Nail clipping...help me...

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Postby Veda » May 16th, 2006, 10:19 pm

You all seem like a smart group of people who won't jump down my throat so here goes...
I've been trying for almost 2 years to be able to cut my girls nails myself. She either has to be held down by 3 people at the vets and traumatized, or dropped at the groomers and held down by 3 people there. I really want to be able to do this myself with the least amount of stress to her. I think for the 1st 2 years of her life her nails were never cut... :(
I have tried to desensitize her...by giving cookies while touching her paws. I rub her paws alot which she does not seem to mind, but as soon as I take a firm hold on that paw she starts shaking and bolts...
Forgive me but I have also tried Vita Treat's Pet Calm on her...doesn't work.
Is there something I can ask my vet for to totally calm her down and almost knock her out? I feel so bad but her dew claws are now almost touching her pads and her last nail clipping was in March.

Again forgive me but I am at my wits end. We just tried to clip her dew claws and I thought she was going to have a heart attack.
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Postby msvette2u » May 16th, 2006, 10:21 pm

Yes - you can get some Acepromazine from the vet which will calm the dog.
I'm sorry you're having these problems. It's always tough here but I manage to do all our dogs, either clip them or dremel. But often the grabbing and holding of the foot is worse than the trimming itself!
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Postby Marinepits » May 16th, 2006, 10:28 pm

Try to NOT react to her panic. Just keep talking in a calm, low voice to her and moving slowly as you try to cut each nail. The more calm you are, the more calm she will be.

Treats can help, maybe something like peanut butter to help keep her attention?

She also is probably associating nail clipping with something BAD and I'm sure three people holding her down reinforces that idea -- I went through this with Miss Sam (RIP) for years and she was never good for her nails, but she came to tolerate it. Just act like it's an every day occurance, nothing special for her to get excited about.

If she really can't stand the clippers, get a nail file that is used on acrylic nails (most drug stores sell them) and slowly file each one, then work up to clipping. This works great, especially on dew claws. You could try a dremel, but the noise may freak her out even more.

Patience, grasshopper. :)
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Postby Maryellen » May 17th, 2006, 7:15 am

all my 3 HATE to have their nails done.. i tried a dremel, and it worked on just one dog.. with lots of steak during the dremeling..... i would say follow everyone elses advise, and go slow ... it wont hurt to have a nice juicy steak for her either after a nail gets trimmed a nice chunk of steak... the next nail, another piece of steak...

i have also found with my crew, the less they are held down the less stressed they are having their nails cut.. jesse my gsd used to flip out and have to be muzzled and held by me and 3 techs.. one day we decided to just hold her collar and had the tech sit on the floor, and it worked, she still squirmed, but she didnt try to bite anyone or escape out a window....
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Postby a-bull » May 17th, 2006, 7:34 am

Same exact problem here!

Three people would hold her down at the vet to clip her nails until I said "uncle." If she was already terrified, how can that help??!

Marinepits has some good advice, and so far I can use a nail file now & then just to keep my girl's nails under control. (Oddly, she bites them down if they get long anyhow). :|
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Postby SisMorphine » May 17th, 2006, 7:46 am

I am having the same problem with Halo now. I guess about a year ago (before I got him) he split a nail and ever since hasn't wanted anyone near his feet. I am trying very hard to desensitize him to having his feet touched and now you can brush them lightly, but anything beyond that he turns into a screaming flaily lunatic! The last time I dealt with a dog as bad as him about nails it was a chihuahua who's nails had never been cut . . . and I have a scar down the back of my hand from that lovely encounter.
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Postby dogcrazyjen » May 17th, 2006, 8:48 am

I have my hubby hold Tallulah on her back in his lap, feeding her hotdogs. I tap the nail with the clipper a few times, then clip one. Then if she gets wiggly, tap a couple more, then clip one.

Is there a reason you have to hold her paw firmly? If you are quick, you should be able to do it with her paw resting in your hand.

Also try running her on the paved road every day, that should naturally keep them trimmed up. You may want to remove the dew claws if you can't manage to desensitize her. It may be less traumatic in the long run, and she doesn't need them anyway.

This IS a tough problem. My dal/whippet is sat on to do nails, but he only weighs 35 pounds, and he is just pissed I am doing it, not fearful!
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Postby katiek0417 » May 17th, 2006, 9:44 am

I have finally gotten Nisha to the point where she accepts getting a manicure (doesn't necessarily like it, just accepts it)....with her I did it by putting her on her back (while doing "be a baby")....massaging her body, touching her all over...getting her really relaxed, talking to her soothingly....

