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Treatment will be dependent upon the particular underlying medical condition that is causing the nail or nail bed condition. If the nail area is inflamed, surgical removal of the nail plate (the hard part of the nail) may be necessary to encourage drainage of the underlying tissue. Antibiotic and antimicrobial soaks are also effective for preventing or reducing inflammation, and for encouraging the healing process. If the condition is related to a bacterial or a fungal infection, topical treatments and/or ointments are often administered to the affected area.
Living and Management
In most cases, application of the topical treatment or ointment will clear up any nail issue. While there are typically not many complications that can arise from these disorders, it is important to observe your dog's progress as it recovers, referring to your veterinarian if the healing does not appear to be progressing as it should.
When clipping your dog's toenails it is important to avoid cutting too close to the nail bed (also called the quick). The vein in the nail bed may inadvertently be cut, which can cause excessive bleeding and lead to an infection, and nicks to the skin can open your dog to infection as it goes about its normal routine of going outside for walks. It is essential that you look closely at your dog's nails before cutting so that you know exactly where the free edge of the nail ends and the nail plate begins. Only the free edge of the nail should be cut.
The best way to protect your dog from a painful nail disorder is to research the proper methods for cutting the nails, pay close attention while cutting, and promptly cleanse and protect the area when an inadvertent injury does occur.