Ingrown Nails………Not always a minor problem

Regardless of your species of choice, nails exist on the end of their toes. Be it cats, dogs, rabbits, or whatever, nail trimming is something that will need to be done periodically. Cats, of course, like to use scratching posts, door trim, sofas or whatever they can to exercise their toes and keep their nails to a manageable length. Dogs, on the other hand, will wear nails down as they walk or run outdoors, specifically on pavement. As cats age, they tend not to use scratching surfaces as frequently which allows the nails to grow longer. Often they can become caught in carpets or other surfaces resulting in injuries to the nails or toe. Likewise with dogs, at certain times of year or with aging, their activity becomes less, their time outside on paved surfaces decreases or ground conditions are such that the nails don’t get worn down as readily. It is important to keep a close watch on your pet’s nails. When nails are allowed to grow longer, the blood vessel and nerve extend further making it more difficult to trim the nails without hurting the pet. In a worse case scenario, as we saw at the Brockton Animal Hospital earlier this week, the nail had grown so long that it curled around and grew back into the pad causing a painful infected wound. In this particular incident, the nail actually grew into the pad and out through the top of the foot. The pet was in a lot of pain and the wound quite septic. Fortunately, with sedation, we were able to remove the ingrown nail, debride the wound and after a few days of antibiotics and bandaging, he is feeling much better. The moral to the story; keep a close watch on your pets nails. If your pet doesn’t keep them short enough on their own, make sure to keep the nails at a manageable length either by trimming them yourself or have it done at your local groomer.