How To Treat A Broken Dew Claw? Good Treatments

As a dog owner, you always need to look after it. Your pet friend possibly has some health problems. A broken dew claw is one of them. It’s important to catch signs before their injury becomes serious.  How to treat a broken dew claw? In this article, you will know what is a dew claw, causes of injured dew claw, and treatments.

How to Treat a Broken Dew Claw

What is Dew Claw?

A dew claw is like a dog thumb but it’s quite useless. It’s a short nail, or you can call it claw, that sticks to a short toe on the inside of the dog’s leg. The dew claw doesn’t touch the ground, so the animal doesn’t benefit from it. Unlike a human’s thumb, a dew claw doesn’t support the ability to run or walk.

When it comes to its origin, dew claws are basically a part left of the canine evolutionary process. The animal doesn’t use it, but it doesn’t disappear. The very early ancestor of modern dogs used to use all five toes to climb trees. However, their paws have changed to adapt to hunting on the ground. 

Most dog breeds have dew claws in their two front legs. However, some breeds like Newfoundlands and Pyrenean Mountain Dog have dew claws in all 4 legs. Especially breeds such as Briard, St Bernard and Great Pyrenees have an extra toe as a double dew claw.

Symptoms of a Broken Dew Claw

How do you figure out your dog’s broken dew claw? You need to notice some signs to realize its problem.

Spare one leg. One of the typical symptoms is that your pet holds one leg in the air. It doesn’t use that leg to walk or run. It lifts up the pain leg so that the leg doesn’t touch the ground. That leg has a problem for sure. It’s important to check its leg and paw before the injury becomes worse. 

You also need to check its dew claw when seeing your dog limping. Maybe one of the most popular symptoms is limping. It is properly the first sign. You see that your dog limps sometimes or all day. It doesn’t put weight on a particular claw during a walk. It seems to want to tell you about its claw issue.

Bleeding isn’t a typical sign. If you see blood stains on its fur or bedding, check your dog’s body immediately. Some dogs bleed when their nails are cracked or broken. Perhaps its dew claw has an injury. 

A dog that gets trouble with its claw is always licking its injured nail. Many pet owners don’t often focus on this sign as they think that it’s supposed for dogs to lick their paws. They assume that licking is the dog’s instinct. However, when a dog has an injury in a dew claw, it will lick that claw continuously. You must realize this weird action to look for the cause of licking. Maybe your dog’s dew claw is broken.

If your dog has a broken dew claw, that paw or toe can get swollen. This means that the paw is inflamed. You have to check its paw as soon as possible. Suffering a broken dew claw, your dog will lick, limp, and has a swollen toe as well. 

The dog can resist when you want to check its paw. Therefore, checking the injury becomes difficult. Please be careful to avoid hurting your furry friend. If it doesn’t allow you to check, perhaps it’s time to take it to the vet. 

 Causes of a Broken Dew Claw

There are some main reasons why a dog gets a broken dew claw.

If a dog owner forgets to clip dew claws, nails will be overgrown and hurt the dog’s toe. The dew claw has a higher position compared to other claws, so it’s easy to miss it. A dew claw that isn’t clipped can grow too long that it hurts the dog’ toe. A long nail is easy to crack and broken. 

If a dog has glandular or metabolic conditions, it’s more likely to have broken nails. Thyroid disease can cause brittleness in nails. Health problems make the dog’s claws more vulnerable.  

When it comes to a congenital issue, you need to know that some dogs have weak nails after they were born. They often get broken nails including dew claws. There is no way to cure it, but you can take care of your dog’s nails to prevent the injury. 

This cause doesn’t often occur. A tumor on the dog’s toe can harm the nail. If you see the signs mentioned above and find a tumor that makes the nail become fragile, you need to bring your pet to a vet. 

Other causes can be from your dog’s activities, bacteria, insects or other animal’s bite. An active dog easily gets a broken dew claw while playing.

Read more: Dew Claw Removal Recovery Time: What to Know About Dewclaw


Solve Bleeding

Injured dew claws can hurt your dog. You have to take care of it to avoid  serious complications. Infection How to treat a broken dew claw? 

If you find that your dog’s toes or nails are bleeding, you have to find a way to stop it right away. As usual, one broken nail will stop bleeding after 24 hours. If it doesn’t bleed, you have to suggest a treatment.  

Apply styptic powder to the injury so that its cauterizing element covers the surface of the wound and stops the bleeding. Use a styptic pencil by holding the item on the wound for about two minutes. The styptic pencil will seal the wounded area.

Use potassium permanganate. You will need crystals of potassium permanganate and moist cotton swabs. Vets often use this powder to control bleeding in claws. You can buy this natural powder in online stores or pet stores. 

Use moist swabs to tap crystals on the wound. Hold within 30 seconds. The bleeding will stop. If it doesn’t stop, you can retry and hold within 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, if it doesn’t take effect, you must bring your pet to the vet quickly. 

Avoid Infection

To prevent infection, the wound needs to be sanitized. Make sure that you remove dirt and debris. You can gently massage the dog’s toes. While washing the wound, you should talk to the pet in a soft voice to make it calm.  

After washing the wound, apply a pet antiseptic to the injured area. It will disinfect the broken toe and make your pet feel better as it reduces discomfort from the open wound. If the toe bleeds again after washing, you can use styptic powder to stop bleeding. 

Bandage Broken Dew Claw

After the injured toe is cleaned and disinfected, you need to put a bandage all over it. Your dog may refuse a bandage because it wants paws to be free to feel the ground. To prevent your pet from licking, you must apply a bandage to its paw. A gauze pad can help if you tape it in place.

Please choose an effective method to cure your dog’s broken dew claw. The wound will get over quickly if you follow instructions. Your dog can walk and run like before. 

Watch this clip to hear pieces of advice from a vet:


One of prevention is regular trimming to keep dew claws short. You mustn’t cut into the internal nail area because it hurts the dog and damages its nails. You can consider removing dew claws permanently. If your pet has a wounded dew claw, you need to figure out how to treat a broken dew claw. 

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