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Dear Daisy Dog

My groomer grinds down my dog’s nails with a Dremel tool, charging $15. While visiting the animal hospital recently, I agreed to have my veterinarian do my dog’s nails. After the procedure, I learned the bill was $150 for anesthesia and an “orthopedic nail trim,” during which the nails were cut high into the quick.

The vet said the procedure was necessary because grinding isn’t good for nails and doesn’t shorten the quick. What do you think?

Daisy Responds

Standard nail trimming or grinding, if done regularly, keeps our nails short and healthy. Every six weeks, my groomer grinds my nails, which feel good and look perfect.

If you notice your dog’s nails getting too long, have your groomer grind them to the quick -– but not into it. Repeat more frequently than usual, and the quick will gradually recede.

Because the sensitive quick shields the nerve and blood vessel, cutting into it causes pain, bleeding and sometimes infection.

Grinding leaves the nails smooth and rounded, but it does take a bit more time than trimming.

Another problem is that inexperienced users may catch the dog’s hair in the grinding wheel as it turns. To prevent this, keep the dog’s tail and leg hair out of the way, and hold the toe hair back, well away from the grinding wheel. Or, pull a stocking with a tiny hole over the paw, and allow only the one toenail you’re grinding to peek through the hole.

In the future, ask enough questions to ensure that you understand exactly what your veterinarian intends and what the cost will be -– and have your groomer grind your dog’s nails every two to six weeks.


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