Sunday, January 15, 2006

Trimming Your Labrador Retrievers Nails

Regular nail trimming is important to your Labrador Retrievers health and well being. Nails that are not properly clipped can crack and split, which can lead to infection in that area. Long nails can be uncomfortable for your Labrador and for an owner’s leg. A regular trimming, at least once a week or every two weeks, will save both you and your Labrador Retriever a lot of pain and aggravation.

Purchase a good quality nail clipper, one that is appropriate for your Labradors claws. You might also want to purchase a clotting agent, such as Kwik-Stop, or a styptic pen. It is not unusual for people to clip a toenail too short and for bleeding to occur.

Start by having your Lab lie down or secure him with his collar and leash.

What you are looking for is called the quick (pink part of the nail), which is the live tissue inside the nail. This will be easer to see in yellow nails than dark ones. TIP: Sometimes shining a flashlight through the back of the nail will help you locate the quirk. You want to cut back to the beginning of the quick. Cutting the quick will cause some bleeding, which happens from time to time.

Black nails can be a little more difficult to locate the quick. If you turn your Labs paw over and look closely you will see a little round thick part on the bottom side of the nail, which is the quick.

When you’re ready to cut, make sure you aren’t on the quick, and make a smooth, quick squeeze with your clippers, letting the nail fall away. If you clip small, thin slices off of the nail tip, you will be able to see a small black or pink, moist looking disk in the center of the cut nail. This disk is the start of your quick, and this is as far as you should trim. Some people do cut the nail back until a slight amount of bleeding occurs, in an attempt to shorten the nail further. However it’s not advisable as it can make for an unpleasant experience for your Labrador.

Continue clipping until all of your Lab’s paws are complete and then you can file down the sharp edges, or just let your Labrador wear the edges smooth.

Every now and then you might hit the quick when trimming. Don’t panic, just blot with a towel and apply your Kwik-Stop, or styptic pen and this should stop the bleeding after a few minutes.

Follow the above steps and in no time you will be clipping your Labs nails just like the professionals.

© Fay Fernandez

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