WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CUT INTO THE QUICK OF A NAIL
Most pet owners have had to deal with that dreadful moment of what to do when as a result of clipping your pet's nails you accidentally cut into the quick. First of all let's make sure that you know exactly what the "quick" is. If you take a look at your pets nail (view the side area of the nail), you will see that part of the way up there is pink line portion inside the nail. This is the blood vessel of the nail and is called the quick. This is much more difficult to detect on black or dark colored nails, but if your pet's nails are white you should be able to see it easily.
It is often when attempting to trim those black or dark nails that accidents happen and we sometimes cut the nail too deeply and hit the quick. The problem with cutting into the quick of the nail is that it is extremely painful for our pet, and is very difficult to stem the flow of blood. Often once we think it has finally stopped, the animal moves to get up and just merely touching the nail on a hard floor or object causes it to bleed once again.
Some people choose to use a styptic powder such as Kwik-Stop to prevent further bleeding, but most of us don't have that on hand. There are a number of everyday products that work just as well to stop the bleeding and that are guaranteed to be found in almost every home.
Here are a couple of suggestions...
Grab a Dry Bar of Soap and gently rake the nail across the soap to block the blood flow
Fill the palm of your hand with Baby Powder, Baking Soda or Flour and dip the nail into the powder, making sure to coat it well so that the nail stops bleeding
The trick after you have stopped the bleeding is to keep the animal lying or sitting still for a good period of time so that the bleeding does not begin again.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[YEA] 04/26/2008: Denice from Roulette, PA: "We were watching tv and our dog, Dixie was laying quietly with us so we decided to trim her nails and got one too close and she started to bleed. We looked for anything and my husband suggested using the computer and your web site came up. It listed baby powder, baking soda and flour...in my rush to stop the bleeding I grabbed the baking powder put about a teaspoon on my hand and we packed it against the bleeding nail. It worked within 10 minutes and we are still keeping her down at this time. Thank you for your help and your web site. This will be marked as a favorite! Thanks again!"Replies
12/10/2011: Peter from Calgary, Alberta replies: "My father and I have done many trimmings and cutting the quick does happen some times. His dog Tessa is a rescue dog and nails were not attended well in her previouse life. Any way we got a bleeder and did the flour and a baggie remedy. Kept her still but not before she licked a lot of her own blood up. We got the bleeding stopped but later in the night she got sick. Would any one know if drinking her own blood makes her sick , or would you think it would be a coincidence? Thanks if you can help with my question."
Bar of Soap
[YEA] 05/14/2010: Luckyspal from Bethesda, Md: "I just used a bar of stop to stop bleeding after I cut to much when trimming Lucky's nails! It stopped immediately and he stopped licking it, too! Thank you, thank you thank you!"
[YEA] 08/07/2006: Quinn from Philadelphia, PA: "Another way to stop bleeding is with black pepper! It doesn't hurt and won't injure a pet (or human) if ingested. Small packets from fast food restaurants are great tucked into first aid kits, glove compartments and grooming supplies."
[YEA] 08/29/2006: Jessica from Nashville, TN: "My doctor told me to use this instead of buying the items in the pet store. I was skeptical at first and was freaking out when I couldn't figure out exactly how to make it stop bleeding! But I just coated his nail with it and made him lay down for about 10 minutes. He actually went to sleep while I was holding his leg. Its an excellent method and much cheaper!"
[YEA] 01/21/2013: Adrian from Kalamazoo, Michigan: "I have a Labrador and I accidently over cut one of her nails and I couldn't get the bleeding to stop. So I cleaned with hydrogen proxide and then fixed together flour and water to great a paste and used a q tip and put some the paste on her toe nail and held for about an hour and then dipped her same nail in four about 15 times just to make sure and left her sit and relax for about an hour. And all the bleeding stopped. Thank you so much."
[YEA] 01/13/2013: Jenny Martin from Portsmouth, Hampshire: "My Jackrussel/Chihuaha X needed his claws cut and one of them is black which l accidentally cut to short and it bled profusly after 2 hours l found your site and put his foot into a bag flour, after half an hour cuddle the bleed stopped so a very big thank you for your help."
[YEA] 09/29/2012: Blazer from Vineyard Haven, Ma: "Thank you we used the flour and it worked awesome. I actually placed my dog's paw in my hand filled with flour then layed with him for about 30 minutes. The bleeding stopped and never started again."
[YEA] 09/05/2012: Roby from Sydney, Australia: "YAY, thank you so much for this amazingly simple but so so wonderful remedy! For the first time ever, I cut my dog jesse's nail too short and it poured with blood! My son was panicked, and I quickly went to the web and read your advice.... I put a ziplock bag of flour over her paw, waited 15mins, and its stopped! Thankyou :)"
[YEA] 01/22/2012: Justjan from Tolland, Connecticut: "My Schipp's nails are black. I am so careful, but got the quick today... First time I've ever done that. He didn't even flinch, but he was bleeding terribly. I got online, saw this site and did the flour in a baggie. I held him and petted him for an hour (he loved it). He is sleeping soundly, the bleeding stopped, and I'm so grateful. Thank you!"