Then I would do the nails....

If I don't go through this ritual everytime, though...well, all bets are off...

Also, a great relaxer (over the counter) is Valerian Root. You can get it from GNC....1 pill relaxes Sacha and/or Nisha....each about 50 lbs....
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Postby Veda » May 17th, 2006, 10:27 am

dogcrazyjen wrote:Is there a reason you have to hold her paw firmly? If you are quick, you should be able to do it with her paw resting in your hand.
...
You may want to remove the dew claws if you can't manage to desensitize her. It may be less traumatic in the long run, and she doesn't need them anyway.


I may have them removed, my husband wanted it done but I didn't want to put her through surgery for something cosmetic. Since I would like to get her anal glands removed I could do both at the same time...those are another story...
I'm am really not quick when it comes to the nails, especially the dew claws. My husband is even worse, he clips each nail on our lab like 5 times, little by little.
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Postby Marinepits » May 17th, 2006, 10:30 am

Does she have dark nails or can you see the quicks?
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Postby Maryellen » May 17th, 2006, 10:32 am

DONT get her anal glands removed, the surgery is NOT 100% guaranteed... and she could still have problems later on as well without them....
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Postby dogcrazyjen » May 17th, 2006, 12:00 pm

Does she need a dental ?

This would not be cosmetic, as you are doing it for behavioral reasons.
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Postby Malli » May 17th, 2006, 12:10 pm

A treat every nail works wonders for Oscar.
Otherwise I'll do it and he'll shake and pull a little, but mostly just lays there and says "get it over with please"

I clip each nail several times myself. Os has long quicks and I can't let the nails grow long enough where I can just cut quickly(the quick will grow longer with the nail, and we have been working on shortening them), I have to be careful...
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Postby a-bull » May 17th, 2006, 12:51 pm

Don't remove the dew claws! :shock: Dogs use it to clean junk from up in their gums, etc., and I'd imagine it's sort of the equivalent of removing your thumb, lol

I know people remove them, but IF you must, it should have been done when they're little---just like ear cropping and tail cropping . . . but I wouldn't do it. It can also leave that area very sensitive. :(
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Postby Veda » May 17th, 2006, 4:14 pm

Alright...lots of great opinions but now I'm even more confused!
:|
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Postby Maryellen » May 17th, 2006, 4:18 pm

dont be confused.. just have a drink here and enjoy the ride... :spit: :wine:
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Postby Maryellen » May 17th, 2006, 4:20 pm

what are you confused about? just give Veda a drink, and then cut her nails....LOL.....

if you are confused about the anal gland thing, i went thru it with jesse, i was at the vets every 3 weeks getting them expressed for a year... i looked into the surgery, but the side effects were worse then the good part, and when i read that the surgery doesnt always work, i said forget that.. eventually she learned to clean her own ass and the vet didnt have too.. i also switched her food, which helped too...
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Postby Veda » May 17th, 2006, 9:10 pm

How about I go have a drink. My pit doesn't like beer as much as my lab anyway. Hahaaaa! :devilWink:
The last thing I want to do is put my girl through surgery if it's going to hurt her...man it really stunk in here tonight though!
:wine:
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Postby a-bull » May 17th, 2006, 9:15 pm

Veda wrote:How about I go have a drink. My pit doesn't like beer as much as my lab anyway. Hahaaaa! :devilWink:
The last thing I want to do is put my girl through surgery if it's going to hurt her...man it really stunk in here tonight though!
:wine:


yes, you have the drink, clothespin your nose, and just bust out some red polish on her toes. To heck with toenail clipping!

If the glands get really bad :fish: the vet can 'express' them, but I use some heavy duty baby or pet wipes in the zone to reduce the yuck factor. Also, there is a spray called "Plus II"---it's a bacteria enzyme odor/spot dissolver that's all natural and works great on any stinkies left behind (no pun) on your furniture or carpets. You can also light a groovy candle to help with the odor and set the mood for your :wine:
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Postby pitprincess » May 19th, 2006, 7:47 am

Meesha hates getting her nails trimmed too. She won't lay down so I can do the front paws while she sits up and my son feeds her small treats..we have to redirect her a lot but I can get it down sometimes we have to stop after one paw and then go back later to get the others. I do the back ones when she is sleeping. Luckily I have only ever had to cut the twice. She walks so often they cut by themselves.
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