A broken nail in our canine friends should always be taken seriously. Not only is this injury extremely painful for even the toughest of pups, but it can lead to a few complications if it is not addressed. While we may only see the tough keratin exterior of the dog nail, there is much more to it than that.
Within the nail is a collection of nerves and blood vessels referred to as the quick. This is the pointed structure you may see in clear dog nails, and the part that bleeds when a dog’s nail is cut too short. While the keratin part of the nail is not living tissue, the quick certainly is. Not only is the quick a sensitive structure that can cause extreme discomfort when exposed, it is also attached to bone. This means any infection of the quick can quickly lead to a potential bone infection as well.
Depending on the severity of the nail injury, your dog can experience different levels of pain. If the quick is exposed and they are forced to put pressure on the paw, you may notice them limping and hesitating to put weight on that paw. You may also notice your dog constantly licking the injured area, which can open them up to the potential of further irritation and infection.
As you can see, a broken nail is much more serious for your pup than you might have imagined. So what can you do when this happens to your dog? Let’s dive in.