[YEA] 01/11/2010: Sami from Canada, Nova Scotia: "I was cutting my shelties nails and on the last nail I cut the quick. So I tried everything besides the vet and I went online and found your website. I put his paw in a cup of flour for five minutes. later I check on him and an hour later it work his nail stopped bleeding!!! :):D"Replies
12/30/2011: Robynn from Tacoma, Washington replies: "I cut my corgi Tucker's nails for the first time tonight, I had seen my dad do it many times before and had even helped a little, but I never thought it would be so easy to cut down too far! I was so scared when he was bleeding, I tried pressure then wrapping it, it bled through the bandage. Then I tried using liquid bandage, hoping that it would at least stop the bleeding, but that started up again when he walked around and it too bled through another bandage. The I found this site and now he's got a ziploc of flour on his paw, and he's fast asleep. I'm REALLY hoping this works!!"
[YEA] 03/28/2009: Erin from Seattle, WA, USA: "I was dog sitting a friend's dog who had really LONG completely black nails. I thought to be nice I would trim its nails since I know most people are afraid to do this themselves. Well, I made it with no problem until nail number 10...snip...blood! Ugh. I tried leaving the dog outside to clot but it was raining and it wouldn't dry. I tried using a tight bandage, the blood just soaked through the cotton. I tried the chemical powder vets use but I couldn't keep the dog still enough or apply enough powder to do anything! I thought for sure I was going to have to call to ask the dog's owners to see if the dog had a clotting problem. Then I read your posting about using baking soda or flour. Well I went for the flour. I filled a zip top bag and stuffed his paw in it for about 5 minutes...really coated his entire foot. Thank god - it work. Like a charm. And I didnt have to worry if he licked it, its just flour. So thank you for the suggestion. Thank you!"Replies
04/07/2009: Ann from Ithaca, New York replies: "The person who said, I left the dog outside for it to clot but it was raining and wet so it did not. First of all why would you cut your friends dogs nails without knowing how to treat a problem if it occurred? After injuring the dog( I hope you know how painful it is) you leave the dog outside - are you that cold? I wouldn't let you watch my stuffed animal. What if I was babysitting your child and decided to cut your child's nail and I cut your child's nail too short and it was bleeding and decided to leave the child outside in the rain to see if the bleeding would stop on its own as a treatment.What would be your reaction.Cutting the quick is cutting a blood vessel - IT IS PAINFUL. Maybe you should nip a blood vessel in your finger and see how it feels. I am being as cold as you were.I hope you don't cut any ones nails other than you and yours. If your friend wasn't upset with you - they are just as ignorant as you."
05/08/2011: Melissa from Winter Springs, Fl replies: "Wow, Ann, what a meanie-pants! Erin was just trying to be helpful by cutting her friend's dog's nails. No need to attack! Luckily she found this site and the dog is fine."
12/22/2011: Janet from New York, Ny replies: "My vet had said to me that lucy's nail's quick had grown close to the end of her nail even though they weren't that long. Also her ear hair was long and she yelled so loud from pain the vet said just leave it- she is too sensitive.
I took lucy to be groomed to a very good place. (I usually do it and once in awhile get her done) instead of two hours it took four. She came out so meekly, walking timidly. I didn't know why. I gt home and realized her ear hair was pulled out and her nails had been cut short. Obviously they hurt her. I will be talking to her vet tomorrow but I want to know how painful is it? The dogs here seemed to recover right away. Does she need antibiotics and pain killers? Maybe they don't know not to do these things or they just do it anyway. Please she is tippy toeing around and looking so sad. I will do anything for her. She half cavalier king charles and half bichon, a Cavachon. sweetest dog I have ever had."
[YEA] 04/24/2008: Susan from Milton, WV: "I accidently stepped on my chihuahuas paw with my heeled shoes. She yelped and I thought that was that. Then I noticed bleeding and found that she lost her whole nail. I put 1/2 cup flour in a baggy and placed her paw in it. I twisted the top of the bag and put a clip to hold it. I held her for about 30 minutes to keep her off her foot. It stopped the bleeding very quickly."Replies
[YEA] 10/04/2011: Tara from Springfield, Illinois, Us replies: "I am so thankful for this site. My son Donnie suggested that I check out online for home remedies for pets and I came across this site. My fiancee was clipping my dog Angel's claws and she pulled away and he cut to close to the quick and she began to bleed, I was freaked out but my son told me to check online and I found out about the flour and wow it really works. Thank you to who ever created this site. It is a blessing and a help."
[YEA] 02/10/2008: Samantha from Holland, Michigan: "Hi my dogs nail had been bleeding non stop and i was scard and using the flour to stop the bleeding help us out alot! thanks so much for putting the info out:"
[YEA] 06/30/2007: Christina from Charleston, WV: "Hi. I have used flour for years to stop bleeding when I cut my pug's nails too short. They are very thick and crooked. The vet said this was safe and non-toxic. I just put some flour in my palm and dip his nail in it. It usually stops the bleeding immediately. Flour can be used for other minor wounds on your dogs body too."
06/03/2012: Francis from Sunrise, Fl: "use corn starch, flour or styptic powder. After the blood stops put a drop of Krazy glue on the tip or the nail and let it dry. after its dry no more bleeding."Replies
09/03/2012: Mary Ann from Plymouth, Ma replies: "Are you sure glue is not painful or toxic? I have a beautiful older German Shepherd and would hate for it to sting. She already has back pain issues. Thanks."