Matt and I learned a valuable lesson this weekend with our black lab, Porter. Until our dog is comfortable with us touching his paws we will not attempt to trim his nails. We’ve tried to use a dremel to file his nails but he is not a fan of the noise or the vibration from the tool. So, we thought we would try using nail clippers.
Our first challenge was to get Porter in a position where Matt and I could hold him securely while Matt attempted to trim the nail. The first one went perfectly. We used a few of his favorite treats to focus Porter’s attention off of Matt. On the second nail, Porter shifted and Matt accidentally cut a little too far and Porter started bleeding.
Very quickly Matt and I divided up responsibilities. He was hold Porter with a paper towel around the wound and I called our 24-hour vet hospital. The receptionist recommended that we use flour to stop the bleeding. I would have never thought to use flour! I put about ¼ cup in an ice cream dish so we could dip Porter’s paw into it. Amazingly the bleeding stopped…for a few hours.
I took Porter on a short walk while we were visiting my parents and his wound managed to open up. Once we were in the house I noticed little drops of blood on the hardwood floors and on the carpets. We tried using flour again, but it wasn’t working so we headed off to the vet.
We walked in and within a few minutes were taken to an exam room. The vet technician cleaned up Porter’s paw and put on styptic powder/quick dry powder on the wound at no charge. Did I mention I love our vet hospital? She recommended that if we’re going to continue to try and clip Porter’s nails we should pick up our own styptic powder. And if we want, we can always have vet technicians cut Porter’s nails during his annual visits. For now, the later option is definitely our choice. Though, we did pick up some styptic powder just in case.
Having a dog is full of adventures and life lessons. This weekend I learned that if you don’t have styptic powder or quick dry powder, use flour to stop the bleeding of a small cut on an animal. Hopefully next weekend doesn’t include another trip to the vet!