Toenails: They are very important.

howardIt is very important to maintain a dog’s toenails at the proper length. Rarely does a week go by that we do not see at least one dog that has broken its toenail near the base. This is painful and leads to a risk of serious infection.  Toenails grow from a unique tissue on the bone of each digit called the ungual crest. When the nail breaks back far enough that it bleeds, bacteria can gain a foothold. In some cases the infection can follow the nail and become established in the bone. This is called osteomyelitis and is very difficult to resolve. It can lead to the necessity to amputate the toe! Because of this we take broken toenails in dogs seriously. Sedation may be required to cut the nail back behind the break and antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection. In most cases pain relief is indicated. A major reason that dogs break their nails is that the nails get too long. I like to keep dogs’ nails short enough that I can’t hear the dog walking on a wood floor. Our groomer Karla or our nursing team would be very happy to show you ways to trim your dog’s nails or just do it for you. Call us at (970)482-1987 and look for us at and Facebook. Howard Robinson, DVM

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