icking it

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. That’s good temporary measure. If there is a bit of nail that is going to catch on things then your vet will need to remove it. If it is causing pain then you should see your vet for pain relief. It is important that he doesn’t lick at it as that can cause more problems. If he is comfortable then wait until your vet is open.

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Once the wound has been treated, it`s important to keep the nail clean and dry. This means no licking is allowed! Of course, preventing your dog from licking their injured paw is often easier said than done, so if they won`t leave it alone, you might need to resort to an Elizabethan collar, aka “the cone of shame.”
It`s most common to see a small portion of the nail broken or split open without exposing the “quick,” or center blood vessel. There`s no blood, since only the outer portion of the nail is involved. Some dogs have brittle or overgrown nails, and others are just prone to injury.
One of the most popular methods of controlling bleeding after cutting into the quick is using styptic powder. The powder contains an ingredient called ferric subsulfate which is an antihemorrhagic agent. This will contract the blood vessels—clotting the blood flow and stopping the bleeding within a couple minutes.
If there are any parts of the nail needing cut to avoid snagging, gently cut these. Avoid cutting the quick as this will cause more bleeding. Apply an antibacterial ointment to the nail to assist with bacterial growth. Wrap the paw with gauze and tape to keep your dog from licking it.
Is It True If a Dog Licks Your Wound, It Heals Faster? No. This is an old wives` tale and a misunderstanding of the properties of a dog`s salvia. While a dog`s saliva does contain some antiseptic properties, these are often minor compared to the potential bacteria that may be introduced.
Will A Broken Nail Heal On Its Own? Most broken nails will heal by themselves over 1-2 weeks. However this causes unacceptable discomfort in the meantime. The loose nail is still partly attached to the injured nailbed, and even the slightest movement creates intense pain.
Avoid woodland walks or muddy areas until the damaged nail has dried up. If necessary, limit walks to short lead-walks, for toileting only, until the nail has fully healed.
To start, you`ll need a clean cotton cloth that you`ll place and press directly on the bleeding nail. You`ll want to hold that cloth there, once again gently pressing down, for about 2 minutes. For dogs, it takes about 2-4 minutes for their blood to clot, so you might have to hold the cloth for up to 4 minutes.
After the initial bleeding has stopped it`s important to keep your dog off his feet for at least 30 minutes. Keeping him off his feet will keep him from re-injuring the nail, and if you have bandages on hand it`s a good idea to wrap your dogs paw to help prevent further injury.
A lotion with lanolin or alpha-hydroxy acid may soothe your nail area. Some people use a layer of clear nail polish to protect cracked nails. To prevent more splits, wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when your hands are in water. Gently file down any nail snags or uneven edges so they don`t lead to more cracks.
In a pinch, you can also stick the bleeding claw into a solid bar of soap. However, is not recommended to use super glue for a split nail because this can cause more stinging and discomfort. It may also trap infection if present.
Nail Trauma:

If a nail is broken or traumatized, they may lick the area later that day or the next day to help soothe the area. Excessive licking of a paw or lameness can be associated with nail trauma. Some dogs may not like the paw being handled if a traumatized nail is making the area sensitive.

The benefits of moderate wound licking:

The enzymes in dog saliva help destroy the cell walls of dangerous bacteria. Lactoferrin and other antibacterial and anti-viral compounds can also be found in saliva. Licking a wound delivers protease inhibitors, and growth factors, which promote wound healing.

