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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Thick nails that have grown into pad

    Yesterday I was faced with several senior cats whose nails had grown into their pads. I referred the client to a veterinarian, but did try cutting one of the nails. If I had it to do again, I wouldn't. The nail had grown in far enough that a hole of about 1 1/16th to 1/8 inch had been made in the pad. I could see a red dot at the bottom of the hole, which appeared to be blood, but it did not actively bleed. I asked the owner to check the pad after I left and to take her cat to the vet right away if there was any blood, pus or other problem.

    Any stories about similar situations?

  2. #2
    doggonespiffy Guest

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    Yep, I've dealt with the same sort of thing on dogs. I had one dog that it's back dew claw was coiled and curled and stuck into the pad. I think the last groomer that groomed it either didn't know the dew claw was there, was afraid to do it, or referred them to a vet. I did clip the nails...cleaned it up really good and it all looked fine. I just knew he was the type of owner that wouldn't take his dog to the vet so I chose to deal with it.

  3. #3
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    Yep, quite a few times I have had this on dogs. I just clip the nail and pull it out of the pad. Never bleeds much, but it does hurt so watch out for a bite.
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Ontario Canada
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    1,205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Emma123 View Post
    Any stories about similar situations?
    Sadly, yes. Happily, it's not to often.

    I will generally take a picture of the feet/nails, then cut the nails and clean up the pads. I do tell the owners to take the cat or dog to the vet. I don't trust the owners to take the pet to the vet, so I would rather deal with it here. I do tell them the first aid that I applied and that I took pix if they would like me to e-mail them to their vet if the vet would like to see the before photos.

    I've not had an issue with an owner or vet saying I did the wrong thing. Now if the nail had pierced through the other side of the pad (I've only heard of that, never seen it), I would refer them to the Vet without trimming the nail.
    "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." ~Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Madison, Wisconsin, United States
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    I have a pug client that had her back nails grown into the pads the first time I saw her. Owner was referred to me by her friend because their previous groomer couldn't handle the dog to get her nails done. Pads where all swollen and sore, and the dog was limping along so slowly...very sad. Now she comes in every few weeks for a dremel, and the dog stands perfectly still every time. Maybe having the other groomer struggle just made her feet hurt so much more. She has now become a very lively little pug

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Texas
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    One place I worked at had a dog who the nail had pierced the foot and was growing on the other side. I trimmed it and pulled it out. It was amazingly gross. My boss ended up asking if she could have the dog because of the poor condition it was in and she took the dog to the vet.
    I do like the others and fix it. I have never seen one on a cat though. That's interesting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Even though I have worked in shelters and as a veterinary assistant, this is the first time I have come across embedded claws. The rear claws were fine, but almost all the front claws had grown into the paw. These cats walked and behaved normally. Now when someone tells me that their cat's claws are "thick," I will know what to expect. It's not that easy to trim the claws, because as they thicken and curve, they grow very close to the paw, right up against the surface.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Madison, Wisconsin, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emma123 View Post
    Even though I have worked in shelters and as a veterinary assistant, this is the first time I have come across embedded claws. The rear claws were fine, but almost all the front claws had grown into the paw. These cats walked and behaved normally. Now when someone tells me that their cat's claws are "thick," I will know what to expect. It's not that easy to trim the claws, because as they thicken and curve, they grow very close to the paw, right up against the surface.
    I have about 6 cats that come in that have those super thick claws. Some of them do just keep growing and growing, and if the cat is older or not much of a scratcher I don't doubt they would just keep on until they started embedding. Anyone know if there is a cause to thick claws or if its just genetics?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    I've read that it may be a sign of disease, but I don't have a definite answer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma
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    Cat nails are different than dog nails. The cat claw "sheds", usually by a cat scratching on something to remove the old sheath so the "new" claw underneath will be nice and sharp. Cats don't actually "sharpen" their nails, they are just removing the old sheath. On the back feet, the cat will usually chew the old sheath off. This is why you will often see a cat that seems to be chewing on their nails. Older cats are more prone to getting the thick heavy nails because they don't scratch the old sheaths off like they did when they were younger, or chew them off because they have become less flexible. The next time you get a cat with very thick nails, trim one of the nails, then peal off some of the outer sheath, and you will find that you will probably have to retrim the sharper "new" nail underneath.

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