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How to treat nail problems in cats

| October 27, 2010
How to treat nail problems in cats

Like any other animal, cats also have nails and at times these small nails can cause diseases and damage pet health.

Like any other animal, cats also have nails and at times these small nails can cause diseases and damage pet health. It is hence always recommended that you should groom your cat and bathe him or her on a regular basis to keep his nails clean and also cut his nails once in a while. You will find most of the things like nail cutters, shampoo and conditioner etc from stores or online stores that offer pet supplies.

The most common nail problem in cats is that of a broken nail. One fine day, you will notice that there are little specs of blood on one of the paws of your cat and he will probably be licking it too often and even limping to an extent. If you take a closer look then you will realize that the problem is being caused by a terribly torn toenail. Toenail problems can occur just about anytime and a broken or torn nail might affect the physical pet health of the cat for a small period of time but usually it is not life-threatening. Of course this comes with a warning that if this pet health problem is not treated then it might form pus and can become extremely painful and also open its door to various infections. Which can be very irritating and painfull for the cat

If you are wondering how their nails can get torn then the answer is simple. Their nails can get caught in a barbed wire or a steel mesh even carpet fibers or most things rigid or hard In such a situation, your cat will try to dislodge the nail and in an attempt to pull away, the nail might get torn or broken or maybe even both which can be very painfull for your cat. There are times when you will not be able to see any blood but you will definitely find your cat limping and this is a strong enough indication to take him to the vet and get a pet health checkup done to find out any problems your cat may have with his or hers nails.

If your cat is young then he will probably limp and even cry. The flip side of this pet health problem is that if you leave the broken nail untreated then it can bleed intermittently and slowly become infected causing your cat immense irritation as well as pain. There are some cases of torn toe nails that can be treated even at home under the supervision of a vet. If the checkup is done at home then it can reduce any potential risk of infection and the torn nail can also be easily removed. The right thing to do is that you should get the necessary pet supplies like nail trimmers and trim his nail once in a while so that he doesn’t have to go through this trauma again.

What to do if your cat damages a nail:

  • Initially, you will have to stop the bleeding. You can use silver nitrate or styptic pencils. If you don’t have either of these, try cornstarch or flour. When placed on a bleeding nail, these generally stop the bleeding.
  • Removing the loose nail is the most difficult part of caring for the torn nail. Most often, you can just pull the loose piece of nail off very quickly. If the nail doesn’t come off easily, you can try to use a pet nail trimmer and remove the nail at the level of the break. Remember, this will probably hurt your cat for a second. If the tear in the nail is high up and near the base of the nail, don’t attempt to remove it with trimmers. If the nail isn’t easily pulled off, see your veterinarian for treatment. The last bone of each toe is very close to the beginning of the nail. Without experience, you may end up hurting your cat more than you realize.
  • If you manage to remove the damaged part of the nail, gently wash the area with warm water to remove any debris lodged between the nail and the toe or leg. Then apply a temporary bandage if necessary for bleeding. Take care not to wrap the bandage too tight so circulation will not be damaged. Leave it in place for 12 to 24 hours.
  • If you do not feel comfortable taking care of a torn nail, call your veterinarian. Leaving a torn nail to heal on its own (which will not happen) or allowing the nail to grow out is not a recommended option. This causes persistent irritation and possible repeat breaks.

If your cats got a problem with a damaged nail, and you are worried about the pet health problems this may cause. Why not look around our website at some of the nail clippers we have to offer, we also sell a variety of other pet supplies for your cat.

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Photo copyright and courtesy: Zsuzsanna Kadar– stock.xchng

Category: Feline Articles, Feline Health and Care, Feline Resources

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