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How to Cauterize a Dog's Nail

| Updated August 11, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Antiseptic or antibiotic cream

  • Cotton balls or a clean cloth

  • Coagulant (styptic pencil, cornstarch or flour)

  • Cloth bandage

  • Bandage tape


  • A bleeding nail can be very painful for your dog. If your dog shows signs of aggression when you attempt to treat the nail, place a muzzle around the dog's mouth to guard yourself from being bitten.


  • Styptic pencils are available in most pharmacies and pet stores.

    If your dog is tearing at the bandage, place a small sock on top of the bandaged paw and wrap with bandage tape.

    Adding a 1/2 tsp. of olive oil to your dog's food every day will help harden its nails and prevent breaks and splits.

Because a dog's nail contains a live tissue blood vessel or quick, a bleeding nail should be treated immediately. If the quick of your dog's nail has been cut during nail trimming or if the nail has broken, you can stop the bleeding by using several simple and inexpensive solutions.

Place an antiseptic solution or antibiotic cream on the bleeding nail.

Place the black end of a styptic pencil or two tablespoons of flour or cornstarch on the nail. These items serve as coagulants to stop the blood flow. Bleeding should cease within a few minutes.

Reapply antiseptic or antibiotic cream to the nail when the bleeding has stopped.

Wrap a cloth bandage around the dog's paw and secure with bandage tape.

Monitor your dog's nail for several days after the bleeding has stopped. If the nail is not healing or if your dog is limping, make an appointment to see a veterinarian.