How to Stop the Bleeding if You Trim Your Dog's Toenails Too Short

By Mary Lougee

Trimming your dog's toenails is an important part of routine grooming, not only to make him look good, but to prevent nails from breaking and becoming infected. Extra long nails make dogs walk differently and can lead to skeletal damage in his paws. Cutting nails too short cuts into the quick with live blood vessels and produces bleeding. Several methods exist to stop bleeding toenails and relieve the pain for both you and your four-legged friend.

Warm Water

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You can stop a toenail bleed by holding your pet's paw in a slow stream of warm water in the bathtub or in a sink. Hold his paw upward to take the pressure off it while you rinse it. Wrap the paw in a washcloth wet with warm water and hold slight pressure on it for at least 20 minutes.

Styptic Powder or Pencil

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Styptic powders and pencils are specially formulated for pets. They contain silver nitrate, which is the most effective product for dog toenail bleeds. Apply a styptic powder to the area by inserting his toenail into the powder, and pressing a paper towel on the nail to apply pressure. Use a styptic pencil by wetting the tip and rolling it against the bleeding nail. Each of these methods causes a sting to your pet. You may need to reapply to stop the bleeding.

Soap Method

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Soap can stop nail bleeding and has an added benefit of disinfecting the area of bacteria, which can cause an infection. Take a bar of soap and wet it. Gently press your canine friends toenail into the bar of soap. Hold the soap on his toenail for a few minutes then pull it out, applying direct pressure with a clean washcloth or a piece of gauze for at least 5 minutes.

Homemade Paste

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In the absence of styptic products or a bar of soap, you can make a homemade paste to stop bleeding. Make a thick paste out of flour, cornstarch or baking powder and water. Using a cotton swab, apply the paste to the nail without removing the blood first. The bleeding should stop within a few minutes; the paste prevents bacteria and infections from entering the nail.

Additional Instructions

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In any method you use to stop a bleeding dog nail, keep him quiet and lying down for at least 30 minutes to an hour to prevent additional bleeding, infection or reinjuring the nail. If the bleeding persists for more than 20 minutes, bandage his paw with gauze and take him to your veterinarian for wound care.