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My Dog Had a Broken Nail And Infected Nail Bed And I Feel Guilty

My dog Ace injured his paw sometime last week.

He broke a nail, and the nail bed became really infected and painful.

I feel guilty because I know my dog’s nail probably broke because:

1. The nail was too long and it got caught on something. Or,

2. My nail clipper is old and dull and may have cracked the nail.

It didn’t help that the vet, who was not our usual vet, made a point to tell me to trim my dog’s nails more often to prevent further injuries like this.

He’s right, but it still made me feel bad.

Watch for a post on proper nail trims soon! (And a post on how a compassionate vet can make all the difference, no matter what the issue is.)

This injury was unlike other issues my dog has had in the past – pneumonia, ear infections, allergies – because I feel like I could’ve prevented his pain.

But … Ace is fine now.

He had the nail removed, and he is his usual, wagging self (with a bandaged paw and a “party hat”).

My dog's broken nail and infected nail bed

He does not hold a grudge against me or the vet who pulled the nail off.

As my husband said, “Shit happens.”

You can’t predict or prevent everything with dogs. They will get hurt or sick sometimes no matter how careful we are.

Have any of you felt guilty after your dog was hurt or sick?

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Tuesday 17th of March 2015

This article was so timely. Last Friday I took Amy to the shelter's vet because of a broken nail. I could tell she was in pain and knew it was my fault. Her nails are too long and I needed to take her to the groomer. I haven't taken her or Storm to the groomer because of all the rain here in Baton Rouge - doesn't make sense to clean them up to get dirty as soon as they have to go outside. Anyway, I realized that I should have taken them just to get their nails trimmed. Hindsight is definitely 20/20!

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 17th of March 2015

Oh I'm glad Amy didn't get an infected nail bed like Ace! I'm sure it was painful for her too though. Poor pups!


Sunday 15th of March 2015

My mastiff girl Bella had to have her tail amputated partially because of me. She jumped in the back seat one night and I shut the door. Right before it fully shut, she backed up. Her tail was completely crushed. We tried to save it but it had to be taken off after the stitches wouldn't heal. Not her whole tail, but the last 5 inches or so.

I have huge pangs of guilt every time she jumps in the car and scurries away from the door and sits on (what's left of) her tail.

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 15th of March 2015

Ouch! Poor girl! I would feel bad too, but those things happen. I shut Ace's tail in the doorway once, and luckily it wasn't hard enough to cause permanent damage, but he does move quickly through doorways ever since.


Saturday 14th of March 2015

Poor Ace. I'm glad he's doing okay now. I agree that it was just one of those things that sometimes happens. Your vet story reminds me of our golden, Brittni, who had severe (remember?) panic attacks during vet appointments. One vet said something like - the way your dog is acting is totally unacceptable. And then another vet at another appointment got right down on the floor with her and told us not to worry about the "scene" Brittni was making at all. I still remember how much we appreciated that vet's compassion and understanding. Made such a difference. Be sure to give Ace some extra TLC. Thanks for sharing.


Saturday 14th of March 2015

Being a drama queen myself, I'm pretty good at making Mom feel bad because she didn't clean my ears well enough and I get an infection or things like that, but overall, she does her best. It is all you can really ask for.


Friday 13th of March 2015

Bruce ripped one of his nails off shortly after I got him. I felt terrible. I am glad Ace is better, and sorry your vet wasn't very compassionate.