Dog Nails Help!!

Michiyo-Fir

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#1
Our Cavalier is terrible with her nails. She absolutely will not let us do them. She lets us hold her foot and touch her nails but the moment we have a clipper in the room and she knows it's there she won't even take treats and hides.

Also if we hold her paw and forcefully tries to do it, she struggles so badly and moves her arm so much that I can't get the clipper around the nail and not quick her.

Even the groomer we went to said she was too nervous and refused to do it because she moves her arm too violently. She doesn't really bite or growl but just squirms and moves her paw away in a jerky twisting motion.

The last time it was done was when she was put under to do her teeth at the vet's, but we haven't been able to do it ever since.

What should we do? Try to call different groomers to see if they can do it?? Or can we take her to the vet's to do it under some kind of anesthetic or mild sedative?

It's growing so long it's almost starting to curl and we just can't do it by ourselves.
 

Oko

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#2
Can you teach her to use a scratching board, maybe? Like a nail file, but big?
 

emc

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#3
My chihuahua wouldn't cooperate when having her nails cut either, she'd get nasty and bite hard. I finally had enough, put on ski gloves and held her paw tightly as I cut through the screaming and howling. Took about a year but I can now cut her nails without much of a fuss or the ski gloves.

I realize it might be harder to hold a larger dog forcefully. Making her walk on concrete during walks can help keep her nails from getting too long if you can't find a way to trim them
 
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#4
I have managed, over a period of several months, to get Maisy counterconditioned to nail trims to the point where I can do at least a couple at a time. She's always been terrified of them as long as I've had her.

I started by touching her shoulder with the nail clipper no where in sight, gradually moving down her leg to the paw and nails just clicking and treating for tolerating touch, and allowing/ignoring her to pull away if she wanted to. Then redid the whole thing with the nail trimmer within sight. Then redid the whole thing with the nail trimmer in my non-touching hand. Then in my touching hand. Then touched her with the nail trimmer. Then pretended to clip a nail (eg touched the nail with the clipper but just click/treat). I still have to hold the trimmer and the clicker in the same hand and click/treat for each nail, but at least she tolerates it now. She still has bad days here and there but for the most part it is doable.

While she was learning, I just drugged the crap out of her when it had to be done. Xanax and acepromazine.
 

*blackrose

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#5
Overgrown nails aren't something I tolerate...and I wouldn't be above sedating the dog in order to get them trimmed. Like Sass said, even sedating during behavior modification would be appropriate.

I also wouldn't be above just man handling the dog and getting it done. (By man handling I mean muzzle if needed, being held down on its side on a table in a head and foot lock, and someone else trimming.) But that's just me, and I'm under no delusions that doing so would do anything for the dogs' tolerance of the procedure. But it would get the job done and prevent ingrown nails.
 

Dizzy

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#6
Ha, my thread from earlier in the week!!

http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=264510

I feel your pain, I really do. I think people who say they will Man handle their dog have never had a dog doing a full out panic attack when you try to do their nails. It's VERY distressing for human and dog, and can result in injury, and just NOT worth it.

I've spent hours and hours on nails, and we have finally cracked it (see thread above!). But, I have to add I've done lots and lots of stuff with the clicker, and bribes and treats. And I was only doing one nail at a time for a loong time, and only front feet for a long time.

I now do his nails before he's fed (so he's starving) and we do the 'leave it' or 'wait' or 'stay' command a lot so it's kind of a built in trick. And it just seems to distract him and focus his mind on doing something else while I do his nails.

I'm happy as I'm not forcing him to do anything, and he's happy because he thinks he's sussed out how to get the treats ;) he still wanders a bit, and I have to hold his foot still, but it is working.

I bought a cheap guillotine clipper which seems to be a lot easier to manoeuvre from the 'pony's hoof' type angle, and just generally so you can see how much you're trimming.

So my advice would be, desensitise the clippers as much as you can without clipping (I started by having him sniff the clippers, then click and treat, then letting me touch his body, click and treat, move down his leg, click and treat, foot, click and treat, nail (just touch it) click and treat).

Then I just kind of muddled through... I spent a long time sat in the floor and chasing him round and round, or tying him up so he couldn't move away etc. Didn't work.

Our method might not work for you, but good luck in finding something that does!!!! If all else fails, I'd get the vets to do it for you... Personally. I was nearly at that stage.
 
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#7
Yea if a dog was just being squirrelly I wouldn't mind just holding them ("man-handling") for it, but Maisy was like... complete panic. Restraint of any kind has always made her nervous and nail trims in particular elicited all out terror. Poor kid. :( Very, very icky, so had to find another way with her.
 

AmandaNola

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#8
Counter conditioning. Nola used to be the same way, but over several months of CC-ing I can now do all four paws in one easy sitting.
 

*blackrose

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#9
For clarification: I think there is a difference in a full blown panic attack with a dog, and a dog that is just...not tolerant. And I think it is up to you to discern what you're dog's mental state of mind is and what it can tolerate.

But I've had to do quite a lot of nail trims with work...and 9 times out of 10 the dog can be done without sedation, they just require "firmer" handling/restraint than the owner is capable of doing. (There are also dogs that need sedated.)

If it were my dog, and the only thing she was doing was thrashing around when her leg was gripped, I'd try a different, more firm hold.
 

samshine

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#10
Dog Nailss

Dog nails and how we trim them are one of my pet peeves. I think that if the dog is going into a panic attack when forcibly getting their nails done, it is (from the dog's point of view) a form of torture. On the other hand, nails that are too long are painful for the dog. Makes them stand and walk in a way which throws off the natural balance and structure. Like a woman who wears high heels all the time can get back problems as well as feet problems.

I think it is easier in cases like this to switch to using a dremel. The clippers already have such a lot of bad emotional baggage for the dog that it takes a long time to overcome. It can be done, but starting fresh is faster and less stressful for everybody. With the dremel you will not accidentally get too close to the quick and hurt the dog so it is easier to avoid the fear issues.

First you need to make sure the dog is good with getting their feet handled when you aren't going to be cutting. Lots of treats until that is a good thing. Then gradually introduce the dremel. Some dogs don't mind it much and you can touch a nail with the running dremel almost right away. With some dogs it takes longer. Stick with it though. Even if it takes a bunch of very short sessions to get your dog to accept the noise and vibration, it will be worth it. Think of how many times you will need to trim this dog's nails over the course of her life. Wouldn't it be nice to do it without a struggle? Mine even line up for their turn because they get treats and the actual experience is never painful.

Here is a fantastic website with detailed instructions on how to dremel dog nails and how to get your dog to accept it. http://www.doberdawn.com/
 

Southpaw

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#11
Probably your vet could do it just fine. We've had soooo many dogs come through where the groomer won't do it, and... the dog just needs normal restraint and is no big deal.

That doesn't solve anything if you want to do it at home though. I just sit on Lucy, she's the only bad one I have.
 

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