Panic at the Duplex

No fun video this Friday morning because my dog’s foot just fell off. At least, you would think it had the way I have been carrying on. Shiva doesn’t seem to be aware of the tragedy that has struck her poor little dew claw.

It must have happened somewhere in the forest this morning. As I went to put her leash back on my eye caught the sight of blood. A lot of blood. Oceans really. Shiva’s white paw was covered in it. I promptly started freaking out. Just in my head, of course. I was in public after all.

After a quick investigation, I could tell it was her dew claw that had broken. The nail must have snagged on something while she ran around in the bushes. It’s kind of surprising it hadn’t happened before. The bleeding appeared to have stopped already as there was no trail in the snow. Shiva licked at the injury a little but otherwise seemed unhurt. She didn’t cry out or try to prevent me from touching it anyway.

But I don’t know if that always means anything with this dog. She’s built tough and never seems to feel pain, not even after falling off the dog walk. Or going backwards up the teeter. Shiva’s pain tolerance is too high to be trusted.

Since I know absolutely nothing about dog first aid, I didn’t know what to do from there. We were pretty far from the house. Should I try to carry her back? While I thought about this, Shiva continued to run around, sniffing and eating and jumping. She looked like she could walk okay. But the blood, the blood! Unfortunately, I didn’t have much of a choice. Shiva isn’t super heavy but I am pretty weak. Hauling a forty-five pound dog home in my arms may be beyond my strength. I’d probably just hurt us both.

So, we walked home. I cringed at every step she took. My dog, of course, acted as if the whole incident had never happened. Dumb dog, didn’t she know she could have died? Didn’t she know that blood means the world is ending?

We made it home without further injury. Other than to my dog-owning pride. Every time we passed someone I felt as if their stared back at me in accusation. Any minute I expected a police car to pull up to take my dog away. Only a negligent owner would take her dog for a walk with a bloody paw. I should have my privileges revoked.

Now that we are home and the wound is clean, Shiva still doesn’t realise she should be in pain. She ran through the door and around the house in her usual “I’m home” style. I made her lay down on her bed to eat her breakfast while I attempted to wrap gauze around the nail. She doesn’t seem to think she needs the bandage and currently is attempting to rip it off every chance she gets. I have to leave for work in half an hour and am not sure what I should do from here.

If I leave the bandage on, I am scared she wear tear it off and re-injure herself. But if I take it off, I am scared she will worry at the jagged nail too much and re-injure herself. Ugh.

Am I just over-reacting? Please tell me I am over-reacting. Maybe I should take her to the vet. Do you think I should take her to the vet? She doesn’t seem to be in pain but maybe she is just too stupid to know it is supposed to hurt.

It’s just a broken nail, Kristine. It’s just broken beyond the quick. It happens all the time. Just breathe.

35 thoughts on “Panic at the Duplex

  1. Awwwww poor dog! More so, poor you! The last time my dog was covered in blood (BLOOD!) it was his whole face, at 2 am, and something was screaming in the bushes when I called him out and saw his whole Border Collie white face covered in blood. I was sure some rabid beast from a horror movie had gouged out his eyes. Turns out that it was more of a toddler-eating-spaghetti problem — a bunny had tried to jump THROUGH the chain-link fence, gotten stuck at the hips, and Gromit had been busily skinning it’s trapped read end and gotten his great new super-tasty squeaky toy all over himself :(. Ugh. (I was up to 3am, carefully unwinding the fence to free the bunny, who was far too injured for saving :(.)

    ANYway, if you have time and $$ to spare, by all means go support your local vet, but it is probably not necessary. I would actually try some of the not-stingy NuSkin-type product to seal the nail, rather than bandage it. Once it has a chance to heal, you can decide if you want to get her dewclaws removed to prevent future injury, or if it was just a freak thing.


  2. Shiva is so brave. I am just the opposite.

    When I snagged my dew claw on a tree in the garden (because I could smell a squirrel) I howled as if the world WAS ending.

    The LOTH was very sympathetic but there wasn’t any blood until I had to go to the vet to have the twisted claw clipped off. It’s grown back now.


  3. How did you get into my head? That would be my exact same reaction.

    Do you have the kind of relationship with your vet where you can just call for advice? Mine always tells me to call and they won’t have me bring her in if I can take care of the matter myself with a little advice.

    Why not just call and explain what happened and ask their advice. Is the dew claw still hanging on? If so, you’ll probably want to remove the broken part.

    Personally, I couldn’t do this. I am no kind of dog nurse. But I think my husband did it once. Maybe your PH can step up?

    Good luck. These things just happen sometimes and they’re awfully scary. I’m sorry for this start to your morning.


    • I agree with Pamela. Our vet is fantastic about our paranoid calls and will generally give us his opinion before we schedule an appointment.

