A bleeding or broken toenail is a very common injury in dogs. It often requires a visit to the vet, immediately, if serious. Left untreated, a bleeding or broken toenail can result in blood loss, pain or infection, though it is rarely a life-threatening condition. Nail breaks or tears can be major or minor. Major breaks are deeper and tend to bleed more.
Major Nail Bleeds & Nail Breaks in Dogs
A toenail that breaks near the base will bleed profusely, so apply gentle and steady pressure to the area and immediately take your pet to your family veterinarian. You should also take your pet immediately to the vet if bleeding does not stop or if the toenail remains partially attached. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection of the nail bed.
Minor Nail Bleeds & Nail Breaks in Dogs
If the bleeding or break is minor, as happens when toenails are trimmed too short, try to control the bleeding by applying gentle and steady pressure with a cotton ball or clean cloth. You can also try applying a small amount of cornstarch to the nail to see if the bleeding will stop. If the bleeding stops, make an appointment with your vet within 12 to 24 hours; if not, take your pet immediately to the vet. Either way, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection of the nail bed.
To help prevent torn nails, keep your dogs nailed trimmed regularly.