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Old 09-20-2007, 06:32 AM
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I have a question about trimming nails. My beagle/basset has extremely long nails. They grow like weeds. He's mostly in the woods and grass surfaces, rarely on pavement, the same as my labrador, but the beagle/basset's nails grow much faster than the labradors.

I've been slowly clipping away at his nails---just a tiny bit each time---every two weeks. Today, we've done our third clipping and I just don't feel like we're ever going to get ahead of the growth. I've read that it can be done every 10 days, but I'm afraid to do it too soon.

I'm only taking off the tip each time. Am I not taking off enough?

I don't want him to end up with deformed feet because of these nails taking so long to get clipped down. He was a rescue dog and he came to us with long nails. Since they grow at an amazing rate, we've realized that he needs constant trimming. I just need help with how to catch him back to a healthy length as soon as safely possible.

Any advice on nail clipping would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:51 AM
Location: Ladysmith,Wisconsin
1,587 posts, read 6,671,662 times
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Miracle Coat Quick Finder for Dogs nail trimmer that tells you where safe to cut nails from Petco...Look online it is in there. I know I am going to get one as my 3 of my hounds have black nails cannot see quick and not want to cut short..
My Vet even asked where found em as she would like some.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:35 AM
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Thanks for the info! I'm going to get it ASAP!
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:23 AM
Location: somewhere on the map
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I hate doing my min. greyhounds nails ...........i also cut just a wee bit at a time..everytime they go to the groomers they cut them and they are bleeding..no wonder they are scared silly when they see the clippers coming..i am noticing too the meat is threading the older they get.........is this common...........
I sure can understand why some dogs get sedated........i am almost at that point myself..
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:08 PM
Location: a nation with hope
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I don't use a grinder, but am thinking of going to one. I understand the grinder (if you can get your dog used to it gradually) causes the quick to recede, and there's no bleeding ever. You just grind down more of the nail at regular invtervals.
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:48 PM
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Since he's a beagle/basset mix, his nails are all sorts of colors.

I was looking closely at his nails today, and it appears as if his quick is very far back.

I've just been taking a tiny bit off every two weeks like it shows in the diagrams.

Apparently, I have a lot more room to cut back, but I'm afraid.

I'll just slowly start taking a little more off every two weeks.
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:04 PM
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I have always used a Dremel. You can buy these at Sears BUT they run at a high speed and are loud. They also sell them at Home that one is quiet and has a safer speed for someone who doesn't know what they are doing. You can take the nails back much shorter with it. Bassetts have very hard nails so you may still want to trim the tips off first. Start with a back foot when learning to grind and to see how your dog will react. You may need someone to help hold him the first few times, but most dogs are better for grinding then trimming. Don't be scared or you will make the dog nervous. You can use a fine head on the grinder till you get used to doing it (as it won't take off so much at once), then switch to a medium band when you feel more confident. Coarse heads take off too much and in chunks....which by the way you should wear eye protection and maybe even a dust mask if you have asthma or allergies because grinding nails makes ALOT of dust.

Grind, letting the grinder do the work. Do not push the grinder into the nail because you can heat the nail up. Just enough pressure to keep it from jumping around and for it to do its job. You will notice as you grind back the nail changes texture...the inside looks and feels a little 'meaty'. When that happens you are getting close to the quick.....you will see a pink dot in the middle...that is when you should stop. Black nails are no different. I always round off any jagged edges on the outside. For anyone reading this that has a long haired dog make sure any loose hairs are out of the way of the grinder, especially on dew claws!

You can do nails as often as necessary as long as the quick is not exposed.

Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:20 PM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
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I'm interested in the Miracle Coat Quick Finder for Dogs also, my JRT is fine however, my Corgi thinks his legs are being amputated...LOL...it's quite a struggle each time so I think the quick finder would be handy
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:56 AM
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If you are not sure how much to cut, it may be helpful to have a vet or groomer do it just once,and then keep up with it the way you have been. If you can see the quick, then it shouldn't be too hard, but black nails can be tough. I would cut the ones you can see the quick first, and then cut the others so they are close in length. It is still possible you may get too close and cut the quick, so I would have some styptic powder near by just in case. They make the trimmers with the guard on it so you don't cut too much, but if your dogs nails are that long, that will really not be helpful either because you will be cutting the same nail over and over again, and if you can't see the quick anyways, you won't know when you are too close. (If what I said makes sense) I have 2 goldens, and the older one's nails grow much faster than the younger ones. I dremmel them about once every 3-4 weeks.

Good luck. And don't worry too much, if you cut the quick. It will hurt for a minute, but your pooch will forgive you! As long as you don't go hacking off an inch at a time, it probably won't be too bad!
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:47 PM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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I've always found basset hounds to have the most difficult nails to keep under control (sorry) because of the way their front legs "bend". They have a very different sort of gait that doesn't wear away the nail naturally at all.

When you're trimming the nail back, keep checking the nailbed itself instead of the edges of the nail. When you start to see something that looks sort of a black-on-black bullseye, STOP. The quick is not too far up from this point.

If he struggles when you trim, try having the vet (or mostly the tech) bring them right down for you,then you can keep up with it on your own by trimming every week or two. good luck
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