A broken claw is a fairly common accident in dogs. Generally not serious, a broken claw still requires the intervention of a veterinarian quite often to avoid any risk of infection or problems with regrowth.
Broken or torn claw: a common accident in dogs
A claw fracture, called traumatic analysis in veterinary jargon, is a relatively common accident in dogs.
Most often, the accident occurs when the dog’s claws are a little too long, either because their growth is too fast or because their wear is too low. The dog then breaks a claw during a play session or a walk. The claw most commonly affected is the ergot, this claw found on the dog’s fifth finger (the equivalent of the thumb) and which does not rest on the ground. Generally, it is, therefore, sufficient to regularly trim your dog’s claws to prevent breakage.
Sometimes, however, a broken claw is the first sign of a nail disease that weakens the nails of the animal or of a systemic disease of the dog. Leishmaniasis, for example, is the cause of abnormal growth of the claws, which elongate, deform and crack or break much more easily.
What if my dog has broken a claw?
There are two ways to react to a broken claw in your dog, depending on how severe it is.
If the claw has only broken at its end and is broken quite cleanly, then all you have to do is disinfect your pet’s claw by applying an antiseptic that does not sting and then prevents the dog from lick its paw by making it wear a collar for 2 to 3 days if necessary. The bleeding can be very profuse if the sharp part of the nail has been touched, and the broken claw may be painful enough for the animal. So be extremely careful when trying to care for your pet. Monitor the progress of his wound and disinfect daily until it heals. If you have the slightest doubt or if you do not feel able to provide care on your own, consult your veterinarian.
On the other hand, if your dog’s claw has broken higher, near the base of the finger, is twisted or torn in its length, a veterinarian intervention will be necessary. After sedating your animal, the veterinarian should quickly perform a claw resection to prevent infection and allow normal regrowth. At the end of this short procedure, your dog will come out with a bandage to be removed within 24 hours and will be free to wear a collar for a few days. If you have delayed consulting your veterinarian, antibiotic treatment may be prescribed for your dog.