"It is uncommon for a dog that is groomed regularly to have fractured toe nails," I said. "Yours is the 2nd Silkie with the same problem in this week. I don't get such cases during the whole year and now there are two."
"Why didn't the groomer clip the nails short so that my dog will not have his nail caught inside the office carpet? He was suffering great pain and was bleeding." The husband took time off to phone me (apparently referred by his groomer who lives nearby his condo) to get his baby treated urgently.
As he wanted to be present, I did not object. He was bigger and more handsome than myself and my assistant and we squeezed inside the small operating room. Normally I disallow owners to view as they distract and disrupt.
Domitor 0.2 IV. Waited 2 minutes and then my assistant put the dog on the gas mask to give the isoflurane gas. "Take away the mask," I said when I saw the dog gurgling. He was about to vomit. Dogs seldom vomit when given Domitor IV but some do.
"I have to change groomer," the husband was upset.
"You can see that the groomer did clip all the nails properly," I showed the husband the other nails including the dew claws. There is no need to change groomers. You can trim the nails yourself in between the grooming session or teach the groomer how to do it."
As I type this record at 6.35 pm, Friday, Aug 6, 2010, I have this hypothesis: The deviated D3 and D4 claws had grown longer as they were not in contact with the ground and probably grew longer since there was no wear and tear. I did not ask when was the last grooming as I did not have time to consolidate my hypothesis.
I did not have time to explain this possibility as the husband appeared to be in a hurry. "Family comes first," he said to his wife. "The dog is the de-stressor in the office and so he is more like a child," the wife explained. When a child is in pain, emergency attention is required.
Dog vomited his food 5 minutes later. "The dog should be on empty stomach but this is an emergency and he vomited his yellow food and water," I explained. Having a husband inside the operation room took up some time. "Do you advise cutting off the deviated D4 claw? After all, the dog already has fractured stump of D3. What is your advice?"
"Just trim it for the time being," I showed how it is done. Imagine a line across the lower level of the pad when placed on the ground. Any claw longer and below this horizontal line (90 degrees to the pad) should be trimmed without pain or bleeding from the quick." I demonstrated by cutting. There was no blood. I illustrate for readers' benefit (see picture at www.toapayohvets.com, goto DOGS).
If the two deviated claws persist to deviate some 6 months later, I will remove them if you have thought over the matter. For the husband, nails are useless and if they cause problems, may as well remove both of them. That means no more overgrown nails and no more fractured nails. I advised waiting although I could have had done it on the spot as the dog was under anaesthesia and the owner was willing. This is one of the occasions that is hard to resist temptations to generate revenue.