Question for all the dog owners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael*K, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    What do you do to keep your dog's nails trimmed? Do you do let the vet/groomer do it or do you do it yourself? If the latter, what nail trimmer are you using and how do you gauge how far to clip?

    Over the years, I've had a handful of instances where I've caught the quick on my dogs' nails and I know it's painful for them. Not only that, they bleed like crazy and it's hard to stop. During the warm weather months, this isn't as much of a problem, since I'm able to walk them on pavement and their nails wear naturally.

    In the past, whenever I've brought the two of them (both black labs) to the vet, they've always given them complimentary nail trims. The last time I was there in December, they actually asked, which should have raised a red flag in my head. I said sure, and the next thing I know, I've got a $30 charge on my bill for trimming both their nails. I've often trimmed them myself, but I get nervous at how short they can be trimmed. If it's too risky, I guess I'll just pay the cash for the vet to do it, since I don't want them to be suffering.
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I do it myself; a promise of a cookie tends to keep my doggirl in place long enough to do the work. A second person to hold the dog can be useful if yours isn't quite so cooperative.

    I use a Four Paws trimmer ($14.95, I think) that has a guard for not cutting back too far. The first time you use it, though, you shouldn't cut back that far--just a little. As the nails get used to being trimmed, the blood vessels towards the end die off and you can then use the guard as a guide.

    If you do your walking on pavement, you may not need to trim the back claws at all; I think I do them maybe once a year. The front nails I do about every 6 weeks. The dew claw is the key, since it never gets any wear, and you have to keep an eye on that one in particular so it doesn't get ingrown or otherwise problematic.
     
  3. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I cut her nails when the clacking on the floor bothers me. About every two months or so. If you look under the nail you will see where the flesh underneath starts. Clip to just before that point. If you cut the quick(I think that's what it is called) then that could lead to infection and all sorts of problems. Be very careful not to do this anymore.

    Talk to your vet or your local pet store about what kind of clippers would be best for you and your dog.
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    My Backyard is 50/50 grass and concrete. Her nails wear down from the concrete. I never have to cut them.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Some of you might know that I am a practicing veterinarian. I don't speak for everyone in this profession [​IMG] so take my comments on this FWIW.
    Nail trims are extremely hard to get just right, except on puppies and kittens. Adult cats and dogs usually resent having their nails trimmed, and can get downright nasty about it. As you mentioned, it's hard to judge on the black nails just how much to trim.
    Some practice management experts advocate free nail trims as a "good will builder". About the time I consider that to be a good idea, in comes a 110lb dog with an attitude. It takes a muzzle, 4 people, and 20 minutes to trim his nails. Based on average costs of wages, rent, utilities, etc, that 20 minutes cost me $15.87. So I charge for nail trims, on anything except puppies and kittens (where I do them free as part of their vaccination package).
    My own dogs HATE to have their nails trimmed, and I usually have to bring them to work and have someone hold them while I trim. They still scream bloody murder. [​IMG]
    Buy some styptic powder with benzocaine; it will stop the bleeding quickly and decrease the pain if you cut too much off.
     
  6. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I cut my dalmatian's nails myself. It is always a process. First I have to lay hear down on her back on the floor. Then I have to put both of my legs over her and grab one paw at a time and cut the nails. Josie has white nails and I can see the quick so I never have a problem with cutting too much. I usually end up cutting all my friends dogs nails. I seem to have a knack for it. Usually the nail will curl down so if you cut at the start of the curl and use an angle on the cut, you'll be OK.

    I just use normal nail cutters that you can find at petsmart. The ones where the nail goes in a loop and you squeeze the handle together and cuts.
     
  7. Steve Peterson

    Steve Peterson Stunt Coordinator

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    Use a wireless Dremel with a sandstone. No kidding! It's more like filing your nails than cutting them. You'll have to do it more often, say, once a week to once every other week; but the dogs don't seem to complain quite as much. A dog trainer here in town said that her rotweillers actually enjoy it. My parents lab tolerates it.

    Steve "It tickles his feet, and he hates that." Peterson
     
  8. Steve Zatkoff

    Steve Zatkoff Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to cut Roscoe's nails until I cut the quick. Now he screams like Chewbacca when I try. I would check with your local groomer, as it should only cost $5 or $10.
    These are the clippers that were recommended to me:
    http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_15559.shtml
     
  9. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    My dog absolutely abhors having her feet handled, and she appears to turn into Cerebus (the three-headed dog) when I try to do them myself (snap! snap! snap!). [​IMG]
    Fortunately my vet is close by, and only charges me 6 bucks to do it...
     
  10. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    I cut the nails on my Labrador myself. I think the trick is to get the dog used to having you cut its nails while it is still a puppy. The lab isn't exactly thrilled when I cut her nails, but she doesn't put up a fight or anything. I try to cut them once a month. I cut just enough off so the dog doesn't make that annoying clickity clack sound on the tile floors. However, every once in a while I cut too much off and the poor dog bleeds like its been stabbed. To stop the bleeding quickly use styptic powder, which can be found at any pet store. I use the exact same clippers that Steve recommended.
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The last time I attempted this on my Corgiterripoo, I cut too much and she started bleeding. I had no styptic powder on hand so I put her in a bathroom with a tile floor I could clean later and went out in search of some.
    I couldn't find any at the local drugstore, and when I came home poor Margo was still bleeding. In desperation I tried a tiny drop of superglue--worked like a charm, the bleeding stopped instantly and it didn't seem to sting. M is a real baby when it comes to any kind of pain and didn't make a peep when I put on the superglue.
     
  12. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    I've always trimmed the nails on my black lab myself and have never cut the quick. I just make sure I only take off a little bit as it's just too hard to judge where the quick ends on black nails. She actually likes it because she gets a treat and she hasn't been sliced yet.
     
  13. Anthony_D

    Anthony_D Stunt Coordinator

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    I take Zeus to the groomer...I hate going through the hassle of it all.
     
  14. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I've never actually taken either of my labs (4 and 5 years old, respectively) to the groomer. They just naturally shed their coats a few times a year and I make sure to brush them.
    As far as the styptic powder goes, I have that and I used it last week when I cut the quick on Shadow's paw. However, it didn't do much good when he kept licking it off. [​IMG] Eventually, I had to cover it up with cotton and some medical tape, both of which I had in abundance after my other lab had her ACL replaced last fall. If you don't have styptic powder around, my vet has always advocated using corn starch to help stop the bleeding.
     
  15. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    I give my dog the neighbor's cat to claw on. Seems to do the trick. [​IMG]
     
  16. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately (or fortunately depnding on your take) I have no neighbors with cats since the last one was squashed (the cat that is.) So if my dogs are going to wear down their nails on wildlife, they will have to limit it to squirrels and rabbits and the occasional racoon or possum. Personally I don't like this form of nail maintenance, since it gives them bad breath and digestive problems.
     

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