Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The trouble with dog toenails: Long quicks mean pain!

Liam the pug during a nail trim

I post a lot of photos of Liam the pug on social media sites. Often, his little dog feet are in the frame. And if I get brave and scroll down to the comments section, I often see comments that read a little like this:

"Look how long his toenails are! You should cut them!"

Now, some of these comments might stem from bullying behavior. There are trolls among us who would love nothing better than to pick on some little flaw in either the dog or the owner of the dog. That's how bullies work. But, it's also possible that people are trying to look out for Liam's welfare. Long toenails can impact a dog's gait, and in extreme cases, long toenails can cause foot and leg deformities. It's a serious issue.

But, the fact of the matter is that Liam will probably never have toenails that are so short that they don't touch the ground when he walks. He'll never have that perfect show-dog pedicure. Why? Because his quicks are really long.

Here's a closeup of Liam's foot.

Liam the pug has long toenails

See how the pink part, deep inside his nail, goes almost to the tip? If I cut into that pink part of his toe, he'll bleed. And, a cut like that will cause him a lot of pain.

Frequent toenail clippings can help to push that quick back into the nail, so the pedicures can result in shorter toenails. But, I cut Liam's tonenails twice per week as it is. At this point, I'm prepared to say that he's just one of those dogs that has abnormally long quicks. And I'm one of those owners that doesn't want to hurt him.

So, please. If you see Liam in your photos and you see comments about his long toenails before I do, just refer people to this blog post, okay? It'll save us all a lot of time and trouble.

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