      It might be worth a try and will hopefully give you some peace of mind.

      Tummy rubs to Shiva!


  4. I heard a vet on the radio say just a few weeks ago that it is pretty common for dogs to rip their dew claws off or just plain rip them whole running through the woods or playing. She said it wasn’t a huge deal, but that doesn’t make you feel any better.

    I like Pamela’s advice about calling your vet. Depending on how bad it is, you may be able to clean it and then use liquid bandage to stop the bleeding. I’ve had to do that with Jasper after he ripped his nail on some ice. Worked great.


  5. Oh no. This happened to Charlie once. He was chewing on a stick and his dew claw got stuck in the stick (it was huge and more like a log, really) and when it rolled over it tore out his dew claw. Gross. If you can still see her nail, she should be fine. Charlie’s claw was cracked down to the bone (he was screaming in pain) and blood was spurting for what seemed like forever. I rushed him to the vet and they actually amputated his dew claw because it was too deep for them to do anything else. So now he’s only got one. If it’s already stopped bleeding, isn’t too jagged, and doesn’t go up into her foot, she should be fine – it’s like if you clipped her nails too close – way too close. Relax and breathe. If she was in real pain she would tell you. Though you might want to run her to the vet just in case – or at least call them and ask what they think.

    Good luck!


  6. Oh gosh!!! Poor Shiva and poor you too! I’d be as panicky as you or even worse than you if it happened to my dogs and me.
    Eva had her dew claws removed when she was three days old. According to the vet, the dew claws can be removed or cut off easily when the puppy is a few days old, preferably before 4 days old as the nerves near by the dew claws aren’t grown yet so the puppy won’t feel anything when the claws are cut off.
    I hope Shiva is okay by now and you’re feeling better too!


  7. Yeah, I recommend a vet call. They might tell you to come in, which is up to you. I think she will probably be fine without a visit, but I have to admit that I would take Chai or Mak in. I’m a big baby but they are MY babies and if anything happened to them, I might actually die. Of course, my pocket book reflects that overprotective trait so… it’s a lesser of two evils. though.

    Hope all is okay!


  8. Sometimes i think some dogs can be ridiculous with their pain tolerance. Shayne ran full speed into a stone wall, tore a hole in her face (on her jaw), was bleeding all over the place and all she wanted was for me to throw the ball… 5 staples in her face later she finally started feeling a little sore….but still wanted to play ball!

    I’m super glad Shiva is okay! I’m sure your adrenaline will come down in a day 🙂

    i’d call the vet see what they say… if it’s just the nail being broken it’s one thing but if it’s literally the “toe” part it’s a little different. I keep superglue on hand for broken nails LOL 🙂


  9. Awww! Poor Shiva! I think you should give the vet a call just to check it out and have his/her expert opinion. Shiva sounds pretty tough but it must have been an awful walk home for you. I would feel terrible if something like that ever happened to my little Sadie.

    We both send wishes of a speedy recovery to our favorite top dog!


  10. Ouch! Isn’t it crazy how dogs tolerate pain and injury with nary a whimper? My Sadie has a habit of playing so hard and so long on the rocks by the river, beach, etc that she completely shreds her paws every so often. I have to remember to give her timeouts when we go explore the great outdoors so that she won’t hurt herself. Every time, she doesn’t give any indication that they are hurting. And most times get PISSED that I make her stop playing in the water. Silly dogs!


  11. My oh my is Shiva a tough dog! Jersey would have been screaming her head off the entire time! I don’t think that there is too much that the vet can do about it, so just breathe and wait for the bleeding to stop. If you have some quickstop, use it. Georgia Little Pea said that she uses flour to stop nail bleeds. Quick cuts are scary, but the bleeding WILL stop.


  12. Riley, luckily, doesn’t have dewclaws…I’m sure if she did, we would have gone through this same experience! Every time Riley’s had a broken nail, we’ve had to go to the vet to get the nail cut off above where the break was because otherwise the nail bed and quick is exposed and it gets painful. They sedate her because it’s very painful for her to get it cut off. Sometimes they have to remove the whole nail if the break goes up into their skin, but that’s worst case scenario and I’m not making you feel any better, sorry!

    My sister’s dog, Daisy (a Boxer), broke one of her nails somehow and she was fine without getting anything done to it…it just healed up on its own. So there’s that option too.

    I would suggest what others are saying, call the vet and see if they have any free advice for you. I think as long as she’s not bothering it too much and it doesn’t seem painful, it might be okay to just let it grow back out.

    Anyway, that’s my meager bit of advice!!


  13. I would have reacted the same. I can’t even be in the same room when my husband trims Kelly’s nails, in case there is any blood. (Fortunately he’s very good at the job). I think Shiva will be okay. Give it a day or two and I bet she’ll be healed and forget about it. I hope you will too!