So yes, most dogs do instinctively try to clean a fresh wound by licking it. Some lick more intensely than others, which can cause significant damage to the wound. Other dogs just clean the wound and move along.
Generally, dogs start feeling better within 48 hours. Total recovery takes some time, as the nail needs to re-grow so as to completely cover the vulnerable quick. Generally, this takes two weeks, according to Dr. Fiona.
When you fail to trim your dog`s nails on a regular basis, the quick grows with the nail. In some cases, when the nails are extra long, the quick may lengthen so much that it reaches the tip of the nail.
Cutting a nail too short is colloquially called “quicking” because we call the nail bed, where the nerves and blood vessels live, the “quick”. So when you quick a dog, you damage the nerves and vessels and it hurts (a lot) and bleeds (a really lot).
A mix of cornstarch and baking soda often works well (or, simply, cornstarch alone), while rubbing a clean bar of scent-free soap or a wet tea bag on the nail at the spot of lesser bleeding can also be effective. No home remedy, however, will be as instantly effective as a styptic powder.
Most split nails will heal with time as your nails grow out. If you`re experiencing frequent splitting, avoid too much moisture on your nails and consider using a nail-hardening solution. If your split nails are causing you frequent discomfort, reach out to a doctor about treatment options.
Nails are slow to grow and take time to repair themselves. The portion of nail that has separated from the skin surface beneath it will not reattach. Onycholysis only goes away after new nail has replaced the affected area. It takes four to six months for a fingernail to fully regrow, and twice as long for toenails.
Nails can split vertically or horizontally. Aging, pregnancy, nail polish, injuries, and skin conditions can all lead to split nails. You can fix a split nail with clear nail polish or nail glue. But these are temporary solutions.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My dog has a split nail, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. Split or torn nails are very common in dogs, and treatment depends on the level of the tear. If the nail is split above the quik (blood supply to the nail) then it can be safely trimmed back and the torn part removed. You can find the quik in a dog’s nails by looking for a red or pink line in light colored nails, or a darker groove on the underside of dark colored nails.

If the tear is behind the quik or the nail is bleeding, stopping the bleeding with styptic powder or starches such as corn or rice starch can help. It is then best to bring your dog into your local vet to have the nail safely trimmed back. This may require anesthesia or sedation depending on the size of the tear to make the experience less painful for your dog. Your vet may also recommend antibiotics if the tear is large to prevent infection from taking hold until the nail can heal.

Once the torn part of the nail is removed, the nail should be able to begin growing back as normal. Regular nail trims to keep nails short and in shape can also help to prevent tears and splits in the future.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. What can I do to stop my dog from barking at people and front doors?
ANSWER : A. Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. This means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, and don’t even look at him. When he finally quiets down, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. If he barks for an hour and you finally get so frustrated that you yell at him to be quiet, the next time he’ll probably bark for an hour and a half. Dogs learns that if they bark long enough you’ll give them attention.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. It may sound nonsensical, but the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teach your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits him from barking, such as lying down in his bed.

Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of fetch and playing with interactive toys.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My dog has split his front nail and the wick is showing it stoped bleeding and I have put a baby sock on it to keep it dry and to stop him licking it
ANSWER : A. That’s good temporary measure. If there is a bit of nail that is going to catch on things then your vet will need to remove it. If it is causing pain then you should see your vet for pain relief. It is important that he doesn’t lick at it as that can cause more problems. If he is comfortable then wait until your vet is open.

Q. My dog has no fleas, but is scratching and licking continually. He has been through a round of prednisone and it hasn’t helped. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Itching can be caused by more than just external parasites, and if your dog is already on a flea medication, then it is possibly not the case. Itching can indicate anything from allergies to even minor skin infections causing problems. If your dog has been treated with prednisone (a steroid that inhibits the immune system) and it did not help, then looking at other options may help.

Food allergies are very common in dogs and can present with itching and licking all over the body rather than on just one spot. Common food allergens include ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy products, however dogs can be allergic to almost anything! Starting a food trial of an allergen-friendly diet from your vet or pet store that avoids these common ingredients may help. The food should be switched over a period of 7-9 days and then given about a month to decide if it is helping.

Small skin infections or yeast in the skin can also cause itching, however this itching is often more specific to a certain area of the body (such as the toes, or base of the tail). Your vet can perform a skin scraping of the area to be cultured at a lab to look for any yeast or bacteria. If they are present, a medication given either orally or placed on the affected area can clear up the infection.

In some cases, licking and chewing can actually be due to a boredom or anxiety behavior. Dogs may lick one spot obsessively to the point of creating sores or wounds in the area. Stopping your dog from licking and chewing either through the use of dog booties, no lick strips, T-shirts or even Elizabethan collars can break the habit and give the area time to heal. Licking and chewing can also cause the spread of bacterial infections so should be deterred even if not behaviorally caused.