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Q & A: Dog Doesn't Like Pedicures

| Filed under: Q&AHealthDogDr. Patrick Mahaney

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Anyone who's tried to trim their dogs nails themselves knows it's not the easiest thing.

Even if your dog is super calm and will lay down and let you go to work, it's still a nerve wracking task.

TeddyHilton.com reader, Viktoria, writes Dr. Patrick Mahaney:

I have a really hard time trimming my dog's nails. She doesn't seem to allow me, a vet, or groomer near them, she tries to chew them down herself. I am afraid she will crack her nails to the quick, is there some way I can relax her so I can trim them for her?

Thanks,
Viktoria

Dr. Patrick responded:

Viktoria,
Thank you for your question. The care of our pet's nails can often be a frustrating undertaking for owner, veterinarian, and groomer alike.
Based on her aversion to having a pedicure (yes, trimming dog's nails is technically a pedicure, as dogs have 4 feet) and her keen interest in chewing her nails, there may be an underlying medical issue affecting the health of her skin and nails.

Many dogs a prone to skin conditions that will lead to uncomfortable inflammation and infection. Environmental and food allergies, immune system diseases, metabolic conditions (hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, other), and others can all be contributing causes.

Have your veterinarian closely evaluate your dog's nail beds for any debris and take a sample for microscopic evaluation (by pressing clear tape or scratching the surface of the nail with a microscope slide) to look for bacteria, yeast, and other infectious organisms.
If your veterinarian is unable to diagnose or resolve the problem, then seek a consultation with a veterinary dermatologist.

Massage, acupuncture, exercise, sedatives, pain relieving medications, and herbal remedies (like Rescue Remedy Pet) can all have a calming effect to facilitate the nail trimming process.

Good luck,
Dr PM

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