is stuck inside the toenail. You can also spray a pet-safe antiseptic to kill the bacteria around the toenail.

Cover the foot

Once you have cleaned the wound thoroughly, cover the entire foot of your pooch with a bandage. Don’t forget to change the bandage daily to ensure a smooth recovery.

Restrict Your Dog

This is an extremely important step because exaggerated movements can harm the wound. Try to divert the attention of your pup towards passive activities to restrict him/her from walking or playing. If it’s possible, you should use a dog’s water-bootie for small walks.

Give Painkillers

pills spilling from a pill bottle onto a black surface

If your dog is feeling some pain in his/her toe, you can give some painkillers or even antibiotics. However, this decision should only be made after consulting your vet. Always stick to those medications that are prescribed to your dog by the vet.

Monitor Signs of Infections

Keep a close eye on your dog and contact your vet immediately if there are any signs of post-operative infections. The symptoms of these infections include annoying smell, leaking discharge, pus, bleeding, and redness or swelling of the toe.

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