  14. Heehee…you humans are SO funny! My mom FREAKS OUT at the littlest thing. Like seriously FREAKS. When Brudder Ranger had the issue with his…ahem…poopshooter, you woulda thought his whole butt had fallen off or something. So I’m sure that my mom can relate to you a LOT.

    I like everybuddy’s advice abouts calling the V.E.T. That way you’ll know for sure.

    I don’t have any dewclaws. They musta cut ’em off at the same time they cut off my tail. And I guess maybe that’s a good thing? (The dewclaws, not the tail. I SO wish I had a long, luxurious tail).

    Wiggles & Wags,

    PeeS. YAY! I got it right about which one you fibbed about!


  15. Poor Shiva. Hope she is ok now. I know when Song lost a nail the blood was unbelievable. Think as long as the nail isn’t split, but just broken off she should be ok, but like the others have said, you could try ringing the vet and just asking.


  16. poor shiva! poor kristine! I would be freaking out too! I think that she is probably fine, since her injury didn’t seem to stop her one bit. However, if I was you, I would give the vet a call just in case… But, I am ready to call the vet if Alex doesn’t devour his dinner in two minutes flat…..


  17. I’m with Pam as well- if you can just ring up your vet and tell them what happened that will set your mind at ease.

    I did that when Kayloo (apparently) ate a spider and her face swoll up… when Mickey got mauled by a tick…

    Friggin dogs! 😉


  18. Poor little girl. You can try and spray some bitter apple on the bandage and see if that deters her from worrying it while you’re away.


  19. I probably would have called 911 and then fainted. Our Best Friend also has loose dew claws, which we’ve considered removing. Next time we’re at the vet we’ll discuss it again, I guess.

    Have some wine with dinner, and maybe the PH should take Shiva on the 6 P.M. walk!


  20. Our vet told us once that if it was a clean break, just to seal it with a little waterproof liquid bandage, clean it daily to prevent infection and go about our lives. Dog knows Kolchak never worried about the broken nail, though I was quite the mess about it (tears, apologies, the whole crazy works!)


  21. I’m with those that say call your vet if you can. I had a similar scare last Sunday-Monday, except Dante wasn’t bleeding, he was just howling in pain anytime you came near him or moved or didn’t even touch him. We think he just pulled a muscle, as half a baby aspirin and two days of bed rest helped, but for a minute there I was a panicky mama!


  22. Our boy Hawk used to break his dewclaws on a regular basis! If it was sticking out away from his leg, I’d take him in to the vet to have it cut off, otherwise, we bandaged it up knowing that in a day or two we’d take the bandage off and the dew claw would be in there. We always put his muzzle on with a stool guard when we weren’t there to watch him, though, because we learned that bloody gauze is some sort of irresistible canine delicacy! *insert gagging face* The good news is that the darned things heal pretty quickly, they just tend to be a bloody mess!


  23. Okay I know it’s not funny… but the way you tell it just made me laugh so much. I could totally picture it and would have been exactly the same way. I am no help about what to do, but I think I would’ve done exactly what you did. 🙂


  24. I keep spray bandage on hand and would be more concerned with Shiva swallowing a guaze bandage than dying from a bloody dew claw. Blood does SO freak out humans when it’s flowing from their dog! Yes, breatheeee, if possible call the vet. Give Shiva some extra hugs from her online friends.


  25. I’m pretty sure I would freak out too! I don’t like to see my babies injured, and I used to work for a vet. I hope things have settled down now, and the healing has begun. By the way, my Xander is about 35 pounds, and I can’t imagine trying to carry him very far. He’s a chunk!


  26. Oh poor girl! You were not over-reacting that is traumatizing stuff. I just read through the comments and a call to the vet sounds like a good idea. Thinking about you and sending healing energy~Punky T.


  27. I would hate to give you advice on this one and swallow saying what I should do. Best to call the vet and ask, when it is nothing serious, at least it will help your ease of mind.

    So sorry this happened, you are an absolute dog lover and you have nothing to be ashamed about. The people that met you on the walk and were sending eyeballs … OMG did none of them THINK and offered some help !


  28. Pingback: Good Vets Shouldn’t Be Hard to Find « Rescued Insanity

  29. Oh, we are so much alike! I took my sweet baby in for her dental and she had extractions – I pretty much freaked out and have been doting over her and when she tries to play with toys I shout ‘no!!’ out of nowhere and she looks at me like, ‘what the heck are you yelling about? I’m fine.” And she seems okay but I keep thinking of those stitches in her mouth and OMG what if she bites on something and something gets stuck??? Seriously, we are crazy. But I woudn’t have it any other way.


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